Malaysia are better negotiators

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, July 31st, 2015 - 46 comments
Categories: Globalisation, trade - Tags: , ,

Looks like (ht Danyl Mclauchlan) Malaysia is smarter than us:

Malaysia will not sign any TPP pact in Hawaii

As pivotal negotiations in the making or breaking of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) enter the final stretch, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) has stated that Malaysia will not sign any agreement during the current round of talks, which runs until July 31, and sought to reassure critics that it will stand firm on issues of sovereignty, government procurement, state-owned enterprises and the bumiputra agenda. …

“Signing of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) will not happen in Hawaii. Like Malaysia, each TPPA member will need to go through its own domestic process before a final decision to sign and ratify the TPPA is made,” Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said in a statement released yesterday.

46 comments on “Malaysia are better negotiators”

  1. yip 1

    So let’s not sign it now John Key, let’s say we may sign it later on at some point.
    Why rush?

    • Chooky 1.1

      + 100…and looks like if they do sign it New Zealand farmers will be sold out in more ways than one….and that ostensibly is the only reason for signing it

      imo NZ dairy would be better off forging dairy markets with Russia

      • Enough is Enough 1.1.1

        “imo NZ dairy would be better off forging dairy markets with Russia”


        Please elaborate…are you referring that country that used its veto yesterday?

      • yip 1.1.2

        We should be selling tons of milk cheese all we can to Russia.

        • Chooky

          yes…Russia was open to trading dairy with New Zealand last year when the Europeans at the instigation of USA boycotted trade with Russia ….and Russia retaliated by stopping buying European dairy creating a glut

          …but John Key advised against New Zealand selling dairy to Russia

          …as CR pointed out on the Standard (17 July) China is now going to trade dairy with Russia

          “The key is what is happening to some of Fonterra’s major markets. The Chinese for instance have long had form in acquiring skills and technologies that they want for themselves – and in my view, that is what they have done to NZ with dairy over the last 10 years, with all their joint ventures and dairy operations they have started up over here.

          And Key was stupid not to sign the FTA with Russia due to US pressure. Now, Russia has signed a deal for China to supply a massive amount of dairy to Russia – using 115,000 hectares of leased Russian land in the Transbaikal region. NZ totally cut out thanks to the short sightedness of our elites.

          China has started to build a joint Chinese-Russian livestock agricultural complex. A hundred thousand cows are planned to be bred in a project costing one billion Yuan.

          Dairy Farmers in New Zealand should be taking note…especially if some of them are in danger of going to the wall and being forced to sell their farms to foreigners

          • Enough is Enough

            Forget about Key.

            Are you saying we should ignore Russia’s advances into the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine…and the state sanctioned murder of hundreds of civilians in a commercial aircraft?

            All for the sake of selling milk powder?

            • freedom

              we still trade with the USA or does history only matter when it involves someone other than the USA?

              • Enough is Enough

                I agree with you.

                So you are saying we shouldn’t trade with the US. I am saying we should trade with the any country that commits atrocities

                • freedom

                  It’s a bit hard to define what you are saying – could you please rewrite that second line so it makes a bit more sense?

                  and please do not make assumptions on what I am or am not saying. I am not a fan of words I have not spoken being put into my mouth. Perhaps the first line was meant to be a question, but looks more like a statement.

                • AmaKiwi

                  @ Enough is Enough

                  “I am saying we should not trade with the any country that commits atrocities.”

                  That rules out the UK, USA, Israel, and 30 to 50 other countries, depending on your definition of atrocities.

            • adam

              Can you offer a link to a credible sight which proves it was the Russians who took down the civilian aircraft?

              • Wayne

                No-one has seriously suggested that it is the Russians.

                The evidence points to Ukrainian separatists, of course using Russian made missiles. But they were probably from Ukrainian arms depots that the separatists had seized. So the Russians would have no involvement. It is hardly in their interest to shoot down a Malaysian airliner. In fact it was in no-ones interests to do so.

                I am not suggesting the separatists intended to shoot down a civil airliner. They presumably assumed it was a Ukrainian military aircraft. They had shot down several in preceding months, including transports and fighters.

