“Trade For All” consultation lacks credibility while negotiations on old model continue

By   /   August 7, 2018  /   8 Comments

TDB recommends Voyager - Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get

‘It is worrying that the Prime Minister aims to ensure New Zealand’s values and sovereignty were not “unduly compromised” in the quest for more market access. But the shroud of secrecy continues, leaving us in a “trust me” zone with a government that has given us no grounds to do so’.

‘The “Trade for All” consultation announced by the Prime Minister today is predictably underwhelming and lacks credibility’.

It has taken almost a year for the government to announce a decision to establish a Trade for All board, whose membership is yet to be determined. The new ‘Trade for All’ policy is to be announced in June next year, eighteen months after the government came to power.

The long list of current negotiations the Prime Minister read out today confirms it is ‘business as usual’ in a raft of large-scale negotiations that put ‘trade with all’ way ahead of ‘trade for all’.

‘There is nothing that reflects the new “trade for all” agenda in the current negotiations. Nothing to address the “loss of confidence in the trade agenda” that the Prime Minister referred to, let alone to rebuild that confidence. Nor is there anything to “spread the benefits evenly”.’

‘It is worrying that the Prime Minister aims to ensure New Zealand’s values and sovereignty were not “unduly compromised” in the quest for more market access. But the shroud of secrecy continues, leaving us in a “trust me” zone with a government that has given us no grounds to do so’.

I expect changes to the negotiating mandate in the Pacific Alliance on gender, small and medium enterprises, and regional development to result in ‘rhetorical clip-ons’ that do nothing to counter the negative impacts on them of the far-reaching chapters on services, investment, intellectual property or government procurement.

‘Reports from both the Pacific Alliance and the RCEP negotiations suggest that even the promised exclusion of investor-state dispute settlement will not be achieved’.

Most of these current negotiations were begun by National. Labour and NZ First have continued them. PACER-plus, which is currently before the House, is the product of a decade long process begun by a previous Labour government. I describe the final deal as ‘a mockery of claims to be pro-development’. The two largest Pacific island countries, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, refused to sign.

The Prime Minister pointed to the new negotiations with the European Union as the first initiative under Trade for All – a slogan the EU itself coined several years ago.

I note that the European version has met similar scepticism from civil society, academics and politicians who are concerned about growing inequalities, financial and job instability, consolidation of corporate power and a corresponding loss of regulatory sovereignty.

To fill the void of genuine alternatives coming from the government, a number of organisations, including the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, It’s Our Future, Doctors for Healthy Trade, and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation will co-convene a two-day hui at the University of Auckland on 19-20 October to discuss ‘What an Alternative and Progressive Trade Strategy Should Look Like’. More information on that hui will be available shortly.

***
Want to support this work? Donate today
***
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook
***

8 Comments

  1. Castro says:

    Cancel the Free Slave Agreement with the Chinese dictatorship.

  2. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Trade is dependent on the burning of fossil fuels, and therefore has no long-term future.

    We cannot say for certain when international trade will go into terminal decline but we do know that point is not far off.

    We can also say for certain that maintaining historic economic arrangements (or even worse attempting to expand them) is the worst possible long-term strategy.

    The Adern government’s feeble and counter-productive responses to our dire energetic and environmental predicament (matching the feeble and counter-productive responses of most other governments) is utterly reprehensible but clearly stems from gross ignorance of fundamentals or extreme cowardice; there really is no excuse for either.

    Just why is the Adern government pushing so hard for increased fossil fuel use when it should be pushing hard for reduced fossil fuels use?

