Condescending Catherine Beard on TPP

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, February 18th, 2015 - 51 comments
Categories: Economy, trade - Tags: , , , ,

Grrr, Catherine Beard, a director of ExportNZ, appears to be an ideological idiot who is too stupid or driven to realise her own degree of ignorance. Her puff piece for the TPP in the Herald this morning has nothing about the TPP. It just says “trust the negotiators”. Huh? They are the problem. They aren’t exporters and they don’t run businesses.

I’ve been involved in exporting from NZ for more than 35 years in everything from manufacturing to software. And I’ve worked on farms in  my youth. I’ve always been a great supporter of free trade deals – right up until I started looking at the TPP.  In my view, from the published details, the Trans Pacific Partnership deal is a restraint of trade deal.

Everything we currently know about this secretive deal indicates that we won’t get anything more than token agricultural access, that there is unlikely to be any significiant differences beyond what we have in our access to markets for other goods and services, and we’re likely to have some significiant reductions in the free trade we already have in NZ and outside.

Catherine Beard’s opinion piece has the flavour of it is that of an idiot mouthing religious maxims without any understanding of the ritual words mean.

Those questioning the value of free trade agreements could do well to examine the results achieved by New Zealand’s other agreements, and consider what we would miss out on if we were not included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

And so on for the entire article.

So where is the detail? We simply have no idea what we would miss out because virtually no information is available. The entire TPP process has been done in overwhelming secrecy with only a few bits of drafts released.

The bottom line is that there is no country that stands to benefit more from free trade deals than New Zealand.

Our major export categories and businesses of scale are from the agricultural sector, which is where you’ll also find the biggest tariffs and barriers to trade around the world.

And so far it looks like there is no change to those barriers apart from a few token ones. The biggest potential markets, in the US and Japan, appear likely to do at most a bilateral deal that can be what is possible to get through the diet and congress.

Those who raise doubts over the net benefits of free trade agreements in New Zealand tend to take a Chicken Little view of the world, and think of all the potential worst case scenarios. Sure, our negotiators have to hold firm to ensure the best outcomes for our economy overall in areas like intellectual property, investor state disputes mechanisms, environment and health and safety.

But they have proven competent at getting good results in the past, and can do so for the TPP as well or why would we sign the deal?

They did well because the deals were largely hammered out in public view. People who were interested pointed out problems and issues. Sure they made the whole thing messy with chicken little, but they also meant that every exporter, importer, and professional body knew what was happening long before the deal was signed. They put in their contributions. They had input and so the deals were pretty well balanced.

This deal doesn’t have any of that. “Interested parties” have been defined by the negotiators. Across the world those selected appear to have been very carefully selected from the free trade ideologues like Ms Beard appears to be or those who stand to gain. They are not shown much of the drafts. They are shown the bits that they are likely to agree with. It is in other words a propaganda exercise.

If and when disputes arise with our trading partners, they will need to be managed. All our free trade agreements include mechanisms for managing any disputes should they arise. This is what businesses around the world do every day of every week of every year. Governments can help us by removing barriers to trade.

Ah yes, and those mechanisms are? At this point they look like an excuse for international lawyers to drag cases out for years while extorting the maximum in fees to come to an arbitrary decision in a settlement extorted by the party with the deepest pockets. In short they are the bloody silly american frivolous  litigation system. Perhaps Ms Beard should explain why we want that here?

The public and exporters, are unlikely to find out what is in this deal before it is signed by the executive. Sure it will go in front of parliament for a few days, but they can’t prevent the executive from signing it and then approving it.

Basically NZ should drop out of this deal and go back to what it was negotiating  prior to the US getting excited about joining in. Bilateral and smaller multilateral deals that actually produce results and don’t have the degrees of obsessive secrecy that the TPP has been running under.

51 comments on “Condescending Catherine Beard on TPP”

  1. freedom 1

    One positive from that opinion piece is that of the 89 comments published only 2 are in support of the TPPA. Could be kiwis have really begun to take notice that TPPA is not free trade – No matter how many times Catherine Beard uses the phrase

    • Brendon Harre 1.1

      Quite right Freedom. I think we would have a much more productive discussion about trade deals if we dropped the propaganda.

