TPP Protest

On Saturday afternoon I marched against the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) talks which are being held in secret.

Professor Jane Kelsey

The crowd in Auckland was a great mix of tangata whenua, union networks, GE free New Zealanders, asset keepers and citizens who cannot be manipulated.

The Greens and the Mana Party were the only MPs visible and we were crystal clear, that the TPP is not being negotiated in the interests of our country. Even the gung-ho free trade supporting commentariat are worried that the PR in favour of this unaccountable investment contract is not working.

I missed the latter stages of the protest but it was obvious that Sky City was the perfect venue for the problem gamblers addicted to corporate control of peoples resources.

In the loud and lively environment outside the Convention Centre Jane Kelsey, Marama Davidson and myself made use of the megaphone to point out that the TPP will undermine our decision making in our own land from Te Tiriti issues, to affordable medication, from the right to stop miners to the risk of our Government being sued.

Catherine Delahunty

In Parliament the Greens have been consistently challenging the Government to be transparent on their negotiations and to explain how we will be protected from overseas corporations suing our Government as has happened around the world when investor sate dispute clauses are included in trade deals.

The ‘investor state dispute clauses’ are one of the nastiest dimensions to this investment deal.

If we want to determine our own future we need to keep the pressure on and keep people informed.

The TPP is more important than a royal baby or even the cricket scandal, this is something that could affect our access to prescription medicine or our clean green future.

Free trade deals will not make New Zealand more equal. As child poverty grows who really believes these deals will fix the real problems? Who will create a sustainable future? We can do this together if we don’t let our current Government sign it away.

 

 

 

86 thoughts on “TPP Protest

  1. I am amazed that the NZ public reaction to the TPPA hasn’t been as angry as the Battle of Seattle !!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  2. The crowd in Auckland was a great mix of tangata whenua, union networks, GE free New Zealanders, asset keepers and citizens who cannot be manipulated.

    Same old rent-a-mob? Setting fire to things really didn’t do the cause any favours. Not sure what they were thinking.

    We benefit from more trade. We get more jobs, more income, and therefore more tax to spend on the wealth of social services the likes of the Greens demand. The money doesn’t just grow on trees, and we can’t sell to ourselves, unless you want to increase the population ten-fold.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  3. I am amazed that the NZ public reaction to the TPPA hasn’t been as angry as the Battle of Seattle !!

    Its because what this “partnership” means hasn’t been clearly explained to The People. And because of this, as pilloried by Arana, though only people there are the “normal” rent-a-mob.

    TPP means end of parallel imports, so everything is more expensive, and especially more expensive medicines. There’s a line you can sell. Copyright changes? Who gives a flying about that…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  4. What kicking of a police officer?

    Funny no one has been charged, but a police officer is now in the gun for breaking ranks during the protest and assaulting a young women. Twice!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  5. “We get more jobs, more income”

    If all the income promised before past trade agreements had eventuated, we’d all be living like kings by now. And when you say ‘we’ get more jobs, who are you talking about? ‘We’ trade bureaucrats? ‘We’ people living in Chinese coastal cities? ‘We’ people in South Korean factories?

    I went to a briefing on the TPPA some time ago and the government bureaucrat chairing the meeting said the TPPA would bring few if any benefits to New Zealand in terms of trade access. He only advocated it as a useful model for possible future agreements in the far-flung future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  6. One can get another flavor on the NZ Herald opinion pages where it is getting pilloried.

    In the end it is going to be up to the Greens to fix this place after National is finished stuffing it up. The suggestion that Key is guilty of treason is being made by more people than just me now… :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  7. Even if it was only a “free trade” agreement, it would still be questionable.

    How much more of our manufacturing, balance of payments, incomes, democracy, sovereignty and wealth are we going to give up for, so far, illusory, benefits for farm exports.

    And don’t tell me China would not have bought our agricultural produce without a “free trade” agreement.

    “Free trade” to date has been code for corporate rights over ordinary people.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10853401
    “” What makes the disciplines especially potent is the power of foreign investors to enforce guarantees that are designed to protect their value and future profits, by suing the government for compensation in private overseas tribunals. Whether the investment has social or economic value to New Zealand is irrelevant.

    A study released last week by the Transnational Institute showed how these disputes have become a business in themselves, with international law firms acting as ambulance chasers and private equity firms funding the cases in return for a share of any winnings.

    The cumulative impact of these various chapters would seriously limit a democratically elected government’s policy options. Tim Groser described such agreements in the Herald this year as “putting limits around countries’ sovereignty”.””

    The more “free trade” the more our incomes drop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  8. Worth $3B per year to the economy.

    That’s a lot of welfare, jobs, hospital care and schools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  9. by more people than just me now

    There will always be hysterical opposition voices, no matter who the government :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  10. This is all about locking in Neo-liberalism so that it can never again be reversed by the democratic decisions of an individual countries citizens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  11. Kerry – why can’t you be mature enough to use Arana’s correct name. Is that because you feel you are losing the discussion so you have to try and make fun of the person instead arguing the idea. Second question, why is this sort of thing so much more common on left-leaning blogs. Do you guys learn this in lefty-school, or is this just a standard personality trait of lefties generally?

