Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 13:33
Free trade negotiations come with the usual rhetoric about how it will bring development to the Pacific, a type of 'development' that is being painfully felt right now in Tonga. Tonga became a member of the World Trade Organization under what has been described as the "worst" terms of any country. So confident in the benefits that would come with liberalisation and lowering of tariffs the government argued that no future government would question WTO membership since the benefits would be "manifestly obvious for all". Sadly Tonga's current crisis is what is has become obvious for all.