      This propaganda starts with the description -‘free’ trade deal. If the ‘free’ part is dropped and TPPA is just referred to as a trade deal this completely changes the debate. If negotiators had to use actual words rather than meaningless ideological words like ‘free trade’, they would actually have to report what trade rules are changing and how that benefits the wider economies of those involved.

      • freedom 1.1.1

        Discussing TPPA, without openly admitting it is not a free trade deal, is like describing human reproduction without mentioning genitalia

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1.1

          Just another version of the old ‘Empire’ preference trade deals NZ had before the war

          • greywarshark 1.1.1.1.1

            gww
            It is not that “Just another version of the old ‘Empire’ preference trade deals NZ had before the war”, as I understand it. They did not take our sovereignty and we got such benefit from them that it weakened our own entrepreneurial outlook. In a way we have fallen into the same trap with the milk powder.

            When the CEO at Fonterra before this one was put in his appointment was criticsed because of his expertise was mainly in commodities.

            Now with TPPA it would be worse. There would be such stringent controls over things we want to do now, things planned, and things that we might want to do in the future if the Yanks could show that they might have done it, would be goneburger for us. And I’m not sure that it isn’t already but one keeps on thinking and working for a better NZ where there really is a level playing field for income and jobs and opportunities and wages and reasonable services.

            Oh by the way did everyone hear that the business/Council lobby in Napier have worked out that they can get part of a rail system going to Wairoa which will carry logs and should be viable for a foreseeable number of decades. Now they just need some finance for it. There should be a fund available to assist the regions with their particular business centres, someone like a central authority that could act for the country’s good. Oh yes, that’s the government isn’t it. Well all’s set isn’t it for Napier and their rail system.

            • disturbed 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes thanks GWS,

              we were stoked as we have worked for this for Three years now and HBRC have finally realised that the Port of Napier they operate was loosing freight from Gisborne now winging its way through dangerous winding roads through Gorges to Tauranga 200 kms further away than the Gisborne to Napier Port so they are backing rail finally.

              Funny how when we are bleeding with loss of Export freight and jobs in production of produce export commodities the local Councils do step up to help us while the ominous cloud of TPPA hovers above us all.

              Good on HB Regional Council we salute you.

              Here is todays vote result.

              Support in principle for Napier-Wairoa Rail line proposal
              Wednesday, 18 February 2015, 2:44 pm
              Press Release: Hawkes Bay Regional Council
              Support in principle for Napier-Wairoa Rail line proposal
              Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Corporate & Strategic Committee is recommending Council supports in principle a proposal to lease the mothballed Napier to Gisborne Rail line from KiwiRail.
              The line was mothballed in December 2012, after storms earlier in the year caused severe damage, which is expected to cost close to $4 million to repair. Council commissioned a business case late last year on whether leasing the line was a good investment for the Council and the region.
              An interim business case was presented to today’s Corporate & Strategic Committee meeting recommending Council supports the opening of the rail service from Napier to Wairoa to move logs from a hub in Wairoa to Napier Port, subject to a number of conditions, including lease terms which are suitable to both KiwiRail and HBRC.
              KiwiRail set a deadline of 1 March 2015 for the Council to make a decision on whether to lease the line, and at today’s meeting Councillors agreed in principle.
              The Committee is recommending a final deadline of 30 June 2015 to resolve all outstanding issues between KiwiRail and HBRC, confirm an operator and private investors and to get a more definitive indication of how much support there is for the proposal from Wairoa forest companies.
              It was also recommended Council Chairman Fenton Wilson liaise with all interested parties, including Council’s investment company HBRIC Ltd, the Napier Gisborne Rail Group, Napier Port, and other transport interests and KiwiRail to enhance the prospects of the initiative succeeding.
              The recommendations will be considered at next Wednesday’s full council meeting.

              • greywarshark

                @ disturbed
                Time for a short celebration for your group I hope. And then dot the is and cross the ts by June. I heard that the deadline had been March but you want more time to get the plan and effective financials carefully worked out. It’s a different case than if it was a casino!