    Lastly, is anybody able to come up with an example of a green job. Still waiting after many months of asking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  12. And you believe everything John Key says in Parliament. You take the piss, surely!?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  13. As DPF points out:

    “The annual exports in the year before the FTA were $2.24b. If they had stayed at that level over the next three and a third years our exports would have been $7.45b. Instead they have been $15.79b. So that is an extra $8.3b of export income that the Greens and NZ First railed against, and still rail against.

    God knows how many fewer jobs we would have without that FTA, let alone the greater deficit and debt.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  14. The 3 billion quoted is at best an optimistic guess – and if a hundredth of it goes to those who need it I would be very pleasantly surprised. This country is run by a kleptocracy headed by a professional gambler. The economic model he is trying to follow has failed in Europe, failed in the United States, and deepened poverty in Africa and South America. And now he’s trying to sell New Zealand to the neighbourhood bully-boys, when he could be pushing New Zealand’s economy forward by ensuring that employers are obliged to pay their employees a living wage, that our best and brightest are paid at the same relative level as the rest of the world so that they can stay home, and that the population dramatically increases, so that we have a home market for a strong industrial sector. he does none of these because kicking it off would decrease investor profits. While the already wealthy are protected, our children die for want of necessities as a direct result of government policies. Are people angry? Maybe they should be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  15. You mean THIS FTA, do you not?

    http://www.greens.org.nz/submissions/green-party-submission-nzchina-free-trade-agreement

    The two are comparable…

    The downsides for us with the US are however, more likely to appear sooner… the cession of sovereignty to corporations was wrong there too, and it remains a great wrongness. DPF is talking through his ass again too, thinking that we would not have had increasing trade with China with or without the agreement.

    It would have been LESS increased I have no doubt, but the changes would not have been zero either.

    More money! No matter what the cost to the Nation! They are willing to sell our freedom for far less than its value, for they place no value on it.

    What a bunch of assholes… and you repeating the crap they are emitting… consider the company you are keeping.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  16. Sam says “If all the income promised before past trade agreements had eventuated, we’d all be living like kings by now.”

    Since the free trade agreement with China, we now export MANY BILLIONS of dollars more than we did previously – a rise of SIX HUNDRED percent, just since 2008.

    In fact in the first year of the agreement exports to China were expected to go up by 25%, but actually went up by a massive 250%.

    China is now fast closing in on Australia as the largest buyer of our products.

    The Greens would have given away thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of exports because they campaigned against this agreement.

    Then in supreme hypocrisy, they complain that the govt has done nothing to help exporters – the very same exporters who have had a 600% increase in exports because of the China free trade agreement, that the Greens campained against.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  17. Kerry says “And don’t tell me China would not have bought our agricultural produce without a “free trade” agreement.”

    Yeah right.

    You really think (that unlike any other country on the planet) we would have had a 250% increase in exports in the first year of the global financial crisis, and a 600% increase over the last four years of the crisis, without the free trade agreement?

    How blinkered do you have to be to still be against an agreement that benefits New Zealand by billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, every year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  18. The Greens would have given away thousands of jobs

    Thousands of jobs? Bullshit Photonz. What changed was our terms of trade and their consumption/appetite, not our production.

    http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2012/agr/A74-1-39-2012-eng.pdf

    Didn’t matter whether you had an FTA or not, China was buying.

    SOME people got richer, but there isn’t a trickle down effect from there unless you are a Mercedes dealer.

    It is a sucking up, which describes both the money and the National Party’s attitude to the people who happen to have it.

    Once again, half the story from the people with half a point of view.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  19. I would rather give away a billion dollars than our freedom Photonz. The economic bullshit that passes for thought on the part of National is beyond belief. Care for what happens to the Country? No. Just the dollars thanks. Just throw them the money, what happens to the country in the long term is our kids look-out. Fnck them with a fork – sideways. A more notable group of assholes has never been gathered together since Dick Cheney dined alone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  20. The downsides for us with the US are however, more likely to appear sooner… the cession of sovereignty to corporations

    That’s just silly. Why do some on the left repeat this comic book stuff as if it’s the truth? It’s as bad as some on the right labeling everything left as Communist.

    Could it be that compromises in some areas mean we benefit in others? That’s the nature of any deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  21. I would rather give away a billion dollars than our freedom Photonz.

    Fine. Cut your public spending demands in health, welfare and education to the tune of $3B per year.

    Because that’s what it means in practice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  22. “In fact in the first year of the agreement exports to China were expected to go up by 25%, but actually went up by a massive 250%.”

