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National denies/admits Chinese trade reprisals threatened

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, July 19th, 2016 - 49 comments
Categories: China, Globalisation, john key, making shit up, Minister for International Embarrassment, slippery, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

Yesterday this was the story:

Speaking shortly after his arrival in Indonesia for a three-day trade trip, Key sought to pour cold water on the idea of any Chinese retaliation.

While he could not confirm whether MBIE had received a complaint about steel dumping, due to the confidentiality of the complaints regime, the Government had received “no indications” of Chinese concerns about possible anti-dumping duties, or potential retribution.

“Even if there was a complaint, and even if it was investigated, whether a country like China would take retaliatory action against New Zealand, I don’t believe that’s the case that they would.

“There’ll be lots and lots of ways of them looking to resolve issues if there were any, but it wouldn’t be through the sort of things that we’ve seen reported.”

Key said there was no “substantiated source” confirming that China would take action against New Zealand exports, only speculation.

Nek minnit

In a major backdown, the Government confirms it was told a Chinese industry body had approached a New Zealand exporter, venting anger over a complaint against alleged steel dumping practices.

But Trade Minister Todd McClay says Mofcom – China’s trade ministry equivalent – has denied any knowledge that an approach occurred.

His comments come after government insistence that claims of trade reprisals from a steel dumping complaint against China imports were unfounded.

That was despite trade officials being warned about Chinese anger by a key exporter, Zespri.

We really are in a new post truth age.

49 comments on “National denies/admits Chinese trade reprisals threatened”

  1. Sabine 1

    nah they just don’t care anymore.

    • Gerald 1.1

      It seems to be correct that this government does not give a damn about the truth. It has now told so many lies that the public just accept what ever they told and looks away. A feeble media and National cronies dominating it also helps them.

      • Unicus 1.1.1

        It’s time to get New Zealand out of this free trade bind with China – they were always going to piss on us in the end –

        A referendum Is the only way any NZ Government could credibly cancel this dangerous and fraught swindle .

        So bring it on – CHEXIT –

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    It will be interesting to see if the government caves in on this one. It might try and fudge it by saying it is being tough on Chinese steel at the same time as letting it in anyway. We will soon find out what price John Key and his cabinet places on New Zealand lives, it may be surprisingly low.

    • Muttonbird 2.1

      Fairly sure the MBIE investigation into dumping will be allowed to go ahead by Key (it’s already in the public domain), but he will demand that it comes up with a decision palatable to the Chinese.

  3. ianmac 3

    Yes they did. No they didn’t. In Key’s world that is perfectly true.

  4. TC 4

    Keys not so stupid as to think he has any leverage, china is flexing its economic and military muscles sending clear signals to zip it sweetie.

    This will end up as a pr spin minimalisation exercise

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      In our case, it’s not a question of leverage.

      They’re not keeping their end of the deals, they’re not maintaining equivalent standards and they’re not treating us with any sort of respect.

      That means that the only thing we can do is to stop trading with China. They cannot stop us from doing that.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        I have a whole bunch was gunboats that says they can.

        • Colonial Viper

          Gunboats are so outdated.

          Sending Fonterra to three straight years of losses via dairy import tariffs would do it.

          Hell forget import tariffs, the Chinese version of ‘Japanese inspection’ on all NZ produce going into China will sort things.

          BTW this is what happens when you let relations with your trading partners deteriorate over many years into the shit.

          Poisoned baby powder, anyone?

      • Chooky 4.1.2

        +100 DTB…ditch the trade agreement with China ( it is costing New Zealand and New Zealanders too much…we are being ransacked and over-run like Tibet )

        …we should trade with Russia instead

  5. mosa 5

    Well NZ was warned years ago against being a dumping ground for cheap Chinese goods look at Briscoes , the Warehouse , Bunnings too name a few.
    Cheap un safe steel should not surprise and this administration won’t get in China’s way after all it’s free trade.
    I stopped listening too Key a while ago because when he is not lying he makes the facts up as he is seemingly never briefed or just couldn’t give shit or can’t recall and this approach has engulfed this entire government.