                Then is there something that you can do to protect yourselve against some wily plan to undercut the price of rail and get some advantage or subsidy to transport logs by road? Some sort of cost on the odometer travel over the roads? There are such p.icks out there, they think it is smart to undercut if they could find advantage that you had not considered for the scenario, even if it made the rail non-viable. There is monopoly money to be made for trucking firms if the rail became expensive or something happened to the lines or consignments. I’m such a suspicious so and so, but human deviousness is always to be reckoned with.

              • millsy

                Thatsgood about about the line, but I’m not really keen about the desire to push the deadline back. I understand the need to get things sorted, but the longer the line is out of action, the harder it is to get back into action, especially with the lycra brigade wanting it.

                • greywarshark

                  @ millsy
                  Don’t say that the ‘bikers’ want it. I get pissed off at the vogue for kowtowing to the sacred bicycling fraternity. I hate not being safe on what used to be pedestrian ways and seeing a cyclist whizz by who I hadn’t heard though I have good hearing. Knowing if I had made a sudden decision to change my position while on a path, I would have been hit and be lying dazed, scratched, bruised and perhaps with broken bones hard to heal at my time of life. And perhaps be subject to invective from the also hurt biker.

                  Adults and children can quietly and fast, be upon you in milli-seconds. There are fewer places to take a relaxed, healthy walk where you don’t have to be aware and anxious of these speedsters. Bugger them. They are pests like fruitflies and have to be watched before invading the whole country.

        • Brendon Harre 1.1.1.2

          Sorry Freedom I’m confused. There were too many double negatives in that sentence. My position is I think all ‘free trade’ deals are actually just ‘trade deals’. They are simply negotiations about the rules of trade. The trade deal may be positive or negative depending on the rules.

          So Lprent is right, lets stop the secrecy, so we can judge whether this TPPA trade deal is a positive or a negative.

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        Propaganda is not required if facts will do the trick.

    • Tracey 1.2

      and Wayne Mapp mischievously uses that phrase too. Especially mischievous given he knows it is not “like” the other “free trade agreements”. Unless he doesn’t, which is also a worry.

  2. Philip Ferguson 2

    Interestingly, Karl Marx preferred free trade to protectionism in his time. He thought it speeded up the contradictions of capitalism.

    In Britain, the working class movement of the early 1800s was allied with the free traders because protectionism pushed up the price of bread, crucial to working class subsistence, and simply allowed the big British landowners to make huge profits.

    After the repeal of the corn laws the interests of workers ceased to coincide with the interests of any of the capitalists.

    Phil

    • Sans Cle 2.1

      Interesting point about free trade over protectionism (to bring the revolution closer, in Marx’s eyes). However, Marx did not have the value of hindsight to see how the capitalist system’s very clever mechanism of self-protection has manifested over the last 150 years. These are largely in the forms of private property rights (our rules), and more creatively in the form of cross border rules (e.g. globalisation and specific rules governing transactions, a.k.a. the TPPA).

      It is the rules we need to change……and this government is not giving the general public ANY chance to influence this rule set, given the secrecy of negotiations and lack of public input.

    • Brendon Harre 2.2

      That is a very insightful comment Philip and readers should think deeply about it.

      I would argue the rural land owning gentry which was exploiting the working class in the 1800s had the implicit support of the political establishment until the reforms started by repelling the Corn laws (laws that at the time limited trade in grain) and continued with by liberal politicians who introduced various egalitarian reforms, for example by giving the working class and woman the vote.

      Unfortunately the egalitarian reforms have waned and exploitation has returned. I think today that exploitation has moved into the urban areas. The FIRE (Finance, insurance and real estate) industries have the implicit support of the political establish to exploit the working class. Joseph Stiglitz in his critique of Piketty discusses this here.

      http://www.salon.com/2015/01/02/joseph_stiglitz_thomas_piketty_gets_income_inequality_wrong_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    • greywarshark 2.3

      Thanks Phil F
      I have often read of the Corn Laws and that they were important but did not know just what the story was.

  3. Gosman 3

    Aren’t most international negotiations carried out with a degree of secrecy? Certainly it is the norm for trade negotiations I believe.