    ‘Domino-effect of climate events could push Earth into a ‘hothouse’ state

    Leading scientists warn that passing such a point would make efforts to reduce emissions increasingly futile’

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/06/domino-effect-of-climate-events-could-push-earth-into-a-hothouse-stat

  3. Rickoshay says:

    take a leaf out of the Trumpets book, Trade War with Austrailia

  4. countryboy says:

    The reason there’s a ‘ shroud of secrecy’ may be because there’s a fucking lot to hide.
    I’ve banged on this particular drum so often now that it’s not much more than a dented tin mug.
    NZ / AO suffered an embarrassing blast of wealth from about 1900 to the late 1960’s. The Filth, however, could barely believe their good luck. Unsophisticated, albeit hard working and innovative NZ/AO farmers were $-eaten alive by their more sophisticated and urbane colleges, perhaps because of their educations, perhaps it was because of their connections within certain circles dahlings. But one thing’s for sure… There was, and still is, an unholy and large scale swindle going on that’s so deep it’s deeper than a well in a cemetery.
    What must happen is that people like you @ Jane Kelsey need to start to comprehend the enormity of that when considering NZ/AO’s wealth creation and its distribution, and it’s swindling away daily.
    Our farmers do the best job at what they do in the world. No one does agriculture better anywhere else. Or at least that was the case. ( You changed all that though, didn’t you, you scum banksters? )
    NZ/AO shipped frozen meat to a hungry EU, followed by wool, dairy and fruit. Billions of £’s sterling, US Dollars and sundry other currencies came pouring back into NZ/AO in boat loads to be spent by a well meaning government on our agricultural hinterlands and the urban, down stream agriculture service industries. That’s why I had the pleasure of owning and living in an enormous EX Post Office building with a four bedroom Postmasters residence up stairs. It was hand built and was opened in 1911 by the acting post master general of the day. It cost a staggering £ 2500 pounds to build, give or take, and serviced a little town on the south east coast of Otago. I bought it back in the 1990’s for my mother and father for $25,000.00. A bargain afforded me by neo liberal Filth who ransacked our rural towns. You could buy a house for a dollar if you paid rates arrears after people simply walked away from their homes and communities in the likes of Ohai, Nightcaps and Kaitangata. All great little towns on our rich, beautiful agricultural lands. Other towns too, enjoyed that export derived wealth pouring in. Otautau, Wyndham, Mataura, Gore, Clinton, Owaka not to mention North Island towns etc etc blossomed. As did Dunedin, although Dunedin’s early wealth was in the gold. Christchurch was built on the wool industry and wool is till without a doubt the best clothing and carpet fibre in existence. It should be pointed out; the NZ/AO wool industry is crippled. The wool farmer barely survives. The last national party speaker of the house, a stunted traitor called david carter who sported an Agricultural Science degree from Lincoln University. He has farmed sheep and cattle for over 30 years, and established the first commercial cattle-embryo transplant company in New Zealand in 1974 who also had a hand in disbanding Lincoln University’s wool research programme disestablished about 20 jobs in the process while throwing sheep farmers under a bus.
    Doesn’t anyone wonder why that was? It’s not because wool is no longer a favourable product to produce, that much is certain. So why did carter deliberately hobble our wool farming industry?
    It’s my opinion that he did it to hide the crooked tracks of previous others and this Labour government must make sure that it too, hides those flat footed and traitorous tracks, lest the rats are rousted from their nests.
    We have a country a little bigger than the UK but with only 4.7 million people who produce essential product, particularly considering the truly awful times ahead of us as people are displaced by global warming with the consequential scramble for dwindling food resources sure to come. And we have a succession of governments nickel and diming us to keep us in the dark to protect the crooks amongst us. It’s fucking bizarre, is what it is, that it seems no one else can understand that. Am I really the only one to see what’s happening? If so? Then, that’s beyond bizarre. We’re getting into ‘Black Mirror’ territory.
    The NZ/AO housing ‘market’ is about to blow out but not because there’s a lack of foreign demand but because the global economy itself is about to blow out. China will take down the USA and its banking industries, Russian will have a ball like Jackals at the dead Wildebeest and we Kiwis will wake in our Plasti-Houses we made a contract with the Devil to live in that was valued at $800k by Satan’s minions, the banksters and real estate scum which is now unsaleable at any price.
    But while all that’s going on, you’ll be wailing and screaming and as the terrible window envelopes appear daily in your inbox, mail box or coffin, because they’ll never let you get away, you’ll be one other thing… You’ll be hungry.
    I think it might be about time NZ/AO wakes up to the reality that our future, and our past, is agriculture and that our governments, any one of them you care to point a finger at, are lying to us to protect the architects of a swindle on such a scale that it’s so big we can’t see it for its size.
    You have been warned.