    That’s a completely different figure than that shown on the graph Arana linked to, so I don’t know who is right. These stats show considerable growth – 155% growth in exports over the years following the trade agreement, but nothing as spectacular as what you are claiming. http://www.prclive.com/pdf/info/China%20Statistics%20February%202012.xlsx

    I presume you are talking about trade in goods, which is the figure most commonly cited, rather than all trade? Frankly, I think it’s too early to judge the China FTA – in the first place merchandise exports to China were rising rapidly before the FTA (doubling between 2000-2007 http://www.chinafta.govt.nz/3-Progressing-the-FTA/1-Why-China/Key-economic-statistics/0-chart-nzexports.php). Secondly, China’s imports from just about everywhere are growing rapidly – the increase from New Zealand may just reflect that we are lucky enough to be selling things they want right now – such as dairy products, seafood and wine – rather than coal and industrial raw materials which are slumping somewhat. Thirdly, I don’t think Chinese exports have really cut in yet – things like infrastructure projects have yet to go to Chinese companies, so far as I know, as they have in the US (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/business/global/26bridge.html?pagewanted=all) and in SE Asia. The FTA allows for Chinese companies to bring contract labour into the country, and it’ll be interesting to see if Chinese companies decide to take an interest in the New Zealand market and bring in their own construction workers as happens around SE Asia. That’ll be when the chickens really come home to roost.

    I also wonder how long the dairy boom will continue as the Chinese dairy sector develops. I think New Zealanders can be a bit naive in thinking we’ve got some sort of inherent advantage in the production of milk products, rather than just being temporarily ahead of the pack.

    It’s also very simplistic to discuss figures for trade in goods without looking at what happens to the income from that trade. There’s a silly tendency for free trade advocates to shout “We’re rich!” as soon as trade exports rise, giving no thought to the obvious fact that most of us aren’t doing any better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  23. “Cut your public spending demands in health, welfare and education to the tune of $3B per year.”

    You are making the rather huge assumptions that (a) none of our exports to China would have been sold without the FTA, and (b) that if China hadn’t bought them nobody else would. The same trade official I mentioned earlier noted that our access to the US market was as much as we could use – we just don’t have a whole lot of unsold products sitting around. You could argue that prices may have been lower if the Chinese hadn’t been buying, but to argue that none of that income would have eventuated is just not realistic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  24. Arana

    When a free the corporate lawyers to sue sovereign nations is signed the corporate and national attitude towards such lawsuits and legal staffing is an important factor.

    Which country on the planet has the most lawyers per Capita?

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_country_in_the_world_has_most_lawyers_per_capita

    Does China show up on this list?

    The point I was making that you dismissed because you weren’t thinking things through very well – is that the risk to this country is a lot greater in terms of lawsuits when a clause allowing corporates to sue the sovereign state is introduced between us and the USA as between us and the PRC. The lawsuits would begin almost immediately and the cost to the nation in terms of those lawsuits could kill your ENTIRE projected benefit in terms of trade.

    …and this agreement isn’t about free trade. It is about free lawsuits.

    …and you lot are bending over and preparing the vaseline. Key isn’t stupid, which makes it treason on his part. You may be more innocent.

    The consequences for New Zealand however, aren’t going to be pretty.

    Free Trade Fools… in the country LEAST suited for that ideology.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  25. BJ says “Didn’t matter whether you had an FTA or not, China was buying”

    It’s completely delusional to think that out of the blue, in the first and worst year of the global financial crisis, we would have had an unheard of 250% increase in exports to China anyway.

    And that it’s just some amazing coincidence that the 250% increase (and 600% total increase up to now – when rest of the planets exports floundering) – all happened immediately after the free trade agreement was signed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  26. BJ says “I would rather give away a billion dollars than our freedom Photonz.”

    Extremist nonsense.

    How much money would you personally give up to bring back the same apparent freedoms as you had in 2008 that were taken away from you by a trade deal?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  27. One of the things I find fascinating about the ‘free trade’ discussion is how language has changed.

    The classical economic meaning of ‘free trade’ is that of markets free from unearned economic rent (i.e. monopoly tactics, interest gouging) as opposed to being representative of today’s agenda being that of the market free for predatory international rentier activity.

    I guess that’s why all the negotiations are secret so that the public is ignorant of being sold a pup until the deal is done and dusted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  28. I don’t suppose Photo would care to tell us how much Australian exports to China increased. WITHOUT AN FTA. And while keeping much of the shipping and processing in Australian hands.

    Or the amount of junk we had to import from China, the extra unemployment and social costs in New Zealand and the extra interest we have to pay offshore.
    In other words what was the NET benefit to NZ of the China FTA, if any?

    If there was any, it is only because we gave up all our trade protections in the 80’s in the naive hope that other countries would follow suit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  29. “One of the things I find fascinating about the ‘free trade’ discussion is how language has changed.”

    I’m always amazed at how free-marketeers pretend that trade with a country such as China, with its heavily regulated and significantly state-owned economy, and its repressive laws, is ‘free’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  30. Aussie merchandise exports to China more than tripled between 2006-7 and 2011-12, without an FTA.

    ww.dfat.gov.au/geo/fs/chin.pdf

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  31. Who would’ve though producing stuff like minerals and milk that the customer already wants would increase trade in a functioning market?

    Uncanny!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  32. If Photo looks at the growth in exports to China from Australia, and several other countries as well, THAT DID NOT HAVE FTA’S WITH CHINA, he would know that the FTA was totally unnecessary.

    China, has been engaged in spending their US dollars, worldwide, on as much real goods as possible while they are still worth something.

