Which of Labour’s trade policies will the PM pursue?


‘As the Prime Minister heads to Europe, with the proposed trade deals with the European Union and Britain at the top of her agenda, which of Labour’s trade policies she is going to pursue?’.

‘Is it the kind of traditional trade and investment deal that Labour and New Zealand First have criticised, then signed up to with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and in revisions of the China and Singapore FTAs?’

‘Or will it be the new “inclusive and progressive” strategy that Trade Minister David Parker is about to launch consultations on, but which does not yet exist?’

I’m in Europe and have been discussing the proposed negotiations with politicians, officials and activists in Britain and the European Union.

Both Britain and the EU see a deal with New Zealand as relatively easy and hope to fast track it. Informal talks began some time ago under National government, presumably following the TPPA-style model that the government says it wants to change.

‘A quick outcome assumes there is common ground on most issues, which in turn implies a traditional-style free trade and investment deal, not the significant rethink the trade minister has promised. If so, the minister’s consultation process would be sunk before it even starts.’

I note that the EU is expected to finalise its mandate for negotiations around 22 May and publish it immediately. The New Zealand government will face pressure to do the same.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

‘There could be common ground with New Zealand over investment’, Kelsey said. The EU will want to run the trade and investment negotiations in parallel, with separate agreements, because of a split responsibility between the EU and Member states.

It is likely to promote a two-tier standing investment court in place of the current ad hoc system of investment tribunals to hear disputes, as it did with Canada. A decision on the constitutionality of that is due next year.

‘The problem for our government is the EU’s investment court system is old wine in new bottles: investors take disputes against states in offshore tribunals to enforce rule that are biased in favour of foreign investors and constrain government’s regulatory sovereignty’.

‘That’s not what the government promised New Zealanders, but have yet to deliver. A positive step to build confidence would be for our government to draw a red line in its negotiating mandate that says no investment agreement at all. That would give the Minister some credibility to begin negotiating a genuinely new trade platform’.


  1. Interesting… America would be opposed to any of this (Boo hoo) but if the EU could get it in everywhere else that becomes a moot point. Sneaky.

    Brands are an obsolete relic of the obsessions of European nobles.
    I mean Coca Cola is so far from the original recipe, who cares if someone loves Coca Cola and creates a product that is as close as possible to the original and sells it under the same name, right?

  2. See the Trumpster wants to get back in on the act, and he can renegotiate the terms and conditions to suit the USA ?

    • So can we to ensure it suits us. Its back to square one and the deal is negotiated all over again. This time no John key and Nat party.

  3. I have a question. In view of the declared intention of the U.S. to re-enter the TPP negotiations , will this mean that we will be forced to accept chlorinated chicken, hormone and chicken faeces * fed beef , and GM crops?
    * the faeces according to a discussion on The Kaiser report R T.18/04/2018.


  4. This is relevant here also, already posted on OPEN MIC:

    The truth about the insular and selectively thinking NZ media, it shows in the reporting here about their new ‘star’ PM Jacinda Ardern, while internationally she is hardly given any time in reports. All that the German media reported about Jacinda’s visit to Berlin is this:

    An odd report taking note of extra ‘stockings’ she wore as a pregnant woman leader during lengthy air travel, to help adjust to blood pressure issues.


    A report on how she manages her job as leader while pregnant. But it acknowledges at least, the goals her government has set itself.


    Again mention of her baby bulge, her government’s plan to build a hundred thousand homes, and wanting ‘free trade’, bla, bla, bla.


    Just a sideline mention of Jacinda while Merkel talks more about Russia and Syria.

    So there you go, the MSM here are a total joke, a totally alien group of selected court jesters, invited to travel with the PM and her staff, to be presented as some ‘great leader’, while the world at large struggles to take any note of Jacinda and this country.

    No wonder, as the powers play, Jacinda ‘grows’ into this job, just like other ‘leaders’, and becomes part of the club and the business as usual.

    NEVER vote Labour again, NEVER, ever.

Comments are closed.