  5. Black Lemming says:

    DAVID PARKER SHIFTING DECKCHAIRS ON THE TPPA TITANIC.

    Trade for all as long as you are a huge multinational company .

    This appears to be a light weight , candy floss ,PR spin window dressing diversion from Labour to sell the TPPA as more ” inclusive ” .
    Im not fooled by this red herring .

    The bigger story is the fact that Labour have signed and endorsed a TPP agreement which specifically intends to increase the extraction ,transportation ,and burning of fossil fuels, in a document that has never once mentioned the words climate change in its “comprehensive ” 6147 pages .This is the real crime against humanity .

    Is the increased burning of fossil fuels, good world governance Mr Parker ? Lets focus on this story instead.

    Europe is experiencing unprecedented hot air from the Sahara , California is literally on fire and NSW is now 99% in drought with hot air shifting from the Australian outback.

    Mr Parker, isn’t about time we started to think about food security for large urban populations .Because its getting pretty real .

    No water = no crops or animals = no food = no cities .

    Cut the candy floss Labour ,we need a completely new trade model for a sustainable world and TPP needs an immediate carve out on fossil fuel growth as well as tabacco, well before tinkering with boutique mini exporters .

    Nobody is fooled by you rearranging the deck chairs on the TPPA Titanic .

    “Trade for all ” is a meaningless diversion of fluffy nothings from spineless puppet politicans that are run by puppetmaster MFAT who are in turn religiously indoctrinated by their neoliberal corporate overlords .
    Lets sort the big issues first .

    The overwhelming objective of TPP is still corporate dominance and the mindless growth in fossil fuels until the planet dies . Now that’s real progress .

    When we pull the mask off today’s “TPP Captains of industry ” we get a clear view of tomorrows “Climate Criminals “.

    Jane is right , we need a whole new approach , not tinkering .

    No way TPPA.

    • dave brown says:

      Countryboy and Black Lemming are on the right track.

      NZ/AO has been recolonized by the US and China to produce raw materials for export. Even our IP startups are raw material for Big Tech.

      Wool got stuffed because our two big imperialist masters made clothes out of oil. These emperors as now without clothes.

      We have reverted to being exporters of milk, logs, fruit and digitalized scenery.

      The first three are staple commodities, the last is a scam.

      Growth elsewhere is a ponzi scheme of land speculation.

      Don’t be the last out the door when the lights go out.

      The only short circuit of this fate is to nationalize the land and lease it back to those who produce what is needed to survive. That eliminates land as a source of speculation and restores its role in the ecosystem.

      Of course that means kicking out politicians who serve their imperialist masters and then creating a government of those who do the productive work, elected by local democratic councils.

      Then nationalize the banks and create a state bank to fund productive land use based on sustainable resources.

      To do this we have to be able to defend ourselves against the invasions of hostile special ops and sanctions for ‘democratic regime change’.

      Then, and only then, will we be able to trade with other countries which have made similar changes, so that the working peoples of the world can link hands against all the destructive forces of parasitic capitalism and climate collapse.

      Once we have done that we can do anything. Like survive.

  6. William Smith says:

    Ah but the red rubber stampers still support this dismal govt come what may. Really just a continuation of the Nats policies for the most part.

  7. […] in response came across as too angry. I’m not surprised it did. I was bloody angry. You can read it here. Now I want to explain […]