    Caught only telling half the story, again, Photo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  33. Kerry – you allow your ideals to make you delusional.

    Look at the graph. In JUST ONE YEAR after FTA was signed, our exports increased more than in the previous EIGHTEEN YEARS.

    And that very year was the worst financial crisis in 70 years. Our exports to China skyrocketed, while world exports to China went DOWN by 11%.

    A detailed look at the graph will just about tell you the day, hour and minute the FTA was signed, and NZ exports instantly changed from being flat (in boom times), to skyrocketing (in a global recession).

    Of course your predetermined ideals mean that no matter how much our exports to China increase because of the FTA, you have to create yourself an alternative world so you can pretend it’s not really happening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  34. “Gregor, Kerry, Sam, or anybody else arguing that the fta signed late 2008 has had no effect on our exports to China,”

    I didn’t say that at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  35. “In JUST ONE YEAR after FTA was signed, our exports increased more than in the previous EIGHTEEN YEARS.”

    The graph shows the percentage of New Zealand’s exports going to China increased – no doubt about it. Why it is so terrific that we sold things to China rather than elsewhere?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  36. Sam – Where else should we have sold them to then? And why didn’t we do that too?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  37. Sam asks “Why it is so terrific that we sold things to China rather than elsewhere?”

    Silly question – we sold things to China as well as elsewhere.

    During the boom of the mid 2000s until the FTA was signed, our exports to China were going up on average by $100m per year.

    At the pre FTA growth rate (in a boom), it would have taken 40-50 years until 2048-2058 just to reach current 2012 export levels without the China FTA.

    We achieved 40-50 years growth in just four years, in the worst recession in 70 years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  38. “Where else should we have sold them to then? ”

    Don’t much care – I was just pointing out that the graph didn’t point to an increase in exports – just that the percentage of NZ products sold to China, rather than elsewhere, increased.

    “And why didn’t we do that too?”

    We seem to find a ready market for dairy, timber and the other basic products which is what we mostly sell to China. This stuff doesn’t sit around unsold, the only question is the price we get. More complex manufacturing is a different story of course.

    Could you reference your stats, photonz?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  39. Some data I have extracted from Stats NZ.

    Jun 08 – Jun12 (Note; not sure if the number are CPI baselined but assume they are):

    Actual value change in total exports over period: 6.66Bn

    % attribution to China of actual value change: 60% (4.015Bn)

    Increase in value of total exports p/a over period: 16.6%

    Proportional attribution of China export trade as % of total exports (08 vs 12): 5.2 to 13.8%

    % value change in imports from China (08 vs 12): 31.4%

    % value change in exports to China (08 vs 12): 292%

    Aggregate real value change YoY imports from China over period: 1.834Bn

    Aggregate real value change YoY exports to China over period: 4.015Bn

    Change in trade imbalance favouring China (08 vs 12): -3.73Bn to -1.55Bn

    Aggregate value of trade imbalance favouring China: -$12.08Bn

    So while these figures show trade has increased between the parties – note that the aggregate numbers disguise a massive slump in 2010 and corresponding rebound – we can only at best correlate and FTA rather than say there is causal relationship.

    Further, while China soaks up the lions share of the trade increase, as Sam infers, without correlating the commodity price change, it’s difficult to know where this is a manifestation of demand elasticity or supply elasticity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  40. Gregor – the increase after the FTA was as big in ONE year as the combined total for the previous EIGTHTEEN years.

    It took 18 years to increase our trade to China by $1 billion. Even you say we’ve increased it by $4b in just 4 years – that would have taken 72 years at the rate of increase before the FTA agreement.

    You are are so blinkered by your cultish ideals that you won’t let yourself believe something that is overwhelmingly obvious – that a massive increase in trade to China happened because of the FTA.

    This is like debating with the flat earth society.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  41. You misunderstand me, photonz1.

    I’m quite prepared to believe the FTA had a significant impact. It’s highly probable in fact given that the stats indicate that 60% of the proportion of new export revenues (the difference between 2008 and 2012) can be attributed to the China trade during that period.

    It’s just that this growth can’t be categorically attributed to the marvels of ‘free trade’ as opposed to say an upswing in aggregate demand – as experienced by Australia over the same period without an FTA – without some far more rigorous analytical work as I pointed out in my comment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  42. So basically free trade is more likely to be successful if your trading partner has a growing economy.

    Those with a struggling economy are more likely to try and extract “greater rent/return on capital/IP rights value” from free trade agreements. What they would call a “good quality” trade pact.

    In so far as TPP is concerned, the real advantage to us in it is not exporting dairy into that market but access for smaller scale companies to their market. Only to the extent that this is improved is there much real value to us. Oz exporting their dairy production to the USA (from 2020 as tariffs on them are phased out) improves our place in the rest of the world market – we get this without TPP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  43. Gregor says “It’s just that this growth can’t be categorically attributed to the marvels of ‘free trade’ as opposed to say an upswing in aggregate demand – as experienced by Australia over the same period without an FTA ”

    You show just how blinkered you are Gregor.

