The Fabians have organised a debate between Jane Kelsey and Wayne Map this Wednesday at 6pm at the University of Auckland’s Owen Glenn Building. There is a current meeting in Indonesia that is trying to resolve the differences between states in hope of an early agreement. Meanwhile because of the secrecy surrounding negotiations there is an almost complete absence of official public information about the content of this agreement. Consequently there has also been little public debate.
My view is that for NZ it will provide intergovernmental welfare for Fonterra and farmers while destroying our rapidly expanding technical export industry. I don’t think that this provides any kind of future for our citizens. It just leaves just as much a farm for the world as we we used to be the farm for the UK, and just as susceptible to policy changes destroying our economy.
Now I’m not exactly a campaigner against free trade agreements. I’ve been exporting most of my life and know the value of such agreements. My family background consists of people who have done the same, including out of the farms. However this agreement doesn’t look like a trade agreement to me. It looks more like a modern day economic colonialism.
So far, the claims by people like Wayne Mapp or Phil Goff simply haven’t shown me why that is not the case. Having unaccountable tribunals retrospectively overriding our local laws to apply American style litigation doesn’t seem like liberalising the trade environment. It seems more like trying to entrench the dominance of currently advanced economies.