A new (vague) campaign for ‘a 21st century trade agenda’

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) started to come into affect at the end of last year – see Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement has started to take effect.

One of the most prominent anti-TPPA campaigners has taken a new tack, convening a hui to look at this year’s agenda.

Jane Kelsey (The Daily Blog):  Launch of JusTrade.nz heralds a new campaign for a 21st century trade agenda

The website JusTrade.nz, launched this week, heralds a new forward-looking campaign for a progressive 21st century trade agenda.

The JusTrade project builds on a two-day hui in late October that debated what an alternative and progressive trade strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand should look like. The live-streaming attracted over 17,000 page views. The website carries videos and transcriptions of all ten panels.

Hui convenor, University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, says ‘for too long we’ve been told there is no alternative to the current model, epitomised in the recently adopted Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.’

‘Today, the global trade regime faces an existential crisis. Mega-negotiations are being abandoned, delayed or pared down, and the World Trade Organization is fractured and paralysed.’

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’

‘A new progressive vision would see trade as driven by relationships, within our communities and with the wider world, that enable innovation, resilience and wellbeing, instead of enabling the corporations and markets that currently dominate our trade policy.’

‘The recent hui and the new website are a first step in the JusTrade project, bringing together experts on economics and business, geopolitics, te Tiriti, climate and environment, livelihoods, development, knowledge and health and wellbeing.’

The key message:

‘The message from the hui was very clear: we need to generate real alternatives that confront climate change and disruption, while supporting sustainable local businesses and jobs that pay a living wage, in a nation founded on te Tiriti o Waitangi.’

What that means is not clear at all to me. It just strings together a number of vague ideals.

While just posted this refers to a hui held in October.

The JustTrade Project

In October of 2018  a hui was convened to set out what an alternative and progressive trade strategy should look like.  The aim was to present positive and constructive approaches to achieving a new paradigm. This was the genesis of the JusTrade project.

Sponsers included the NZ Council of Trade Unions, It’s Our Future, Doctors for Healthy Trade, Oxfam, Greenpeace, the NZ Nurses Organisation, First Union, PPTA, NZEI, TEU, CAFCA and others.

Speakers include journalists Rod Oram, Bernard HickeyProfessor Jane KelseyMédecins Sans Frontièreslawyer Annette Sykes, NZCTU’s Sam Huggard and Bill Rosenberg, Greenpeace Director Russel Norman, and many more.

All contributions have been transcribed.

The hui has provided a platform for future research, advocacy and activism as we work to achieve a new paradigm for international economic relations – a paradigm that is rooted in te Tiriti o Waitangi, the needs and interests of local workers, communities and businesses, and confronts the pressing global challenges of climate change, insecurity and instability, authoritarianism, and the digital age.

Specific projects on investment, the digital economy, and climate change will be launched in 2019 to generate analysis and action that can pressure the government to deliver the promised progressive and inclusive, post-neoliberal future.

I am still unclear on what they are specifically trying to achieve.

Also Bryan Bruce: Is there a fairer way to trade?

As many of you are aware I am working on a crowd funded documentary currently titled Trade Secrets in which I investigate who really benefits from the huge international agreements we have been entering into and ask the very same question the JustTrade site seeks to answer: Is there a better, fairer , more progressive way to trade ?

I suspect the documentary will have a certain slant.

 

23 Comments

  1. “Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.”

    Did neoliberalism start in the neolithic era? Causes of social issues must go back that far.

    • Blazer

       /  January 12, 2019

      No they didn’t.

      • Duker

         /  January 12, 2019

        Lithic is stone .
        It was the new stone age- well thats what someone called it 11,000 yrs later.

  2. Corky

     /  January 12, 2019

    IKEA coming to the sacred shores of Aotearoa will no doubt be a nightmare in Jane Kelsey’s
    troubled restless sleep.

    Will Bryan Bruce have his documentary ready just before the 2020 elections? He seems to like that time slot. I think his last doco was child poverty. Nothing like sticking it to Righties before an election.

    • Duker

       /  January 12, 2019

      The doco maker doesnt choose the time of screening.
      Its like if you are making royal souvenirs the retailers want them on the shelves …around the time of royal weddings, births etc.
      perhaps you noticed interest in buying gifts around Xmas, a political documentary is going screen near to an election for the same reason, heightened interest

      • Corky

         /  January 12, 2019

        ”The doco maker doesn’t choose the time of screening.”

        I didn’t know that. Guess Bruce has been on a lucky streak with his docos.

        Hold on!! Which way, politically, do our TV stations hang?

        • thespectrum

           /  January 12, 2019

          @Corky. Hold on!! Which way, politically, do our TV stations hang?
          Which way Corks pray tell?
          BTW. Does anyone under 60 watch TV?

          • Corky

             /  January 12, 2019

            ”Which way Corks pray tell?”

            Port side.

            ”BTW. Does anyone under 60 watch TV?”

            Good question. I don’t know . Would depend on the under 60s demographics.
            But I would say not many past the age of ten.

  3. artcroft

     /  January 12, 2019

    “A new progressive vision would see trade as driven by relationships, within our communities and with the wider world, that enable innovation, resilience and wellbeing”

    Isn’t that a description of corporations?

    • Blazer

       /  January 12, 2019

      No.

    • Corky

       /  January 12, 2019

      Arty…remember when you tried to sell stagecoaches to Injuns? How did that work out?