    After nearly two decades of increases that were in the 5-10% range, all of a sudden, immediately after the FTA was signed, we had an increase in the hundreds of percent (equal to the TOTAL increase from the previous 18 years).

    In the same year the world went into recesssion, China REDUCED imports, and Australian exports to China were flat.

    It’s the biggest ever increase, in ANY year, to ANY country, in over a centruy of our trading history.

    And you say it can’t categorically be attibuted to the FTA.

    The arguements of flat earthers, tobacco companies, and climate change deniers look incredibly strong, compared to your denial that the massive increase can’t categorically be attributed to the FTA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  44. photonz, the consumers in China only began to get serious wage increases in recent years as labour supply became tighter. Thus of course their consumption of imports from us is increasing at a faster pace than earlier.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  45. Small companies and unwary niche producers of products who will venture into China are unlikely to prosper there because intellectual property is not something WE protect all that well when we wander about.

    http://it.slashdot.org/story/12/02/13/0158207/best-practice-travel-light-to-china

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223433

    Apart from selling them milk and meat we’ll be learning Chinese. When they take over

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/China_to_land_first_moon_probe_next_year_999.html

    we’ll be able to remain sort of useful.

    I hope

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  46. Quite, the smaller companies do better via trade with the USA, it’s the big players like dairying that do better in China. So it’s a surprise to see the noise about us getting dairy access to the USA via TPP – they won’t give it and it aint that important.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  47. SPC says “Thus of course their consumption of imports from us is increasing at a faster pace than earlier.”

    Your cultish ideals make you talk nonsense.

    Chinas imports went DOWN the year our exports to China skyrocketed.

    And BJ joins in with an arguement that we need to protect our intellectual property just days after he argued that we should loosen copyright protections.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  48. Photonz… Photonz… do you HAVE to make stuff up? I never said “we should loosen copyright protections”

    I suggest you go review what I DID say and quit grousing about the fact that I don’t support your approach to these things… when I did in fact allow that there is an issue to address that you are I think, right to complain about. Really. I don’t mind so much if you rubbish something I actually say for whatever reason you find the truth repugnant, but the stuff I don’t say? That is just wrong.

    Also… you might notice that I didn’t discuss “copyright” law here either, but the mechanism by which things can be stolen in violation of a law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  49. Photonz1

    If it could be demonstrated that the lions share of the remaining 40% export growth over that period went to other countries with FTAs, I would be more certain.

    If it could be shown that there were material barriers to entry that had previously precluded the growth commodities penetrating the Chinese market (I.e. specific tariffs on finished dairy products), I would be more certain.

    If the massive upswing June 2010 – June 2011 after the considerable fall in exports the previous year couldn’t be attributed to pent up demand in China, again, I would be more certain.

    But because I am not in possession of all these facts, I will stick with ‘correlate’.

    That doesn’t mean I think you’re wrong, merely that none of us here know enough of the variables to be certain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  50. photonz, how exactly is noting the obvious fact, that people getting paid more money for their work can then better afford our food exports (and thus import more of this) an expression of “cultish ideals”.

    Try making stuff up that at least appears rational.

    PS bjchip was saying we are unable to protect our small companies copyright/IP in China – FTA agreement or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  51. BJ – the FTA with China put in mechanisims in place to give MORE protection to IP than was previously the case – not less.

    Gregor – in the four years since the FTA was signed, we’ve had an increase in exports to China during a recession, that would have taken many decades at the rate of growth we had in the years during the boom prior to the signing.

    The FTA eliminates tarrif barriers on 96% of our exports to China, and then you say if it could be shown that barriers had been reduced you would be more certain.

    If eliminating 96% of tarrif barriers isn’t about reducing barriers, what do you think the FTA was all about?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  52. photonz, it is easier to export more when there is a recession in the exporting nations domestic economy. The growth of exports to China is explained by it having a growing economy and the increasing personal comsumption of Chinese workers (as their wages rise).

    For one to conclude that this was all to be explaiend by the FTA, one would have to show whose exports to China declined in this period because their exports were superceded by ours.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  53. SPC asks “photonz, how exactly is noting the obvious fact, that people getting paid more money for their work can then better afford our food exports (and thus import more of this) an expression of “cultish ideals”.

    When China was booming, our exports grew at 5-10% per year.
    When China went into recession, our exports grew by hundreds of percent – decades of growth in a single year.

    It’s delusional to say that hundreds of percent of export growth in a recession is natural, when in boom times natural growth was just 5-10%.

    Even more delusional when you consider the timing – that exports skyrocketed immediately on signature of the FTA, in a recession, after stagnant growth for decades in boom times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  54. Fact police report.

    China is … not … in … a … recession.

    We are.

    Growing labour shortages in China have meant wages are rising – thus their capacity to buy consumer goods such as western food products is leading a growth in our dairy exports.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  55. China’s GDP grew 7.4% in the third quarter (2012), missing the government’s target for the first time since the financial crisis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  56. SPC – you just go on beleiving that as soon as we signed the FTA with China that we just magically happened to instantly get 40-50 years export growth, starting in a year China CUT imports by 11%

    You obviously prefer to delude yourself than accept what happens in the real world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  57. Photonz –

    That “more IP” is the “legal” protection one might have IF one could patent work in the first place. I pointed out the process of stealing it in the first place… a different challenge, also poorly met by the usual Kiwi small businessman trying to wangle deals in the PRC. He can’t usually afford the extra sacrificial laptops or phones.