                For those nutbars who think the US shot down the airliner, well I guess they also think the US blew up the World Trade Centre, and that the moon landings are faked.

                • Stuart Munro

                  It was a Russian BUK missile launcher, and unlike the shoulder launched stingers they require long and continuous training. the Ukrainian separatists only have BUK launcher crews detached from Russian regular forces – what the US used to call ‘military advisers’.

                  The news site Bellingcat
                  has assembled quite a clear picture from open source sites, some in Russia, some commercial satellite data.

            • greywarshark

              What about the atrocities other countries do – Britain telling lies about why they should invade Iraq the USA – draw up a list. Why can’t you actually apply judgment to your comments, instead of just taking simple politically convenient
              fairytales as forming basic trading policy?

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Are you saying we should ignore Russia’s advances into the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine…and the state sanctioned murder of hundreds of civilians in a commercial aircraft?

              Russia has taken Crimea, with the overwhelming democratic assent of local Crimeans. Further, Russia was never going to let Sevastapol become a NATO base.

              As for Eastern Ukraine. Let’s see your evidence that Russian military forces have moved into Ukraine.

              Frankly, the citizens of the Donbas are quite right to defend themselves against Kiev militaries and para-militaries who have bombed civilian towns and cities all throughout Eastern Ukraine – and of course Russia has turned a blind eye to facilitating the Donbas rebels with resources.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              All for the sake of selling milk powder?

              You are aware that NZ was selling milk powder and butter to Soviet Russia during the height of the cold war, right?

              • Enough is Enough

                And what does that have to do with now?

                Because it was wrong then, it is wright now?

                • Chooky

                  @ Enough is Enough

                  1.) who says the Russians shot down that plane!?…only the Americans! ….initially ….and then they went quiet…. and the Americans subsequently wont release the satellite evidence

                  2.) what possible motive would the Russians have for shooting down a Malaysian civilian airliner full of Dutch, Australians and Malaysians?

                  3.) …and hence creating an international incident and inflaming a situation which they the Russians want to dampen down?…but others want to inflame

                  4.) …dont forget that airliner was deliberately diverted off its designated flight path…by air control …to above an area of conflict ….why?…for what motive?

                  5.) …what of the reports that the airliner was shot down ( not from below) but by a fighter jet alongside ? ( eyewitness accounts and fuselage evidence of holes in the cockpit)

                  5.) the Russians conclude that given the Americans have already shown bias and propaganda and made up their minds to blame the Russians … the political hotbed UN is not the place to conduct an aviation forensic examination of the evidence impartially…. and without political interference

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Not to mention MH 17 was shot down in the middle of a fine clear day – yet no one saw the BUK anti-aircraft missile vapour trail which would have been 15km long!

                    Plenty of screwyness going on.

            • AmaKiwi

              @ Enough is Enough

              I’ve rarely heard such nonsense.

              OK to sell to China, that great bastion of human rights that would never think of taking over Tibet or Taiwan.

              OK to help spy for the USA, which routinely destroys Middle Eastern countries because “for some inexplicable reason huge amounts of our American oil is under their sand.”

              Looking for virtue? How much milk powder do you think the Vatican can buy?

          • Save NZ

            Yes thats the problem with ‘free trade’.

            There was an opportunity to trade with Russia, but we can’t because someone might upset someone else under some other agreement or golf game.

            The Nats have shafted the farmers and they are beginning to know it.

            Far from all this ‘free trade’ farmers are missing out on opportunites, and their whole operation is becoming more political and being influenced by government bureaucratic more than common sense. From Saudi owned sheep deals operating from this country, bribes and having no go, like Russia deals,

            Now the government want to make red tape worse by signing up to TPP, being bought, litigated and so forth willy nilly by incredibly wealthy multi nationals.

            For gods sake, these local farmers just want to sell milk and Kiwifruit, not be the centre of the middleman government policy and constant bio security and health scandals that are occurring with the growing amount of imported and exported food as part of ‘free’ trade.

            Kiwis are exporting ‘good’ food and importing back poorer quality at food prices higher than the cost of living.

