Tim Groser

Idiot Tim Groser says he is in a “war” over the TPPA

Now, I’m not a diplomat, but even I know that trade negotiations shouldn’t be talked about in public as acrimonious.

That will do absolutely no good.

Trade Minister Tim Groser insists the government will win the political “war” on the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal once the facts and figures can be laid out on the table.

Talks in Hawaii have ended without a finalised agreement, and Mr Groser said the nations involved were down to three final issues, and will meet again soon to iron those out.

Mr Groser said he believed reasonable people were being “whipped up into a frenzy” over issues like pharmaceutical costs and investor-state dispute settlement, by people who oppose the deal for ideological reasons

“Look, this did not reach an agreement for other reasons,” he said of the lack of a deal after the latest talks.

He said the impasse was down to automotives, intellectual property and dairy.

The Minister said the government was fighting TPPA opponents with one hand tied behind its back, as it simply could not provide the real facts and figures while the discussions were still happening.

Read more »

Just when you didn’t think a newspaper could stoop any lower… [UPDATED]

Not content with dumbing down the main news section, a newspaper has brought in a gossip column for its business pages…and Holly Ryan the  Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter is running the tawdry little gossip column.

No I’m not kidding.

Let us know … 

This is not a gossip column but….

The new weekly Page2 is a chance to share stories and pictures about business personalities and events so please drop us a line at [email protected] We promise to be nice.”

Perhaps Holly need some tipoffs on NZME unhappiness…   Read more »

Vance kicks a speculator, boots it dead on the full

Andrea Vance likes to think she is a player in the press gallery…the mover and shaker with her finger on the pulse.

Today in the DomPost she writes what could best described as a speculator article based on every bit of rumour and gossip floating around Wellington, not much of which is true.

According to a story doing the rounds, National pollster and blogger David Farrar was recently invited to spend some time with Murray McCully.

Widely expected to step down by the end of this term, the foreign minister mischievously let slip he had no intention of retiring from politics – just to see how long the news took to reach his senior colleagues.

Farrar insists the rumour is not true. But it gives a few clues as to what is occupying the minds of National MPs.

One of the parties says it is b.s. but hey let’s run the speculator anyway. That story is old by the way and was running before Christmas.

McCully is not the most imminent departure from party ranks. Wellington’s worst-kept secret is that Trade Minister Tim Groser is shortly off to relieve Mike Moore as New Zealand’s ambassador in Washington.

Also likely to be waving goodbye to Parliament in 2017 is Assistant Speaker Lindsay Tisch, whether he likes it or not. No-one would be surprised to see Finance Minister Bill English take his leave, once he has delivered the long-promised surplus.

Read more »

Desperate National keep doing dumb stuff

National are desperate in Northland and just keep on doing dumb stuff.

The latest cock-up is to suggest that Winston Peters doesn’t care about Northland because he opposes a Free Trade Agreement with Korea.

National is running hard today with the message that Winston Peters does not have Northland’s interests at heart because he is opposed to the free trade agreement with Korea that would demonstrably help avocado and kiwifruit growers and farmers in Northland.

Acting Prime Minister Bill English also suggested that a bill sponsored by a New Zealand First MP could block the legislation associated with the free trade agreement going through.

National candidate Mark Osborne mocked Mr Peters’ promises made yesterday while campaigning for Saturday’s byelection on the streets of Kaitaia that he would back a referendum on cannabis, a pledge he withdrew an hour later.

And ministers at Parliament today have attacked Mr Peters as “Machiavellian” and “unpredictable.”

Read more »

Rob Salmond on the hysteria over spying

I don’t hold a candle for Rob Salmond politically, I doubt there is much we agree on, but he has a thoughtful piece that cuts through the hysteria associated with the constant left-wing push against the GCSB.

The fact that he has bothered to look at what the GCSB is for puts him light years ahead of the other lefty shills.

The most critical question is whether trying to help Tim Groser’s, ahem, optimistic bid to become WTO Director-General falls within the GCSB’s legal mandate. I say it does. Here’s section 7 of the GCSB Act, which gives the Agency’s objectives:

The objective of the Bureau, in performing its functions, is to contribute to—
(a) the national security of New Zealand; and
(b) the international relations and well-being of New Zealand; and
(c) the economic well-being of New Zealand.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-up, Ctd – Did Nick Smith mislead parliament?

