Dear Editor – According to Radio New Zealand International (RNZI) sources, a region-wide free trade agreement has been signed in Tonga, with some notable absences.
“The deal, known as PACER-Plus, has been hailed by proponents as a new kind of agreement that links development to trade to boost island economies.
“Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Niue, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Cook Islands were at the signing ceremony in Nuku____alofa.
“The near decade of negotiations for PACER-Plus has been polarising, with three of the region____s main economies – Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu – refusing to join.
“Critics say it threatens the interests and economies of island countries and was unbalanced towards the interests of Australia and New Zealand.