Author: Edward Miller

Secretive talks on China-led rival to TPPA at Sky City

Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The 13th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the China-led rival to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will be held at Sky City in Auckland in the coming week.12 June 2016 For immediate release Secretive talks on China-led rival to TPPA starts at Sky City The 13th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the China-led rival to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will be held at Sky City in Auckland in the coming week. ‘Talks on RCEP were launched back in 2012, but it has remained largely under the radar and over-shadowed by the government’s clear preference for the US-led TPPA’, says Auckland University Law Professor Jane Kelsey. ‘Now that deal is threatened by American domestic politics, attention has turned to RCEP as the fall-back option.’ Last month, US President Obama depicted the competition between TPPA and RCEP as a battle over whether America or China makes the rules for the Asia-Pacific region. ‘As the two goliath’s face off, the New Zealand government is trying to keep a foot in both camps. It ignores the fundamental question: why should the rules that decide our future be made by either of these superpowers?’, Professor Kelsey said. Like the TPPA, the details of these negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy. Recently, Trade Minister Todd McClay refused to name all the chapters...

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Budget 2016: Maximising FTA implementation

Press Release – New Zealand Government The 2016 Budget invests an additional $4.6 million over four years into FTA (Free Trade Agreement) implementation.Hon Todd McClay Minister of Trade 1 June 2016 Media Statement Budget 2016: Maximising FTA implementation The 2016 Budget invests an additional $4.6 million over four years into FTA (Free Trade Agreement) implementation. Trade Minister Todd McClay says this new investment will support New Zealand businesses in extracting full value from New Zealand’s network of FTA Agreements. “New Zealand currently has FTAs with economies that account for more than half our trade. This will increase to 70 per cent once the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) enters into force. “New Zealand has scored high quality FTAs, but the benefits come from Kiwi businesses taking advantage of them. Ensuring businesses have the information and tools for this to happen requires ongoing, co-ordinated cross government FTA implementation work. “This new investment will support the development of new tools to help business understand and use FTAs. Our tariff finder, for example, has made it a lot easier for SMEs to identify the FTA that gives them the best competitive edge in their export markets. This new money will also help us get improved commitments in FTAs when these come up for review, such as in services, investment, and addressing non-tariff barriers that exporters face. “This is particularly important as new FTAs...

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Gordon Campbell on tobacco politics, and the TPP death watch

Column – Gordon Campbell Has Act leader David Seymour got the easiest job in the world, or what? Roll out of bed, turn on the radio and hmmthere do seem to be a lot of problems out there in the world. Must think of something. And so it came to pass that this morning , … Gordon Campbell on tobacco politicking, and the TPP death watch Has Act leader David Seymour got the easiest job in the world, or what? Roll out of bed, turn on the radio and hmm…there do seem to be a lot of problems out there in the world. Must think of something. And so it came to pass that this morning, David Seymour took up his sword and shield to fight for a world that’s about to be denied the rich and vibrant beauty of tobacco advertising. Avast ye hordes of faceless bureaucrats aiming to put tobacco products in plain packets! David Seymour is in the House! Plain packaging may save lives, but does it have to be such a dull way of saving lives? Is there no other hero prepared to fight for Philip Morris, and for the God-given right of Benson and Hedges to peddle their deadly wares in luscious golden packaging? Do we want to live in a world without Marlboro Man billboards? There is a principle at stake here. And...

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Nikkei Conference: NZ’s Response to the Trade Challenge

Speech – New Zealand Government Nikkei Conference: New Zealands Response to the Trade Challenge Mr Chairman, thank you for your introduction and for the opportunity to be here today as the Government representative for New Zealand. Like everyone in this room, New Zealand has a stake …Hon Paul Goldsmith Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs 30 May 2016 Speech Nikkei Conference: New Zealand’s Response to the Trade Challenge Mr Chairman, thank you for your introduction and for the opportunity to be here today as the Government representative for New Zealand. Like everyone in this room, New Zealand has a stake in the future of Asia. In the past half-century, we have transitioned successfully from being an exporter of farm products dependent on European markets, to being a more diverse economy increasingly integrated into the dynamic Asia-Pacific region. This transition would not have been possible without the growth and development of Asia over that period – in other words without the Asian miracle. Today, seven of our top ten markets are in Asia; we host over three-quarters of a million Asian visitors every year; and almost one in eight New Zealanders can claim Asia as a place of birth or ancestry. So the future of Asia is our future too. Japan was our first major economic partner in Asia and that relationship remains strong and important to this day. Today’s...

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Free Press

Press Release – ACT New Zealand Does Government Waste Taxpayers Money? In the lead-up to the Budget, David Seymour asked Bill English why his government gives taxpayer money to fund Jane Kelseys research, programs such as X-Factor season two, and the Ultimate Waterman Stand Up …Free Press ACT’s regular bulletin Does Government Waste Taxpayers’ Money? In the lead-up to the Budget, David Seymour asked Bill English why his government gives taxpayer money to fund Jane Kelsey’s research, programs such as X-Factor season two, and the Ultimate Waterman Stand Up Paddle Boarding contest. David’s Sunday Star Times column lists more government waste. It is easy to find once you start looking. Jacinda Jumps the Shark The normally sanguine Jacinda Ardern has gone off the reservation in her reply to David this week (printed in the paper but not online). Among other things she says she doesn’t care if she’s misrepresented ACT. Most politicians at least keep up the pretence of being honest. What’s up Jacinda? Partnership Schools are Go The Budget contained an announcement that seven more Partnership Schools will be funded, with at least seven to open in 2018 and 2019, in addition to those set to open in 2017. The policy has serious positive momentum. Partnership Schools are changing kids’ lives for the better. E Tipu E Rea Sir Apirana Ngata understood the value of education and his...

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