The concrete cancer cover-up fiasco affecting New Zealand’s $400 million concrete sector has taken another turn with the Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith now looking like having misled Parliament.

Under questioning from Winston Peters, the Minister for Building  and Housing Nick Smith initially covered off his statements by saying that “I have been assured by officials”.

But Ministers have to satisfy themselves that the answers they’re getting from officials are right – otherwise they get caught out.

So when Nick Smith gets cocky and thinks he knows best, he gets held to account.

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Sources inside the industry have told Whaleoil of  a ‘WTF’ moment when they heard Nick Smith say this, and are now asking who is advising the Minister on this issue.

If he was getting good advice, he would not have told Parliament that “high alkali cement is allowed under New Zealand cement standard” – a statement that is likely to come back to haunt Nick Smith for the simple reason it is just wrong.   Read more »

Free trade deal done with South Korea

While the left wing were marching in the streets opposing the TPPA another free trade deal has snuck under their radar.

New Zealand has completed a free trade deal with South Korea.

New Zealand and South Korea have concluded a free-trade agreement that’s expected to cut $230 million of export tariffs in New Zealand’s sixth-largest export market, including $65 million in the first year.

The deal, which was announced on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, will initially eliminate tariffs on 48 percent of current New Zealand exports, with duties largely eliminated within 15 years. Two-way trade between the countries is worth about $4 billion.

South Korea has said it also aims to conclude FTAs with China and Vietnam before the end of the year, after agreeing recent deals with Australia and Canada. New Zealand is actively seeking such agreements after trade with China soared since an FTA was inked in 2008. The Korean FTA marks Prime Minister John Key’s first bilateral deal since being elected leader.

The Korean talks, begun in 2009, have previously stalled amid Korean concern about the impact of New Zealand agricultural exports on domestic producers.

“It has been a long, hard agreement to reach,” Key told reporters in Brisbane. “It’s a high quality deal. It was always going to be a tough negotiation but we have got ourselves now back into a level playing field with those countries that compete heavily in the Korean market and I think a lot of New Zealand industry will be happy about the outcome.”

Tariffs slated for elimination include a 45 percent rate on kiwifruit, 22.5 percent charged on sheep meat, a 40 percent levy on beef and an 89 percent tariff on butter.

Read more »

Tim Groser Eats Legally Caught Yummy Fish

08bass.600

This is what the headline should have said.

Chilean Sea Bass are not really even protected.  In fact this is what National Geographic had to say.

We believe it’s no longer necessary to “Take a wholesale pass on Chilean seabass.” Look for the blue eco-label of the Marine Stewardship Council, or ask where in the world it comes from. This will help you find the best and avoid the rest.

Tim Groser spent a meagre $300 at “Table for 7” where just $35 was spent on the fish.  Read more »

Not just our trade affected by plain packaging, now Scotch is in the gun

I wrote earlier in eh week about Indonesia threatening retaliation for our $900 million export trade to Indonesia if plain packaging goes ahead. This would likely affect our wine exports and also milk…the two largest and with the milk the most sensitive.

Indonesia has also said to the UK that the lucrative Scotch Whisky trade will likely be retaliated against if plain packaging is implemented in the UK.

The same arguments that Tim Groser was putting forward about sovereign nations retaining rights to protect the health of its citizens can also apply to alcohol and infant formulas. In Indonesia’s case on alcohol they could simply use the fact they are a muslim nation and alcohol is forbidden in the Koran, so plain packaging is needed to reduce consumption…the same claims that plain packaging advocates use for implementation against tobacco.

SCOTCH whisky could be dragged into a tit-for-tat trade war because of plans to ­introduce plain packaging for cigarettes in Scotland and the rest of the UK, MPs fear.

The Indonesian government has proposed forcing Australian wine to be sold in plain packaging in retaliation for Australia introducing plain packs for cigarettes in December 2012.

Indonesia is expected to impose the same restrictions on New Zealand when that country introduces plain packs for tobacco products shortly.

The south-east Asian nation has called on other major tobacco-producing countries to follow its lead. Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers and has a high rate of domestic cigarette consumption.

Legislation for plain cigarette packaging in Scotland is due to be introduced at Holyrood before the end of the current parliament. Prime Minister David Cameron has strongly hinted that laws for the measure south of the Border will be included in the Queen’s Speech in June.

