Bottom lines and promises dropping like flies

Credit: Luke

Winston Peters has already shafted those expecting a referendum on Maori seats, now Jacinda Ardern has popped the balloon of those hoping for a retreat from the TPP.

Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern faces a tough sell to impose last minute changes on a free trade agreement between the 11 Pacific Rim countries, as they set to close the deal next month.

Ardern has confirmed she will be heading to Vietnam in November for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders forum.

It’s her first big test on the international stage where Jacinda Ardern will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of US President Donald Trump, and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Recent reports have also suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin will be attending.

No less, her yet-to-be-appointed Trade Minister is expected to chair a sideline meeting in the dying throes of negotiations to reach a deal on the TPP11, and Ardern expects to change tack on negotiations and push for a ban on foreign property speculators.

Though it’s unclear how receptive the 10 countries will be to major last-minute inclusions, and whether such moves might open negotiations further as the international partners try to gain ground elsewhere.

Leaders involved were hoping to sign the new agreement on the sidelines of APEC,  which meant a tight timeline for trade officials to gain concessions while working to hold ground in other areas.

Ardern She told TVNZ’s current affairs show Q+A she was confident a Labour government policy to ban foreign ownership would not force her to walk from the deal.

“I refuse to accept they’re mutually exclusive,” she told Q+A.

“Our view is that it will be possible to balance our desire to make sure that we provide housing within our domestic housing market, that’s affordable, by easing demand and banning foreign speculators from buying domestic homes, whilst meeting our trade goals as well.”

She really is thick. If she thinks she can renegotiate trade deals to change small things for her own benefit then she has got a lot of bad news coming her way.

Renegotiation, by necessity, means giving something else up. Is she really going to force through changes to home ownership and risk losing access for dairy to some markets?

Green Party concerns investor state dispute clauses would continue to be worked through.

Investor-state dispute clauses have existed in every FTA, even those negotiated by Labour in the past.

Banning foreign property speculators has been laid out in Labour’s 100-day plan, which meant legislation likely had to be passed before Christmas. Such legislation would also require the renegotiation of New Zealand’s free trade agreement with South Korea.

Good luck with that. South Korea is the hardest country to negotiate with…and this little flossie thinks she can get something better out of them? Again, I think she needs to seek some advice from Darryl Kerrigan.

She really has no idea how international trade works. One thing she does know is how to break promises and the howls from the left about the TPP should be deafening…but they aren’t because when Labour do it it is OK.

 

-Fairfax

 


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