Bill will miss John as he faces off against Chinese premier over trade

New Zealand and China are set to start negotiating an upgrade to the free trade agreement between the two countries, and Prime Minister Bill English isn’t expecting an easy ride.

Mr English and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced on Monday, after talks in Wellington, that negotiations would begin on April 25.

“There are going to be challenging negotiations to get what New Zealand wants, but that’s nothing new,” Mr English said.

“We’re used to always negotiating trade agreements around sensitive issues – particularly around agricultural products.”

Mr English said New Zealand was going to want improved access for New Zealand products.

Premier Li said the upgrade would be the first such negotiations China had held with a developed country.

“It will give a strong boost to trade links, and show the world we are committed to free trade,” he said through an interpreter.

“Compared with China’s agreements with other countries, this agreement with New Zealand is the most advanced.”

Trade was the central issue in their formal talks at Premier House, but their discussion ranged across bilateral and international issues.

Premier Li described the talks as “frank and candid” while Mr English said they had been “very productive.”

“We are working together… we can avoid frictions,” the premier said.

It’s pretty easy to get more trade out of China.  There is no need to betray Israel, because the parameters are long established and well known.

Basically, New Zealand agrees not to push the South China Sea issue.  Oh sure, it may say it has concerns and it hopes for a peaceful negotiated outcome, but basically it will agree to keep its nose out of China’s business.

When it comes to Free Trade, the current government achieves a lot by not presenting any non-trade related bottom lines like democratic rule, human rights or pesky issues like terrorism.


– NZN via Yahoo! News


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