This has led to speculation from MPs that whisky could join wine from Australia and New Zealand in being sold in plain packaging in tobacco-producing nations. Glasgow Central MP Anas Sarwar, who supports the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco, urged ministers to intervene with Indonesia to ensure Scotch is not dragged into the dispute.

The Labour MP, who is a member of the all party parliamentary group on Indonesia, said: “UK ministers need to protect the interests of Scotch whisky and must ensure that it is not dragged into any international dispute as a result of the government introducing plain packaging for cigarettes.”

Conservative MP Priti Patel, who chairs the all party parliamentary group for small shops, recently wrote to retailers across the UK asking them to lobby the UK and Scottish governments against the plans for plain cigarette packaging.

She said: “Ministers need to be aware of the wider consequences of legislation, including the effects on international trade as well as the problems it causes for small shops across the country.

“Plain packaging is a very blunt and ill-thought-out instrument for dealing with a health issue.”

Iman Pambagyo, the director general of international trade co-operation in Indonesia’s trade ministry, said the use of plain packaging for cigarettes was not backed by scientific evidence.

“If there is no scientific clarity, the policy should not be applied, because it can affect our other commodities,” he said.

He added that the Indonesian government could implement a plain packaging policy for alcoholic beverages from Australia.

This is of course the slippery slope, when the lobbyist win against tobacco they will start on plain packaging for alcohol, sugar, chocolate…almost anything that they deem to be unhealthy. It could even affect meat…eventually.

Branding will be destroyed, companies destroyed all because of state funded busy bodies who have no evidence.

Make no mistake the busy bodies are coming for your industry next, and they will use the same tactics against your company as they do against tobacco. Watch and learn as Chelsea Sugar is attacked as “Big Sugar”, as purveyors of poison…it is already happening, they are softening up the market before they start naming companies…Coca Cola and Frucor will be top of the list.

Told you plain packaging will extend beyond cigarettes, now it will be a trade weapon

I’ve been talking about it for ages, and commenters and other including politicians scoffed…Don’t be silly Cam, plain packaging legislation is for tobacco only.

Except it gives the antis a toehold and now we are seeing the results of that. On top of that tobacco producing countries can use it to conduct a trade war against our exporters.

New Zealand’s wine and dairy producers will be forced to export their products without branding in retaliation for Government’s introduction of plain packaging of cigarettes, tobacco firms are warning MPs.

A senior Indonesian official has been reported saying New Zealand exporters will pay a price for draconian law changes which will require tobacco producers to sell their products in plain packs with standardised fonts and colours.

Tobacco firms and lobbyists repeated the warning to a Parliamentary committee yesterday.

Emergency Committee for American Trade president Cal Cohen told MPs that plain packaging was likely to lead to restrictions of trademarks for other goods such as wine and dairy.

Tobacco giant Phillip Morris pointed to a letter by Indonesia’s former Minister of Trade Gita Wirjawan to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, in which he said plain packaging breached WTO rules and would have an impact on New Zealand exports.

Wine and dairy…ouchy…I wonder what Fonterra and all the exporters of dairy products think about that…especially those exporting branded baby formula to China.

What about sugar containing products…will they be the next victims in the war of business?

The former minister, now the Indonesian Director General for International Trade Co-operation, made a similar warning in a local news report: “If the cigarettes we export there are not allowed to have brands, then the wine they sell here shouldn’t also.”

New Zealand’s exports to Indonesia were worth nearly $900 million, half of which came from dairy. Food and beverages made up 70 per cent of total exports.

Trade Minister Tim Groser said New Zealand was “exercising its normal rights” through the plain packaging legislation.

He told the Herald: “I’ve met numerous Indonesian officials since we initiated that action and no concern has been expressed to me personally.

“So I would be very surprised if I hear talk in the future of that.”

Be surprised Groser…it will happen. The health busybodies will move from tobacco to sugar, to alcohol to dairy…they will use the same tactics, the same denigration and on top of that use state funding and taxpayer money to do it all.

If tobacco producing countries retaliate they will use the very same arguments Groser is advancing…that [insert country] was “exercising its normal rights” through the plain packaging legislation against alcohol…which from a muslim country like Indonesia is perfectly defensible on religious grounds without any pesky scientific evidence, which is severely lacking in tobacco legislation.

Corporate New Zealand better gear up for a war with the state funded health busybodies, it is coming whether they like it or not and their silence against plain packaging simply emboldens them toa ttack harder.