Protest or progress

Quite how people who think they care about the poor can protest against free trade escapes me, but there they were outside the venue for the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.

. . . protesters say these negotiations are too secretive and are being driven by large US corporations.

As the talks at Sky City began this morning, protesters made themselves heard outside. . .

However, there is another view:

. . . the Government says a deal could be a billion-dollar boost for our economy.

“It’s going to be big,” says Trade Negotiations Minister Tim Groser. “It’s going to be significant and it’s going to help New Zealanders find well-paid jobs.”

That view is shared by the people who will provide some of those jobs:

More than 50 business leaders from some of New Zealand’s largest and most successful companies and business organisations have expressed their support for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations currently underway between eleven APEC economies.

In an open letter to Prime Minister John Key, the business leaders underlined the importance of international trade and investment for New Zealand. “The signatories to the open letter represent a cross section across all major export sectors in New Zealand, including agriculture, forestry, fishing, horticulture, wine, manufacturing, technology and Maori business. Together they either directly employ, or their members employ, an enormous number of Kiwis,” said Chairman of the New Zealand International Business Forum, Sir Graeme Harrison.

“These business leaders welcome the TPP round taking place in Auckland this week and commend negotiators from the TPP economies for their efforts to conclude a future agreement which should bring benefits for all member economies”.

 “The group is aware the negotiation poses challenges for New Zealand policy settings in a number of areas and that the negotiation is complex. We have confidence that Trade Minister Tim Groser and his officials will seek solutions that meet New Zealand’s national interests.”

“We see great advantages for New Zealand arising from a future agreement that is high quality, comprehensive and ambitious, one that eliminates trade barriers, lowers the cost of doing business and makes improvements to the way regional supply chains can link producers and consumers in the region.” The open letter coincides with the launch of a new business-led initiative, Trade Works, a website ( to help Kiwis better understand the benefits of trade and investment for New Zealand, and understand the potential benefits of TPP. Funding for the website has been provided by the NZ US Council and the website has been built with the support of thirteen business organisations representing the main export sectors.

“The Council and its partners see value from an effort to create a TPP which meets business and wider needs and reflects the way business is being done today and will be done in the future. This will assist economic growth and job creation in New Zealand. Our new website signals that we are also ready to participate with other members of civil society in a dialogue about how TPP can contribute to what it is best for New Zealand,” said Chairman of the NZ US Council, Rt Hon James Bolger.

The protesters want to take us back to the bad old days when inefficient producers were protected and everyone else paid more because of that.

The business people want progress and fair trade and the only way to get that is to have free trade.

4 Responses to Protest or progress

  1. Beau Murrah says:

    You don’t seem to actually add any analysis to this, just re-paste the nicely drafted press release and say “You don’t understand why anyone would protest”. Instead, it seems like you are just reposting some ideological “FREE TRADE = Always good” when the USA is unwilling to do the same as we have done for agriculture.

    My main question/issue is that there 13 Wikileaks cables with a special focus on how Amerian Pharmaceutical companies want to bust up Pharmac, besides everything else we know about how the system saves us an incredible amount of money.

    Do you think Pharmac is inefficient?

  2. Viv says:

    Ele does a heck of a lot of cut and paste and she ignores lots of questions. I asked her twice last week if she’d read the World bank and PWC’s climate change reports, she never answered.

  3. homepaddock says:

    I read all comments, sooner or later, but am often away from a computer for long stretches and don’t always have time to respond. I didn’t see this comment until midnight last night for example and sleep was a higher priority than answering. I don’t know which post you left this question on, but no I haven’t read those reports.

  4. Viv K says:

    Thanks for replying Ele, I’m sure you are very busy. The questions were asked on the ‘comprehensive deal better than Kyoto” post on Nov 26.

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