    … and the small innovative niche company that is the darling of the right wing, does not, as a result of the high dollar have enough money to give its high tech workers even a cost-of-living raise… and gets to put in for patent protection only if someone’s second partner has a law degree.

    I know you like these things but we could use your arguments to suck start a Harley-Davidson.

    …and where else would you EVER hear THAT :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  58. If eliminating 96% of tarrif barriers isn’t about reducing barriers, what do you think the FTA was all about?

    Making the world’s countries subservient to its corporations. What else?

    :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  59. photonz, you have shown no causation link (one would be a decline in dairy imports from other nations since we got the FTA). Other factors explain the correlation – their consumers are increasing in personal wealth and are now buying imported food products (from us and from nations without a FTA).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  60. The depressing thing about “free trade” with NZ is that we have very few barriers too coming trade that most countries have. Our prime export is agricultural products, and compared to most of the rest of the world, incoming trade with us is free anyway. We don’t just give money to our farmers like many other countries do

    Sadly, these countries with whom we would most benefit from a free trade agreement by their removing subsidies to their agriculture sector just aren’t going to play ball.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  61. Worth noting the growing wage disparity in China. For all the increases, rural people, in particular, are being left behind. Only some Chinese are really benefitting from the boom – inflation is keeping a lot of people in much the same position despite the increases. All the hype about a market of 1.3 billion people misses the fact that many of them are still in dire poverty.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/04/labour_markets_0

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  62. We had the equivalent of MANY DECADES of export growth immediately after the FTA was signed at the end of 2008, and SPC thinks it is just natural growth.

    SPC – you live in lala land.

    SPC thinks the following graph is natural export growth, noting at the point our exports skyrocketed, most countries (and Chinas total imports) went the oposite direction – down.

    http://econfix.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/increasing-importance-of-china-to-new-zealand-trade/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  63. Photo again misses the point.

    Australia ALSO had the equivalent of many decades of growth in trade with China in and around the time of our FTA, without having an FTA, and keeping most of the tariffs and trade protection, we unilaterally gave up in the 80’s. And also protecting the wages of Australians, at the same time.

    Which raises the question of who actually benefited from the rise in exports to China. Not the 50 000 National put out of work recently, and not the rest of us who are borrowing for more welfare for those whom FTA’s put out of work, and the increasing trade deficit.

    And was there really a net benefit to NZ of the blind extremism of our “free trade” position, giving up our negotiating position and protections in the vague hope others would remove agricultural subsidies.

    In addition, the TPP is not just a “free trade” agreement. It is a charter for monopolistic corporates to override local democracy. I would think all but the most myopic of right wingers could see the problems with that..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  64. Photonz1 – some notes from the National Interest analysis:

    “New Zealand will benefit from the removal over time of tariffs on 96 percent of New Zealand’s current exports to China [Note: This is over 20 years], which will equate to an annual duty saving of NZ$115.5 million based on current trade.”

    Given that export trade to China in ending June 08 was $2.091Bn- roughly corresponding to the time the report was written – this means that if for the purposes of analysis the exports were to remains static (“at current trade”) by 2028 the effective benefit of removing 96% of tariffs would have been 5% of trade revenues.

    It should be noted however that the lions share of that benefit has likely occurred over the first 5 years given the following statements from the report:

    “On entry to force, tariffs on over NZ$200 million worth of New Zealand’s exports will be eliminated.

    Over the first 5 years, China’s tariffs on NZ$621 million of current exports will be eliminated including infant milk formula, casein, frozen fish, frozen fish fillets, methanol, animal fats & oils, apples and wine”

    This 5% number supports the notion that it is demand, rather than specific tariff reduction that has driven the increased trade, though certainly, 5% is nothing to sneeze at.

    It’s also nothing that while there has been a significant jump in the proportion of dairy shipping to China, a big chunk of the nett gain in export revenues can be attributed to a c. 50% price increase in finished milk products and solids over the 08-12 period.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  65. Kerry says “Australia ALSO had the equivalent of many decades of growth in trade with China in and around the time of our FTA, without having an FTA”

    In 09 when our exports skyrocketed after signing the FTA, Australian exports to China went completely flat.

    The Greens want to print money to bring our exchange rate down a few percent.

    It’s laughable that they say people will buy more of our goods because they are just a few percent cheaper, but a massive 35% cheaper because of removed tarrifs make no difference at all – talk about financial illiteracy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  66. Gregor says “This 5% number supports the notion that it is demand, rather than specific tariff reduction that has driven the increased trade”

    Gregor – can you read a graph?
    http://econfix.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/nz-x-to-china.png

    You are so blinkered by you preset ideas, that you don’t realise how silly your own argeument is.

    When natural demand in China was rising fast, our exports were pretty flat – they took 18 years to go up a billion dollars.

    When natural demand in China went DOWN on 09, our exports skyrocketed, and have ever since.

