Opinion – Professor Jane Kelsey

For immediate release 21 November 2012 NZ Being Caught In New Cold War as US & China Compete Over Trade Deals “Prime Minister John Key needs a reality check if he really believes New Zealand can remain best friends with both sides in the escalating …
For immediate release

21 November 2012

NZ Being Caught In New Cold War as US & China Compete Over Trade Deals

“Prime Minister John Key needs a reality check if he really believes New Zealand can remain best friends with both sides in the escalating face-off between the US and China over the ‘most significant free trade and investment deal ever’”, according to University of Auckland Professor Jane Kelsey.

“This week’s East Asia Summit in Cambodia has turned into a sparring match between the US and China, as each touts its grand plan. The US-dominated Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is pitted against the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that pivots around China as well as India.”

“The Prime Minister may not want to ‘over-emphasise’ the China-US stand-off, but that is now the dominant narrative of the TPP”, said Professor Kelsey.

“Trade Minister Groser’s bold promise that New Zealand would walk away if the TPP became an exercise in China-bashing becomes more hollow by the day”.

Professor Kelsey notes that the TPPA never had a commercial rationale, except for the gains that US corporations wouldmake if US demands prevailed.

“The TPPA has now become a geo-political pact. There is a serious risk that participating governments will sign up for strategic reasons to a text that surrenders their domestic economies and grants undue influence over their policy decisions to powerful, largely US, corporate interests.”

“The people of the participating countries will not only have no say in the process of either set of negotiations – they risk becoming collateral damage in a new version of the Cold War, as old players flex their muscles in the new arena of competing so-called free trade agreements.”

ENDS

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