    • r0b 3.1

      Not necessarily:

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1502/S00163/tppa-secret-while-eu-releases-ttip-documents.htm

      TPPA secret while EU releases TTIP documents

      Thursday, 12 February 2015, 5:00 pm
      Press Release: Professor Jane Kelsey

      ‘Trade minister Tim Groser has repeatedly claimed that negotiations for agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) are never conducted in daylight. That is simply not true.’

      ‘There are many such instances, including the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that involved six of the TPPA parties,[1] where draft negotiating texts and other documents have been released. He has ignored the inconvenient truth and continued to assert his position as fact’, says University of Auckland Professor Jane Kelsey.

      ‘The European Commission (EC) has now conclusively just put the lie to such claims’.

      Professor Kelsey has just published two papers analysing recent developments in the negotiations between the European Union and the US called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which parallel those for the TPPA.

      One contrasts the obsessive secrecy that continues to envelope the TPPA with the inquiry by the EU Ombudsman into transparency and public access to TTIP documents[2] and the EC’s subsequent decision to release a raft of its own negotiating documents with.[3] The second outlines the Ombudsman’s reports and the EC’s responses. [4] …

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        I stated most and at this point the release of information around the EU -US trade deal seems to be a proposal rather than actual release. The point being the usual standard on International negotiations (not just trade ones) is that they are carried out with a degree of secrecy.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      Yes, that’s discussed in the post. English comprehension 101?

    • lprent 3.3

      There are degrees of secrecy about specific details – usually those that are being argued to the fine print at the time. But usually the broader details are easily available and widely discussed through the trade mags and the like.

      However this one has been such that it has been impossible at the official level to distinguish even the general principles. Most of the information that is out in place are leaks. Sometimes in clear bits of misinformation.

      It is a whole different level of secret to *any* trade agreement I have seen before.

      Perhaps you’d like to give examples of others NZ has been involved in that have similar levels of secrecy?

    • r0b 3.4

      The details of the agreement are secret from we the people, from the American congress, but not from American business:

      https://wikileaks.org/tpp/pressrelease.html

      Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty’s chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. Members of the US Congress are only able to view selected portions of treaty-related documents in highly restrictive conditions and under strict supervision. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 ’trade advisers’ – lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart – are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text.

      Tim Grosser has stated that the reason the Nats are keeping it secret in NZ is that they don’t want pubic debate:

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141030/16291028989/new-zealands-trade-minister-admits-they-keep-tpp-documents-secret-to-avoid-public-debate.shtml

      Don’t be content to be a mushroom Gosman.

    • Tracey 3.5

      and are most signed with the terms still a secret from those who elected the negotiators?

  4. Tom Gould 4

    Beard is simply a functionary spinning what her masters require of her. She is as much under the yoke of the ‘golden rule’ as any of us – he who has the gold makes the rules. Ignorance is her choice.

  5. Ad 5

    TPPA is this government’s greatest international failure. New Zealand started these talks with a handful of countries. We have lost all the original bargaining power we had.

    Labour’s international agreements from its last term have been revolutionary – particularly the China free trade deal.

    Key will simply never have the gravitas to be a statesman that can win New Zealand international influence. It’s not in him.

    There’s good comparison between New Zealand’s rapid negotiating decline in TPPA and New Zealand joining a military coalition in Iraq without UN mandate.

    Key simply doesn’t have the skill to promote the interests of New Zealand in any multilateral engagement. This weakness puts New Zealand and New Zealnders at risk.

    • The TPPA has nothing to do with free trade.
      Marx didnt live to see capitalism become transformed from its ‘competitive’ stage to in its highest, imperialist stage where the world was divided between imperialist oppressors and colonised oppressed countries.

      Its a continuation of neo-liberalism – the policy of the US to overcome its crisis of falling profits by breaking down national barriers to US corporations buying up what is left of the scarce resources they need to survive.

      Its an attempt by the US to complete the neo-liberal counter-revolution and impose a system of US monopoly on the weaker powers of the Pacific basin who have used their state sovereignty to resist US corporate monopolies.

      That is why the TPPA takes the form of bullying the weaker states in the US imperialist bloc to remove all sovereign barriers to US corporates buying up all forms of property from state to IP to re-colonise the weaker powers as sources of cheap labour and raw materials.