      • Tracey 1.1.3

        we didnt join the sanctions against russia so should be ahead of our competitors. money b4 morals

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Sanctioning Russia was not an act of morality, Tracey, it was an act of western financial imperialism In the western media, supporting western financial imperialism is often made out to be the moral thing to do, but I have my doubts.

      • Chris 1.1.4

        NZ will sign it. Way too much already invested. Even totally crap agreement will be signed. Keys and his mates don’t (1) want to look stupid not signing it after all this time and debate, even a crap deal and (2) keys and his mates want to sign a crap deal because the crappier it is for us the better it is for him and his rich mates.

  2. Anne 2

    Looks like Malaysia is smarter than us.

    Is anyone surprised?

  3. Colonial Rawshark 3

    BTW peeps Malaysia in recent years has become a major centre of slavery and human trafficking.

    There was a significant chance that this was going to derail Malaysia’s ability to sign on to the TPPA in any case due to State Department or Congressional objections.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 3.1

      “The United States took Malaysia off its list of worst offenders in human trafficking on Monday, removing a potential barrier to a signature Asia-Pacific trade pact despite opposition from human rights groups and nearly 180 U.S. lawmakers.”
      “Malaysia’s expected upgrade to the “Tier 2 Watch List” from Tier 3 removes a potential barrier to President Barack Obama’s signature 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, or TPP, which Washington hopes to conclude this year.

  4. Sable 4

    Yes shows what shameful sell outs we have in this country…..

  5. happynz 5

    There are other pressing issues happening here in Malaysia. The Prime Minister Najib sacked a large number of ministers. Muhyiddin, the deputy pm got the heave-ho as he was about to put into motion the vote to roll Najib over the 1MDB scandal.

    Muhyiddin, even though he is no longer the DPM, is still high up in UNMO, the majority Malay wing of the ruling Barisan Nasional party.

    How this affects the TPPA I can’t say. However, the knives are out as there is an internal power struggle in the government. The feeling may be that now is not the time for signing such far-reaching agreements.

  6. Wayne 6

    Even if everything is agreed this weekend, it would not be signed this weekend. In this respect Malaysia has said no more than the obvious.

    Every country, including New Zealand, will have their government consider the agreed draft for final approval.

    However, it will be difficult for any govt to try and renegotiate the deal as it affects them. That would likely unravel the whole deal, and basically destroy the agreement.

    The real choice facing the various govts, in my, view is to decide whether to be in or not.

    And New Zealand will have to consider this carefully. We are not going to get everything we want on agriculture. We will get something, but how much is yet to be known.

    So the choice is likely to be, do we go for something, or do we back out and thus get nothing.

    There is a big risk for New Zealand being outside the TPP. If the deal includes say the United States, Japan, Australia, and emerging Asian economies such as Vietnam, can we afford to be on the sidelines?

    It is a tougher choice for New Zealand than it is for say Canada. Canada already has NAFTA, and the vast bulk of their trade is under this agreement. That is not the case with New Zealand. A significant amount of our trade goes to the US and Japan, who are the central actors in TPP. So being at a comparative disadvantage in both these markets has serious implications.

    If we are not in TPP, we might find we loose current market share in the US and Japan, because we would be at a relative disadvantage to those countries that have signed up to TPP. Australia by being in TPP would have gained a comparative advantage relative to New Zealand in both Japan and the US. For that matter the US would have gained a relative advantage in agricultural trade with Japan.

    So this is a high stakes game. Being in a deal that is not wholly satisfactory is still likely to be better than not being in it. So while the diary industry representatives might be sounding off at the moment, they will not be thinking about it in a way that a govt has to do. In short the govt is not hostage to the diary industry.

    I appreciate most Standardnistas will not care a jot for such calculations since the typical Standardnista wants nothing to do with TPP, no matter what its terms. But that is not really the point, since the typical Standardnista is opposed to any of the FTA’s of the last 30 years anyway.

    So in a sense the views of Standardnista’s don’t count. The govt simply does not care what Standardnista’s think. Incidentally there is a nice article on Bowalley Rd on this point.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      Can you quantify the benefits and the downside Wayne?