      • PartisanZ

         /  January 12, 2019

        The ‘Iron Horse’ railroad was the real cruncher for the Injuns I believe …

        There are distinct similarities. FTAs are railroaded and the general populace are Injuns …

        The difference … We Injuns don’t resist … The ‘reservations’ they’ve forced us onto are just too comfortable … and too stressful … and there’s so many trinkets and baubles at the Tradin’ Post … and so many compulsions and addictions …

        We ‘reservationists’ are mostly sighted on ‘wasteland’ anyhow … They’ve done with it for every other purpose … so no-one gives a flying fuck what happens to it … or to us …

        IKEA represents the zenith of this development. Let’s completely surround ourselves with meaninglessness …

        • Blazer

           /  January 12, 2019

          ‘The ‘Iron Horse’ railroad was the real cruncher for the Injuns I believe ‘-the Gatling Gun was an unwelcome…surprise.

          • PartisanZ

             /  January 12, 2019

            Ah yes … the Gatling Gun … I’m sure there’s a modern-day metaphorical equivalent?

            That was, of course, after the Winchester Repeating Rifle allowed for the massacre to near extinction of the mainstay of the Injuns’ moneyless ‘eco-nomy’ on their Prairie … the Bison …

            And there’s DEFINITELY modern-day metaphorical equivalents to that!

            • Pink David

               /  January 12, 2019

              “That was, of course, after the Winchester Repeating Rifle allowed for the massacre to near extinction of the mainstay of the Injuns’ moneyless ‘eco-nomy’ on their Prairie … the Bison …”

              The Bison were largely gone before the Windchester existed, not to mention it’s chambered for small cartridges (most .44) that would be useless for taking down a Buffalo.

              When you make up your history, it really does show.

            • PartisanZ

               /  January 12, 2019

              A minor detail Pinky … Which calibre rifle was used and when changes nothing about the essence of the metaphor …

              The basis of the Injuns means of survival needed to be eradicated in order to either eradicate or bring them to heel …

              The native bush in Aotearoa NZ served the same purpose for Maori …

              Democratically agreed and centrally planned industry regulations and ‘protections’, subsidies and unionization served the same purpose for New Zealand workers in manufacturing industries …

              These things had to be destroyed …

            • Pink David

               /  January 12, 2019

              “A minor detail Pinky … Which calibre rifle was used and when changes nothing about the essence of the metaphor ”

              This is straight out of Trump’s playbook. Facts don’t matter, it’s only the ‘metaphor’.

              “Democratically agreed and centrally planned industry regulations and ‘protections’, subsidies and unionization served the same purpose for New Zealand workers in manufacturing industries …

              These things had to be destroyed ”

              Yes, because having a TV made in Japan, then stripped down into bits, then shipped to NZ to be reassemble by a ‘New Zealand worker’ so another ;New Zealand worker’ could pay three times the price for it was the optimal way to run a country.
              The stupidity of the ‘ agreed and centrally planned industry regulations and ‘protections’, subsidies and unionization’ is what destroyed it, nothing else.

            • PartisanZ

               /  January 12, 2019

              And we’re in a so much better position now … a low-wage, export-only economy back to similar indebtedness levels as when Rogered Douglas came to power … but with new levels of inequality, child-poverty, crumbling infrastructure and a housing crisis …

              Which is why Kelsey is not talking about a return to pre-Rogerednomics ways, but instead ‘progressive’ “real alternatives that confront climate change and disruption, while supporting sustainable local businesses and jobs that pay a living wage, in a nation founded on te Tiriti o Waitangi.”

              I don’t find that “vague” at all … What I find vague … in a amnesiac sense … is the ‘ultimate agenda’ of neoliberalism … clinging to completely disproved imbecile ideas like “There Is No Alternative” and “Trickle Down” …

            • PartisanZ

               /  January 12, 2019

              And when the ‘fiscal crisis’ crunch comes this time there won’t be hardly any public assets to sell off …

      • thespectrum

         /  January 12, 2019

        Ha ha The old cowboys in injins cliches are riding again today.
        Kinda appropriate since its Saturday the day we used to go
        to the pitchas on Sat avo back in the 60’s.
        6d to get in 3d for an ice creme at half time
        and 3d each way on the bus.
        1s/3d for a day out.
        Stand up for God save the Queen, then the cartoons,
        then the serial, the movie tone news then the main pitcha.

        “They took the whole Cherokee nation
        Put us on this reservation
        Took away our ways of life
        The tomahawk and the bow and knife”
        Songwriter: John Loudermilk .

        Yup we used to hunt down buffalo from our horses
        and drag em home on the sled.
        Now all we do is hunt down meat packs at Mad Butchers
        and carry them home in the Chevy Colarado 🙂

  4. david in aus

     /  January 12, 2019

    NZ has multitudes of free trade agreements now. But is it time to introduce tariffs to countries that we do not have FTA with?

    For examples cars: 10% tariffs on all cars. 90% of NZ car imports would be exempt under FTA as most of NZ imports come from Japan, Korea, and Thailand; but it will hit the EU and the US. The EU has 10% tariffs on cars, the US 5% and 25% for pick-up trucks.

    The EU and US are free-trade hypocrites they protect their manufacturing and agriculture but want access to countries like NZ tariff-free. They have no incentives to offer NZ an FTA because NZ is essentially tariff-free.

    Tariff-free made sense for NZ twenty years ago, because of NZ’s small economic size and tariffs meant punishing ourselves. But now with TPP/China/Korea/Australia FTAs most of NZ sources of manufactured goods have a reciprocal arrangement. I think it is time to reward our FTA partners and incentivize new FTAs.

    • PartisanZ

       /  January 12, 2019

      Yep … We haven’t outsourced quite enough of our selves yet … I’m sure there’s more blood in that stone …