      This is what is happening to NZ today. NZ has gone from a settler colony with limited self-governing independence from imperialist Britain, to a servile client state of the USA, and a neo-colony of Chinese imperialism.

      The TPPA has nothing to do with ‘comparative advantage’ (the basis of the theory of free trade) and everything to do with monopoly state capitalism.

      Were Marx alive today he would recognise that imperialism arose out of the limits of market competition between capitalists to develop the forces of production, giving rise to state monopoly capitalism, producing waste, destroying everything that it touches, and threatening the end of human civilisation and most of the living species on earth.

      Anything that mobilises the federation of international freedom fighters against this destructive death star would be actively supported by Marx.

      • Sans Cle 5.1.1

        I agree – and to further your point, if the TPPA were about comparative advantage (or if any trade deal were about comparative advantage, for that matter), we would have freedom of both labour and capital, not just capital.
        But we don’t!
        We let our capital run riot around the world – footloose and fancy free, getting return on investment and profits from every-which-place it can, and from every-which-time period (think futures trading, and profiteering on things that are not in existence yet, insurance markets etc etc etc……all the financial instruments that brought on the global financial crisis).
        We put restrictions on our labour movement around the world.
        So the theory of comparative advantage is a red herring…..defunct from the outset.

        What we are left with is capital moving around the financial markets globally, returning profits (and super-normal profits), in the interest of capital stock holders only.

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.2

        Aotearoa is also very subservient to the interests of Australian capital, seeing that’s where we borrow from to fund the housing crisis. Australia in turn is becoming a neo-colony of China economically even as they maintain their diplomatic, cultural, and military subservience to Washington.

        • Sans Cle 5.1.2.1

          agree – fund the housing crisis and gift Australian banks the fat off Aotearoa’s land (quite literally). Profits from dairy sector are paying the mortgages of the NZ dairy farmland bought/exchanged in the last 20 years.
          If banks are a necessarily evil in our economy, why at least are they not NZ banks?

          I wonder what the outcome would be if China and the US really did begin an economic tug of war for Australia and NZ?

  6. Ad 6

    I seriously expected a Key government would be able to cut highly favourable deals for exporters and NZ domiciled multinationals. In at least his first two years I really wanted him to do as well as Clark at it.

    Key is just a klutz with public to private sector deals.
    After Lord of the Rings – which was a Labour gift – he hasn’t landed a deal of any note. And there’s nothing on the horizon this term apart from the sad old America’s Cup.
    He needs to retire from the field as simply “the popular guy”.

  7. leaf leroux 7

    The same Catherine Beard that shilled relentlessly for climate polluters for years and years?

    Definitely got NZers wellbeing at heart in this public-spirited editorial. I’m sure she’s not being given a free hit to express a narrow lobby group opinion.

    The herald would never do that….

    She’s not an ideologue lprent. Just someone willing to accept money to be the mouthpiece for interests harmful to the common good.

  8. English Breakfast 8

    “Little said China is a powerhouse economy. “Do we want to be part of it or not? Many people say yes, we need to be in there. We have something they want, which is dairy and food but the risks need to be mitigated as much as possible and the agreement goes some way to doing that,’’ he said.

    “As for the future of manufacturing; the FTA hasn’t made the risks any greater.’”

    http://www.bilaterals.org/?hidden-hooks-emerge-in-china-fta

    11 July 2008, by one Mr Andrew Little.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Obviously you can write, and reading is a skill.

      The USA demands restraint of trade, the supremacy of shareholders over citizens. Trash ignores that, and pretends it’s all about “free” trade 🙄

  9. greywarshark 9

    Women who get good managerial positions and then come out with this propaganda feed the memes about women lacking intelligence. Just when as time has gone by, one would think the tale would have been demolished.
    Those questioning the value of free trade agreements could do well to examine the results achieved by New Zealand’s other agreements, and consider what we would miss out on if we were not included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    A bio of Catherine Beard – under Phil O’Reilly Business NZ so what do you expect eh?