    It’s really dumb to argue a 35% reduction in price makes no difference to people buying our goods but just a few percent cheaper because of exchange rates will make our export sector boom.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  67. Well I think Bj is on the money here, I think a lot of posters are missing the point; with the TPPA agreements there comes a lot of sacrifice and that sacrifice is our sovereignty! The pertinent issue here is not whether we should parallel trade with China, USA, Nigeria or whoever it is whether corporations should sue or take legal actions against governments.
    I don’t think they should!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  68. Honestly photonz1, you make me chuckle.
    You’re the only person on this thread absolutely defending your POV without considering other factors and yet you have gall to call me “blinkered”.

    I’m pretty sure your graph shows proportion of trade by value, a proportion of which is entirely consistent with massive commodity price inflation over the period – about 50% higher now (after a dump in 08-09) but peaking at nearly 100% over 08 baseline prices in March 2011 – combined with increased demand.

    So while TPP is most certainly an important factor, it’s likely not the only one – something which you for some unfathomable reason can’t compute.

    I’m also not sure what you’re going on about re a “35% reduction in price”? Can you explain (i.e. what good are you talking about?).

    Note: I haven’t made any argument here that a 35% price reduction does not stimulate demand so I’m at a loss as to what your point actually is.

    I’m merely saying that a maximum 5% effective cost of sale reduction as a result of the FTA does not explain all the trade increase.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  69. “..a maximum 5% effective cost of sale reduction as a result of the FTA does not explain all the trade increase.”

    I recall some business fella a while back complaining that the NZ government was pouring resources into promoting NZ products in China, and ignoring the still massive Japanese market. I imagine simply raising the profile of NZ would have some effect, as would such things as the melamine-tainted milk scandal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  70. Gregor – it took 18 years for NZ exports to China to go up by $1b due to natural growth in boom times.

    As soon as the FTA was signed, they went up that much in just one year, in a recesion.

    You have been argueing that the growth in exports to China is because of natural growth – not the FTA – though obviously the penny has finally dropped because you have at last said the FTA is an important factor.

    The point is that when a 35% tarrif comes off the price of goods (or even 30%, 20% or 10%) that can make a massive difference to sales numbers of those goods.

    People here have been argueing that the FTA (and subsequent huge price drops because of tarrif removal) makes no difference.

    At the same time Russel Norman has argued that a drop of even a few percent will make a big difference to our exports (because of a small exchange rate change due to printing money).

    So I was pointing out the rediculous arguement that NZ will get an increase in export sales from a small drop in prices, but no increase in sales from a price drop two, five or ten times larger.

    Then there’s all the other benefits from the FTA like being the first OECD country to have an FTA with China, and all the competitive advantages that brings, not to mention our favoured country status, which allowed increased trade and commerical links, and the huge lift in our profile because of the FTA etc etc.

    As some Australian food producers have noted in the media, NZ has such a competitive advantage because of the FTA that it’s impossible for them to compete with us for market share in China, to the point where they were doing feasibility studies of moving their production to NZ.

    Then we get bizarre arguements that the FTA hasn’t made any difference.

    If you beleive that you’ll beleive anything, like the world will end tomorrow.

    It’s all just cultish views that dismiss all common sense and evidence to adhere to an idea that was formed and finalised BEFORE the evidence was looked at.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  71. Nobody here says or said that a real FTA has no effect…

    I commend you on your bait-and-switch success, getting us to talk about an agreement with China while the TPP remains undiscussed undisclosed and unconscionably dismissive of our rights as a nation.

    Trade with China DID go up. Nobody said it didn’t. It went up for many nations and many commodities, and nobody here said that the FTA didn’t have some effect in that respect. Our export increases exceeded expectations based on the general rise? OK… no problem with that either. However, YOU made a claim at the outset that the WHOLE increase was because of the FTA and you caught hell for it. Fair enough.

    The question is whether this is a real FTA or something else, and the odds of it being “something else” are quite good given the history of the USA and it’s corporations use of similar agreements. The Chinese are less forward about taking you to court… the US ? You will never be out of it.

    You are defending the TPP, not FTA’s in general and the cost of trade needs to be counted as well as its dollar value.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  72. photonz1

    To followup from bj and reiterate:

    You have been arguing that the growth in exports to China is because of natural growth – not the FTA – though obviously the penny has finally dropped because you have at last said the FTA is an important factor.

    Please go back and re-read my posts. I have always stated that the FTA is a factor, just that I believe it is incorrect attribute all the gains in the last 5 years solely to reduced tariffs particularly given the rapid inflation in commodity prices.

    Simply, if the market price of a good goes up by 50% even without demand changing then irrespective of tariffs, our export earnings go up even though tonnage remains static.

    However, if you combine;
    (i) massive commodity price increase for your good
    (ii) better market access and reduced exporter marginal costs via FTA thereby making the target market more attractive vis a vis other markets
    (iii) stimulate demand via an extensive marketing campaign (which Fonterra and TradeNZ have been doing for NZ milk products – hence the massive upswing in NZ brand counterfeiting in China), and
    (iv) combine that with increasing discretionary wages in your target market,

    then you have the magic formula.

