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In his own terms

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, March 12th, 2013 - 16 comments
Categories: trade - Tags:

So, John Key is heading back from yet another overly long ‘trade mission’ that seemed to involve little in the way of actual meetings and a lot in the way of trying on silly hats. While in Latin America, he somehow managed to snub our biggest export destination in the region at a sensitive time and did nothing else of note. But how well is the ‘wheeler and dealer’ doing, in his own terms – that is, as the guy to lift Kiwi exports?

Not well. Exports to Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Brazil have fallen by 26% under his watch, while imports have risen (we send them mostly agricultural produce, they send us manufactured goods in return – which of us is the developed country again?). The trade surplus to the countries Key went to is down 0ver 99% under his watch. It turns out that the decline in the trade surplus is because 3 of the 4 countries Key visited have taken action to lower their currencies, while we have done nothing – that means their businesses have remained competitive, while ours have not.

Why Key was wasting time on talking up trade with Colombia, no-one can offer a credible reason. At $13 million a year, Colombia takes less than 0.03% of our exports. If Key had got his officials together and they had all sat down and come up with a way to reduce New Zealand’s consumption of imported oil by 0.15%, it would do more for the country’s net trade income than all the exports to Colombia.

In fact, given that Australia is 20 times the export destination of all these countries combined – he could have had a bigger impact, for less money, leading a trade mission there.

And what about trade deals? You’re probably not a fan of them. Neither am I because they’re not really a about free and fair trade, they’re about international capital weakening labour rights and environmental protections. But Key loves ’em.

So, you might be surprised to learn he hasn’t completed a single trade deal from start to finish despite having over 4 years at the helm.

It seems all the deals he’s started are in various forms of suspended animation. The Russian one was always a joke because they’re such a minor trade partner but has floundered in recent months, the Indian one seems to be going nowhere fast, I wouldn’t hold my breath on the TPP, the Korean FTA doesn’t even appear to have gotten to formal negotiation rounds after 3 years of talking nicely, and the Gulf Cooperation Council deal mysteriously disappeared after Key pulled out of the signing to attend the funerals for the ANZAC Day helicopter crash.

16 comments on “In his own terms”

  1. Kevin Welsh 1

    Despite Key’s multiple inadequacies, his supporters have often crowed about his great ‘wheeler-dealer negotiating skills.

    All we have seen so far is his ability to cave to big business.

    He couldn’t negotiate a good shit with his own arse.

    • fender 1.1

      That last sentence doesn’t apply to Key, his waste leaves his body through his mouth.

    • Rupert the Beer 1.2

      You’re assuming that Key regards bowing to the interests of big-business as a failure. I suspect that in reality, it’s not actually the case.

  2. One Tāne Huna 2

    Key is a pathological liar. I understand Blip has a list.

    He can’t fail “on his own terms” because his own terms are dinnimic.

  3. prism 3

    Seems Romanian – google has lots of entries all confusing and one with Phil Goff mentioned.

    I hear Nathan Guy is in Brazil too – when is government going to hold a lottery for places on these overseas jaunts for voters? Let’s all have a go at this OE. We could learn as much or more about the locations and people as our cute and cuddly pollies.

    • One Tāne Huna 3.1

      “…we live in a dinnimic environment.”

      • prism 3.1.1

        Oh is that in the Jonkey dialect? I think I get it. Didn’t know he spoke Romanian but of course it’s hard to tell what he’s saying sometimes.

        • One Tāne Huna

          ….and when you can tell what he’s saying, you can’t take his word for it.

  4. Tim 4

    I picked up some hitchhikers yesterday – one happened to be the adult son of a Sth American diplomat currently serving in NZ. The journey was long, so needless to say we had the opportunity to have a long discussion.
    What came out was a good understanding of how his country of origin in particular, and Sth America in general perceive the current NZ regime.
    A couple of quips stood out most – one to do with Key and his mates must think we’re fucking stupid, and the second to do with the snub – the cultural offense of which (due to Key’s attitude) shouldn’t be underestimated. Key’s attitude too to BRICS nations in general borders on the offensive (if you happen to be one of those nations or one that has a cultural affinity with them in some way).
    And whilst that applies to Sth American portion of the BRICS, the manner in which both Indian and Chinese international students in NZ are often royally ripped is beginning to go down like a cup of cold sick too.
    I’m still trying to understand why Joe Average could ever have seen this philistine as some sort of sage that was going to ensure them of a good future. Not only is he responsible for inter-generational theft, a widening gap that’ll cause future social unrest, but if he’s allowed to carry on he’ll leave the country baron of any wealth producing capability for NZers. Still, I suppose we can all console ourselves in front of flat screen TVs watching visual snot.

    • Murray Olsen 4.1

      Key’s attitude to all countries except the US and A, especially towards Aotearoa, is highly offensive. He spares the UK a little because he will no doubt want a knighthood one day. A real Kiwi, Sir Ed, once noted that he didn’t give a shit about his knighthood until he found it made Americans give him more money for his projects in Nepal. Since Key just wants the wealth transfer to go the other way, and basically serves up our arses on a plate at banquets on both of the US coasts, why does he want a knighthood? All I can see is that he has some pathological need for recognition, which possibly even explains why he made his fortune and came back as PM. Honestly, how many people would give the creep the time of day if he wasn’t rich and PM? From his mincing around at the Tory Gay Business Forum Big Gay Out in Auckland to his cringeworthy antics on that American show and his puerile servility to Hollywood and the FBI, everything he does is just a sign of a severe lack of self esteem. He needs treatment and help, not votes.

      • Tom 4.1.1

        ” .. why does he want a knighthood? All I can see is that he has some pathological need for recognition, which possibly even explains why he made his fortune and came back as PM.”

        It’s probably the immigrant thing .. poor boy made good, titles, recognition .. in his own mind if not others. Some people still buy into it as things get tighter and past assumptions no longer apply. He’s probably more reflective than he cares to admit .. as P.T. Barnum once said “there is a new one born every minute”.

    • Sandstonez 4.2

      I call absolute BS on this little tale. Some hitch hickers who just happened to be closely related to a “South American diplomat” who also happen to validate every single one of your opinions about John Key. Convenient.

      In that vein, I also picked up a hitch hiker yesterday. A Venezuelan whose father ran a small shoe manufacturing plant in Caracas. He was thrilled at Chavez’s death, having had his business raided every six weeks by authorities threatening closure unless he paid significant bribes. And he was absolutely dismayed that New Zealand leftists sought solidarity with this thug.

      Oh look, I lied.

  5. CnrJoe 5

    hes been ending whaling the whole time – thats more than enough for four years

  6. Tim 6

    O Christ …. here we go! In the bekgrearn …..Parly Armint with a speaker that’s beseaching us and orl on rabble membas.
    Beseach he might (whatever that means).

    Wind pissing might be a better pass time

  7. Strategos 7

    Our first minister has skillfully executed a sale of surplus LAVs to a government facing insurrection, introduced agriculturally based business people to owners of the biggest latifundia in the Americas, and discovered that rugby has been played longer in Brasil than NZ. This is significant. The Sevens will compete in Rio 2014. This will assist our domination of the code, and the derivative and expat Auckland business elite will be pleased.

    The peasants back home ? Parata, Roy Morgan, the Hobbitt, and some slapstick will keep them amused until he can fly back to Hawai’i to commune with the Ali’i.

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