    Catherine Beard – Executive Director (Business NZ)
    Catherine Beard joined BusinessNZ in January 2010 to head up its ExportNZ and Manufacturing sectors.
    The dual role involves overseeing considerable changes to our services as we expand our manufacturing and international trade functions. These will be reflected in our online presence and training.
    Catherine has a wealth of experience in government relations and communication on behalf of industry associations, and is a champion for New Zealand manufacturers and international traders.
    Catherine comes from the Greenhouse Policy Coalition where she was Executive Director providing strong advocacy on behalf of industry to communicate their business challenges to politicians, policy makers, the media and the public.

    What a bunch of toe-licking women we are getting in the top jobs connected with politics. (UNACT ones that is). Metiria Turei certainly doesn’t fit that on the Green side, despite the putdown by yek relating to making decisions on the GCSB referred to in BLIPs post.
    By the way Metiria, don’t smile all the time, males can get the idea you are all sugar with no steel. There’s a nice natural face serious photo on google that is equally good.

    • Tracey 9.1

      Metria needs to be harder and female executives need to be seen to be smarter so as not to feed the bullshit that female executives are stupid?

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Any executives male or female in NZ need to work at making smart decisions Tracey.
        Women who are trying to get through the glass ceiling on their own merits are not helped by being compared to those making erroneous statements as quoted.

        And Metiria’s PR image is as important as anyone else’s. And some result in different responses to others. There is constant thought in the political world about how the public view and react to politicians.

  10. Paul 10

    It’s interesting how people like Beard, with extreme minority opinions never fail to get their views aired.
    The Herald.
    A rag serving the needs of the corporate elite.
    Don’t buy it.

  11. Tautoko Mangō Mata 11

    If Labour wanted to raise the minimum wage, with an Investor-State Dispute Settlement ISDS contained in a TPPA Agreement, this may result in a lawsuit.

    Veolia, the giant French-based transportation company, is suing Egypt for raising its minimum wage, which would mean higher pay for workers at the Alexandria bus company it owns and thus lower profits. ”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-cohen/report-from-berlin-global_1_b_5588169.html

    Of course, Catherine Beard would have no problem with that since she would hardly be supporting any political party that might want to raise the minimum wage, but why should any foreign corporate be given the right to pressure our government to maintain the lowest possible minimum wage.

    You will not sign up to this in our name, Tim Groser.

    • millsy 11.1

      Of course, Wayne Mapp is now on record is saying that corporates being able to sue governments is just fine and dandy..

  12. Macro 12

    I particularly “enjoyed” this sentence:

    Those questioning the value of free trade agreements could do well to examine the results achieved by New Zealand’s other agreements, and consider what we would miss out on if we were not included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    It shows just how little she understands. The results of these “free” but not fair are:
    a. greater unemployment – exported off-shore to China, India and Indonesia,
    b.lower incomes for middle to lower income workers competing with off-shore cheap wages.
    c. cheap but unreliable imports at the expense of quality.
    d.a loss of national power (the ability of a country to support itself and its sustainability – an import factor in times of international conflict).
    e. a national culture that now regards “self” as the most important factor in any decision -either political or social.

    Catherine Beard obviously displays the last characteristic completely as do many other NZers. They can only see the supply of cheap imports – the latest iPad or other electronic toy or flash car complete with bluetooth and Navman or whatever as being the quintessential object of the “good life”. They do not see the social consequences of this selfish attitude in the slightest. It is to this greed that Key panders, but it leads to increasing misery for our nation.

  13. Murray Simmonds 13

    Yep. A couple of Queensland Fruit Flies turn up in Auckland in a year or two from now and guess what? The pitifully small amount of access we might have been able to negotiate under our shiny new Trade Agreement will be out the window like a shot as the all-powerful USA lobby swings into action. Or miniscule traces of herbicide or ‘possum poison’ or whatever turn up in a consignment of NZ beef or lamb and again the great American clobbering machine will swing into action.

    There will be nothing, repeat NOTHING in this treaty/agreement for NZ if we sign up to it. The ‘agreement’ will be about as “free” as the free AKL Conference centre we were promised. Yeah, Right!

    Who do the proponents of the free trade agreement think they are kidding (apart from themselves, that is)?

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