    The point is that when a 35% tarrif comes off the price of goods (or even 30%, 20% or 10%) that can make a massive difference to sales numbers of those goods.

    No doubt. But where did you pluck this 35% from? The figures from Stats NZ indicate a 5% reduction across aggregate exports. So again, significant but not the complete story.

    People here have been arguing that the FTA (and subsequent huge price drops because of tariff removal) makes no difference.

    No-one has argued this so I’m afraid you’ve been shadowboxing ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  73. “The point is that when a 35% tarrif comes off the price of goods (or even 30%, 20% or 10%) that can make a massive difference to sales numbers of those goods.”

    Sure can. But on the subject of free trader language, I’m often intrigued to find MFAT arguing that tariffs on imports are a cost to the NZ consumer, and at other times arguing that tariffs on NZ exports are a cost to NZ exporters. They can’t have it both ways.

    “People here have been argueing that the FTA (and subsequent huge price drops because of tarrif removal) makes no difference.”

    I find it ridiculous that some people claim, on no real evidence, that the China FTA is entirely responsible for the success of The Hobbit, as without the Chinese invention of moveable type, Tolkein’s works would never have become famous. (I know nobody really made this argument, but I thought I’d claim they did in order to score an easy debating victory)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  74. BJ says “However, YOU made a claim at the outset that the WHOLE increase was because of the FTA”

    Wrong – I’ve never said the “WHOLE” increase was because of the FTA.

    How could you miss acknowledgements (NUMEROUS TIMES) that we had a natural increase in exports to China of $1 billion over an 18 years period.

    The same increase we got in just ONE year after the FTA was signed.

    Whereas you said the FTA was irrelevant.

    Quote from BJ “Didn’t matter whether you had an FTA or not, China was buying.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  75. Gregor – there are pages and pages of tarrifs that have come off – some at over 60%.

    Many for agricultural products were at 10%,20% and 30%, with an average for ALL agricultural products of 15%.

    And surprise surprise – this is where we have had enormous export growth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  76. The acknowledgements came later Photonz, and I don’t grudge you the right to tune the message… but you did come up with a flat number up there somewhere before the dawn of time in this thread. Thing is that the whole argument has turned to mush… because there’s no real way to show how much to attribute to anything. Really sort of useless overall.

    Can a FTA be good? Sure it can.

    Is the one with China good… overall I don’t think so, but I am taking into account expanded environmental impacts of our “high intensity” farming due to the price of being a wholly milk economy and the legal liabilities and precedent that is going to be grasped at by the USA, which unlike China, has a massive army of legal shock troops waiting to parachute in on us.

    The Chinese FTA helped trade. That isn’t the only thing in the picture for me.

    The TPP is almost completely NOT about trade… it is about allowing those lawyers to take over our running of our country.

    That isn’t really an FTA, it isn’t apt to help trade and it isn’t a good idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  77. photonz,

    I asked you some days back to provide evidence that our trade expansion with China was because of the FTA rather than just their rising demand for imports where we were the suppplier – such as food products (dairy, meat fish) or wood and wool – these are the main exports. I said evidence would be a decline in imports from other countries without a FTA with China. You offered nothing.

    You now say Australian exporters are less competitive because they have tariffs on their products and thus they cannot compete for market share. As far as I am aware they don’t have the water etc capability to increase their production, thus market share is not the issue. Also world prices have risen by more than the Chinese tariff rates. So their return from exporting to China is now much higher than before we got the FTA, tariffs or no tariffs. We were both exporting to China before we got the FTA. The real reason for Oz producers looking at offshore production is because this is the only way they can increase their level. They simply notice the extra profit made exporting from countries that do not have tariffs and think this makes production here profitable enough to warrant investment.

    To conclude you showed no evidence that food exports from Oz to China fell while ours rose. Thus it is the rising demand of China for imports that led to the rise in bith volume and price.

    In the general context tariff removals are an inducement to bi-lateral trade. Thus the irony we do not really have any – and so we cannot leverage bi-lateral free trade with South Korea or Japan or the USA or the EU or India because we have no tariffs cuts to offer.

    However in the case of the USA they ware more interested in other things we can give them. These range from control of our laws and regulatory regimes and assistance to symbolically unite a range of nations whose location suggests the containment of China. This for geo-political reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  78. SPC asks “I asked you some days back to provide evidence that our trade expansion with China was because of the FTA rather than just their rising demand for imports where we were the suppplier”

    You’ve been shown it over and over. We have years and years of evidence to show us what natural growth is.

    Prior to the FTA, it took 18 years of natural growth for our exports to go up $1b.

    After the FTA, it took just one year to go up the same amount.

    That rate of growth is 1800% faster than the historic average prior to the FTA.

    It happened the year China REDUCED imports, and Australian exports flatlined.

    If you can’t understand that an 1800% increase in annual growth rate during the worst of the recession is not “natural”, then there’s little hope you’ll understand anything.

    The farcical aspect is there’s people here who deride climate change denyers, then themselves deny something that’s 1000 times more evident than climate change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>