    • mosa 5.1

      Cheap Chinese steel used in NZ won’t mean anything even if it endangers Kiwis because as far as this government and Key the rich man are concerned it’s worth the $$ involved.
      That’s how rotten this cabal have become.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Gordon Campbell on China Steel Dumping Allegations

    The Americans have decided not to wait. Earlier this year, the US raised its tariffs on Chinese steel from 266% to 522%, and cited (as its main reason for doing so) China’s refusal to co-operate with anti-dumping investigations.

    Good luck then to New Zealand in trying to mount any meaningful investigation of what China is up to. We are the least important – and most easily intimidated – source of their problems. Globally, China is facing a backlash over its steel pricing, and is responding with typical defiance.

    But I especially like this bit:

    The sorry saga of the Chinese-made locomotives seems doubly outrageous when one recalls that the Hillside plant in south Dunedin could have (a) built those locomotives without the cost and the risk of asbestos de-contamination (b) created hundreds of jobs in a depressed part of the Dunedin community, and (c) added significantly to New Zealand manufacturing IP in the process. Obviously then, choosing a cheap price from China is a suckers’ game. We may now be stuck for years with the consequences of utilizing sub-grade Chinese steel in our transport infrastructure, and within the Christchurch rebuild.

    Bold mine.

    We’re seeing clearly here how ‘free-trade’ is damaging our own economy and costing us more.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      It would cost $100M to refit Hillside workshops.

      I think it should be done.

      • mosa 6.1.1

        Correction CV
        It MUST be done

        • corokia

          Yes, refit Hillside as long as it’s present position is NOT going to be vunerable to sea level rise. Maybe it would be better situated somewhere higher?
          But then significant parts of the rail network are also vulnerable to sea level rise.

          • Draco T Bastard

            But then significant parts of the rail network are also vulnerable to sea level rise.

            [citation needed]

            IIRC, most of our rail network is inland.

            • Macro

              Yep South Dunedin is very vulnerable to sea level rise Draco.
              It’s called Hillside because its by a hill (Dunedin has lots of hills) – but at the bottom of the hill next to the ocean.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Some sections of our rail network are vulnerable to sea level rise, I agreed with that. I just don’t think that significant amounts of it are.

                • Corokia

                  Ok from a South Island perspective the Kaikoura coast and the line north of Dunedin. I’ll retract the ‘significant’.
                  Hillside is on the flat in South Dunedin.

                • Macro

                  The rail network in Auckland (Oraki Basin) and the rail network in Wellington’s Hutt Line and the main line North along the coast from Pukerua Bay to Paikakariki as well as from Porirua to Plimerton are also low lying and will need redirecting. Wellington Station is on land that was raised in the 1855 earthquake and will be also vulnerable to SLR as is Britomart.

          • Colonial Viper

            corokia good point, imo South Dunedin will suffer increasingly frequent floods within the next 50 years (0.5m or more) of sea level rise unfortunately.

          • te reo putake

            I wonder why they called it Hillside.

            • Colonial Viper

              Most of the remaining workshop areas are 5-6m above sea level, but Hillside Road itself immediately in front of the workshops main entrance is <1m above sea level.

    • mosa 6.2

      How ironic
      Using un safe steel in new buildings constructed in the first place because a major earthquake destroyed the original one brilliant !
      That says it all as far as Chinese goods are concerned, cheap and only designed too last a very short time then they break and away you go to buy another one because its cheap.
      Structural Integrity means zilch when you are building it as cheap as you can, you can almost see and hear the terms of refrence for the future royal commision of enquiry as it proceeds.
      And the insurance companies declining the claims and Key resting in Hawaii celebrating his legacy.
      And Fletchers still counting the money from all the lucrative CHCH contracts.
      Good ole New Zealand, she’ll will be right mate.

    • ropata 6.3

      Maybe John Key should pay for the Chinese shit steel out of his own pocket if they are in such a tizzy about it.

      But the government contractors responsible for constructing SAFE infrastructure should refuse to use it, and source decent stuff from Glenbrook instead.

      F*cking politicians and their dirty back room deals.

