Chris Trotter speaks some sense on FTAs

I have always thought of Chris Trotter as a sensible, albeit wrong, voice of the left.

His ability to cut through the spin and to call things as they are despite wishful thinking is why I consider him a friend and a wise person to listen to.

In his post at Martyn Bradbury’s union funded little read blog he makes the following comment.

Not only does the TPP hold out the possibility of New Zealand adding much greater value to its agricultural exports – to the point where our export income is derived increasingly from the “how” of agricultural production rather than the production itself – but also, by reducing the pressures on land and water use in our own countryside, the TPP offers New Zealand’s beleaguered natural environment a much needed respite. 

Those who oppose the TPP have been eloquent in enumerating the many disadvantages of New Zealand signing up. There is, however, much to be gained from this country’s exports gaining access to the huge markets that hitherto have been closed to them.

The situation in the Japanese countryside offers extraordinary possibilities to New Zealand’s agricultural sector. Prime Minister Abe is about to do to rural Japan what Roger Douglas did to rural New Zealand in the 1980s. If New Zealand fails to seize the opportunities such a dramatic shift in Japanese agricultural policy offers, then some other country will step in to reap the benefits.

Those on the Left who decry free trade agreements like the TPP should remember that before wealth can be redistributed, it must first be created.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.