Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Attempt To Cover Up NZ's Failure In Trade Talks

Hon Dr Lockwood Smith MP National Party Foreign Affairs and Trade Spokesman

11 February 2004

Attempt To Cover Up NZ's Failure In Trade Talks

"Michael Cullen's either lost the plot or he's starting to believe his own spin as he attempts to cover up the Labour Government's failure to initiate free trade negotiations with the US," according to National Party Foreign Affairs and Trade Spokesman, Lockwood Smith.

He's responding to comments from the Finance Minister yesterday that 'the biggest worry for New Zealand (from the Australia/US FTA) was if the deal represented the US's maximum ambitions for the World Trade Organisation's Doha Round of trade liberalisation talks.'

"Anyone who knows anything about international trade negotiations knows that the main target for the US is to achieve liberalisation through the multilateral process, " Dr Smith says.

"That's precisely why negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas have proved so difficult. Brazil and others want big progress on agriculture, while the United States wants that to be a multilateral development through the WTO," Dr Smith says.

"It's clear Dr Cullen is simply trying to cover his government's failure to initiate negotiations with the United States. Helen Clark's bungling of foreign affairs issues has meant New Zealand is extremely unlikely to enter into negotiations with the United States this year.

"What Dr Cullen either doesn't understand or chooses to ignore is the longer term dynamic effect of the Australian/US agreement. Free access to the high value US market for 97% of Australia's manufactured goods and two thirds of its agricultural products, not to mention free access to the almost $300 billion government procurement market, will all tend to suck potential investment from New Zealand towards Australia.

"But it is the strengthening political, trade, investment, business and cultural links between Australia and the US, bringing their economies progressively closer together - while at the same time reducing Australia's interest in the New Zealand economy and CER - that will do the most damage.

"If New Zealand doesn't get into negotiations, our most important trading partner will see us becoming increasingly irrelevant to their future. The widening gap will simply see more skilled New Zealanders move across the Tasman taking their investments and their families with them," says Dr Smith.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>

 

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election