Secret trade agreement threatens NZ tech jobs

Among other things the Financial Services Annex of Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) published this week by Wikileaks includes clauses which mean banks and other finance companies can quickly import overseas IT workers.

That could make life difficult for local contractors.

New Zealand is one of 50 countries involved in secret talks over TISA. If passed the trade agreement will severely limit governments’ ability to regulate and control finance companies. That’s a questionable notion given the role of the finance sector in the global financial crisis.

As Angus Kidman writes in Lifehacker Australia:

Given the choice, workers from cheaper locations are always going to be the first choice.

It’s not clear the proposed agreement will have as much effect in New Zealand as in Australia. That country’s IT sector is trending down.

From what I hear talking to people in the industry, tech skills are in such short supply that an influx of overseas workers is unlikely to upset the jobs market.

If you know otherwise, please get in touch.