29 Jul 2010

Visit cancellation a blow to trade talks - Labour

8:02 pm on 29 July 2010

The cancellation of a visit to New Zealand by the head of a big United States union because of the Government's proposed labour law changes is a blow to trade negotiations, says the Labour Party.

Richard Trumka, president of the central US union organisation, had been scheduled to visit early next year as part of the Government's efforts to negotiate a regional trade deal involving the US.

But the trip has been indefinitely postponed in protest at the labour law changes, after New Zealand's Council of Trade Unions contacted the organisation.

Labour Party trade spokesperson Maryan Street says Mr Trumka's visit would have been helpful in gaining support in the US for the trans-pacific partnership.

She says Prime Minister John Key has failed to recognise that New Zealand labour laws might affect international trade opportunities.