      • mauī 6.3.1

        I think the trouble was that Fulton Hogan got warnings about the steel price for their bridges being too good to be true but they went ahead and bought it anyway. At least partly a homegrown capitalist problem.

        • Colonial Viper

          A stupid bean counting decision.

          With how cheap it was, they could actually have up ordered a grade or two and still made money.

        • Muttonbird

          Who benefitted exactly? Not the NZ taxpayer, I’m sure.

    • Pat 6.4

      now this is a much better scale of project than ships….locos and carriages, room to be innovative and something that should be needed increasingly in the future.

  7. RedLogix 7

    Keep in mind that Key is also dead keen of having Chinese entities do all the infrastructure build in Auckland (and presumably they’ll get any of the rest of the country while they are at it as well.)

    This means a whole lot of tricky commercial contracts that will bind future NZ govts into terms of trade that we can never extricate ourselves from.

    • ropata 7.1

      You are kidding me… FFS!! Another day, another rip-off …

      NZ has been occupied by banksters and corporate sociopaths.

      • mosa 7.1.1

        Yeah ropata its our drinking water, i thought it tasted a bit strange.
        With Keyster the rich man , if its shit and tastes like shit and smells like shit he can sell it priced as an exspensive meal.

  8. Smilin 8

    Sad truth is weve been getting shit steel for 20 yrs, its nothing new its just that we are using more of it for Joyce’s shit projects

    • Colonial Viper 8.1


      I bought some nails from The Warehouse several years back that were supposedly steel, but seemed to have been made from bloody aluminium.

  9. ScottGN 9

    I’m old enough to remember the way the Leaky Building Disaster unfolded and who was responsible. Plus ça change and all that.

  10. Macro 10

    Here in Perth WA there is another scandal involving cheap Chinese imported Product;

    AN independent audit of all Yuanda products used in WA’s construction industry is being undertaken by the State’s Building Commissioner Peter Gow.

    The Commissioner made the announcement on Thursday after chrysotile, an asbestos substance banned in Australia, was discovered by workers in a roof panel at Perth Children’s Hospital late on Tuesday.

    The alarming find has left the construction industry reeling with the Government warning it could also affect Fiona Stanley Hospital and Perth Stadium, which also received materials from Chinese company Yuanda.

    I wonder what reprisal China will take to this investigation?

    • ropata 10.1

      Because it’s OK in Chinese business practice to poison your customers. If you complain about bad quality you cause them to lose face. Apparently deceptive practices are part & parcel of doing “business” with China.

  11. Rae 11

    They did heavy us, they didn’t heavy us, I wonder what it’ll be when the last petal on daisy is picked off.

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    “Crom is strong! If I die, he will ask me, ‘What is the secret of steel?’ If I don’t know it, he will cast me from Valhalla!”

    Tip for John: the secret of steel isn’t fake certification, or trusting without verifying.

  13. leftie 13

    Waatea 5th Estate – Chines trade threat

    <a href="http://thedailyblog.co.nz/

  14. leftie 14

    How did China know, opposition asks

    “Opposition parties want to know how Chinese officials knew a complaint had been laid about the alleged dumping of cheap steel.

    During the weekend Fairfax Media reported Pacific Steel had lodged a confidential application for a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise investigation into China dumping cut-price steel into the New Zealand market.

    China got wind of it and, believing New Zealand to be part of a United-States led alliance against it, threatened reprisal tariffs on dairy, wool and kiwifruit to ensure MBIE didn’t investigate, the report said.

    MBIE will not confirm or deny that an application for an inquiry has been received.

    NZ First leader Winston Peters says either China was told about the complaint or there was a leak from MBIE.

    “Why and how does the Chinese government know more about MBIE’s steel investigation than New Zealanders do?” he asked.

    Labour’s finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, says investigations into dumping – which happens when countries export goods for less than they cost to produce – need to he carefully handled.

    “You have to have all your ducks in a row and do the investigating before the other country gets involved… it isn’t proper that China has found out about the complaint.”

    <a href="https://nz.news.yahoo.com/top-stories/a/32076723/union-supports-steel-investigation-call/#page1

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