      I understand the benefit is a tiny increase in access to some markets for selling our milk.

      The downside is more expensive medications, increased funding for Pharmac, opening up the Government to law suits from corporates (Australia has already spent $50 mil on one claim alone) and decreased sovereignty.

      I can’t really see the benefit and I can see lot of downside.

      So in monetary terms why should we go into this agreement? We already trade with all of the nations involved.

      • Chooky 6.1.1


      • Chooky 6.1.2

        +100…unless Labour’s bottom lines are met …it is a dead dog…because no other NZer political parties want it

      • Wayne 6.1.3


        The serious downside is being at a comparative disadvantage to those nations that are in TPP. To quantify it would require actual knowledge of the deal that is struck.

        The better the deal, the more serious the comparative disadvantage. For instance we might find it impossible to sell any agricultural produce to the US and Japan, since Australia, Chile (if they go in) could take our entire market. They would face lower trade barriers than we would.

        Of course there will be no comparative disadvantage if there is no movement on agricultural barriers. But I assume there will be some.

        There would not be all this yelping from the Canadians, the Japanese and the US in Hawaii unless there was going to be some shift around this. In any event the interests of these three are not really aligned. The US wants access to the japanese market. Who knows what the Canadians want, but going into TPP means they have to give way on something. But how much?

        Presumably the Canadians are in because in part the fear the risk of comparative disadvantage of not being in. But their game plan will be to do as little as they can. But they won’t be able to totally disrupt the negotiations.

        However, if the US real position is in fact closely aligned to the Canadian, then they would have got the Canadians in to be their stalking horse. That may be part of the reason, but in reality the US position is not the same as the Canadians.

        Given that TPP is a strategic play by the US, then the US needs to ensure the TPP is a reasonable success for all the parties, so they will give away more to achieve that. The partners and allies of the US have to see something in it for them, or else they will not be partners and allies.

        It has already been reported that the patent changes could add $50 million to the Pharmac drug bill, which will be the major cost to New Zealand. So that is a start point to work out two figures in terms of the tradeoff.

        First the value of the actual gains that will come from better agricultural access. And second the offset cost of comparative disadvantage if we don’t go in. If these two figures are greater than $50 million, then we should be in.

  7. les 7

    the govt does not care what New Zealanders think….whether its asset sales,privatisation,or the TPP ,that is quite clear.

    • Wayne 7.1


      No, the govts disregard is largely limited to Standardnistas.

      • Gangnam Style 7.1.1

        ‘lose’ not ‘loose’.

      • Stuart Munro 7.1.2

        If this were true Wayne, you would not be at pains to persuade us of the government’s rationality. You’d like the criticism to evaporate because you are not confident the public interest argument is defensible.

        As non-believers in the dogma that has driven most of this government’s most egregious errors, why should we not attribute the failure to secure benefits to the usual extreme neo-liberal stupidity? Because that is more convenient for the disgracefully corrupt Key junta?

        If the TPPA is representative of the quality of National decision making, better that you are gone, and speedily.

      • RedBaronCV 7.1.3

        If all of us here are so misguided in that we have not yet seen the light no matter how often you tell us that “black is white” why? “because I say so” then why do you bother to keep on coming over here.
        If we are so stupid and misguided and uninfluential then why do you try to hang out with us – why don’t you have discussions with someone you deem worthy of you.
        Or are you being paid for this – and if so how much and by whom?

  8. Tautoko Mangō Mata 8

    Australia seem to be putting up a good fight.
    “Trans-Pacific Partnership deal in doubt”
    The giant Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks were in danger of breaking up without agreement late on Friday as the United States withdrew an offer it had previously made to Australia on dairy access and gave no ground on sugar.
    Talks were expected to go late into the night on Friday in a last-ditch effort before a press conference planned to mark the end of the talks at 9.30am Australian eastern time.
    If there is no agreement, the Hawaii talks might be extended, or more likely postponed until late August.

    Read more:

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    Round bottom toys are better negotiators.

  10. Kevin 10

    Of course we will sign, Grosers knighthood depends on it.

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