US Secretary of State Clinton says US prioritising Trans Pacific Partnership trade talks with NZ

US Secretary of State Clinton says US prioritising Trans Pacific Partnership trade talks with NZ

Oops: NZ PM John Key calls US Secretary of State "President Clinton"

The United States was prioritising talks about a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) rather than pure bilateral trade with New Zealand, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Wellington today.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said his government was concerned that Australia had a free trade agreement with the US, meaning the TPP, including the US, was a very important item.

Clinton and Key were speaking at the signing of the Wellington Declaration at the Beehive, alongside New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

New Zealand and the US will seek to broaden commercial and trade relations between the two countries, McCully and Clinton said in the declaration.

The Declaration, would commit the two countries’ to work more closely together in the Pacific and expand high level dialogue between the two, McCully said.

“We are dedicated to working together to address trade, security and development issues through APEC, the East Asia Summit, the United Nations, and other regional and multilateral institutions, McCully and Clinton said in a joint statement.

Clinton said she, Key and McCully had discussed trade issues at some length.

“We are very committed to the Trans Pacific Partnership, and New Zealand again is playing a leading role. We want to expedite the negotiations as much as possible, so we are exploring ways that we can try to drive this agenda," she said.

"I am absolutely convinced that opening up markets in Asia, amongst all of us, and doing so in a way that creates win-win situations so that people feel that trade is in their interests, and certainly no country deomonstrates that more or better than New Zealand. The emphasis the Prime Minister has placed on exports is one that President Obama has actually ordered we do similarly."

"President Obama wants to see the United States doiuble our exports over the next several years. So we are very committed to TPP," she said.

"As with any trade deal, it’s day-by-day, negotiation over all kinds of issues to the satisfaction of the parties, and this is a complex negotiation."

"We’re not ruling out, we’re not ruling in any bilateral agreements with anybody else in the region, including New Zealand, but our priority is to really focus on the TPP and see how fast we can move that toward completion.

"I think that’s very much in New Zealand’s and the United States’ interests."

Key concerned the Aussies have an FTA with the US and NZ doesn't

New Zealand Prime Minister Key, who accidentally call the Secretary of State, 'President Clinton' at the end of the media conference, said the significance other countries placed on the TPP could be seen by their actions that they wanted to join the original eight countries in the agreement.

"We're now seeing Malaysia coming to the negotiating table, Canada and Japan have also indicated their strong interests to potentially join," Key said.

"From New Zealand's point of view, our only real condition as a player that is at the table is we want a comprehensive and high quality agreement. Anyone that wants to join in those negotiations that can meet those criteria will be welcome participants," he said.

"From New Zealand's point of view we share the ambitions that President Obama has and we think it's very important for the New Zealand economy and we, on a purely bilateral basis, have concerns about the fact that Australia has an FTA.

"They're a very important part of our market in New Zealand so we see the Trans Pacific Parnership as a very important item to be completed if at all possible."

(Update includes Key's comments)

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The US NEVER GIVES, all they do is TAKE!  Beware NZ. THIS is dangerous, even more so because the US is desperate to take advantage on anyone and everyone they can to boost their sinking ship. Let them sink, they deserve too.

“Americans are extremely lucky with Obama, had McCain beat Obama in 2008, official unemployment would be hovering around 10 per cent (unofficial around 20 per cent). And one in every five homes would be in danger of being foreclosed upon. Americans might even be experiencing the widest income disparity between the rich and poor that we have seen since before the stock market crash of 1929!

McCain, being the "brave" military man, may have tripled troop deployments to Afghanistan and the needless deaths of US troops and Afghan civilians would probably have increased dramatically. I am sure that McCain would have given huge contracts to the US war machine for drones, mercenaries, airplanes and other military hardware.Being a loyal Bushite, McCain would probably be conscientiously following the Status of Forces Agreement for the slow withdrawal from Iraq that was negotiated between the Bush government, and the puppet regime in Iraq.The "banksters" would be receiving their carte blanche bailouts and Ben Bernanke would have been re-appointed as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.Robert Gates would probably still be the secretary of defence and Sarah Palin would be offering late night comedians endless fodder for their monologues”

How lucky they are... 

"How lucky they are..."

Yes. No matter what errors Obama has made, they pale next to what would have been under McCain and Palin.

It sounds like NZ will be doubling it's US imports or tripling or cuadrupling  to manufacture stuff that will be sold to Australia, sounds posible with the NZ-US parity. although it is more like NZ will end up buying US manufactures and producing none at all.


I've argued for years there was a real danger that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States would simply turn into an agreement about trade that was not all that free and could actually damage our efforts to liberalise trade. See more here in my September 2008 piece "Why an American Free Trade deal is a ludicrous and dangerous idea"

The risk always was that the powerful lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry, the beef industry, the dairy industry and the movie/music industry would use FTA talks as an opportunity to block New Zealand exports to America and fiddle with our imports to advantage American firms.



Bernard is right, "Big Pharma" got it all their way with Obama's health care legislation and it would be no different here.  Americans will continue to pay through the nose for medicines and treatments.  An FTA with the US is a poison chalice.

Keeping them out is something every NZer who cares about our sovereign right to develop health policy should be in the streets over it ever eventuates.

It is a weird one. What has NZ to offer in the way of trade? Primary produce like cheese, beef  etc. The farming lobby in the US is not going to stand by and allow too much cheap NZ produce into the country. Besides, it won't even be cheap with the ongoing devaluation of the USD. So any FTA is all about creating markets for US manufacturing.

Sounds very much like it Tim. The US will insist our purchases of generic drugs are ended, for example, in favour of big Pharma in the US

I wonder if the US policy of currency debasement came up for discussion? That's gotta be worth a 20% tarrif on US goods, like they do to our lamb, eh John? 

"So any FTA is all about creating markets for US manufacturing"

Sadly no. There's actually only 4 million of us - we not even a pimple on the domestic 300million+ US domestic market. Of course they'll look to screw us over anyway - as Bernard notes above. But what we are mainly about from their point of view is:

(1) A strategic military and diplomatic outpost in the South Pacific - a region seeing rapidly growing Chinese influence.

(2) In possession  of the largest submarine sovereign territory in the world, with enormous known (but currently technically inaccessible) mineral sulfide resources + of course, the mythical southern basin oil!

(3)  The only western democracy with an FTA with China.

(4) From a global trade-flow point of view - basically part of Australia (a country they already have an FTA with).

(5) Threatening to develop a credible alternative Asian trade bloc with the other TPP partners(Chile, singapore, malaysia, Brunei + 4 others knocking on nthe door) that looks a bit like the original Benelux grouping that spawned the EU. This would not be good for US-asian trade. its easier  to destroy such things from the inside and the earlier the better (lessons learnt from the UKs attitude and expeiriences with the EU since ~1960).

Don't kid yourself, we're pawns in a much bigger game - as usual.

It's all a bit fishy..Obama back from India with a fourty plane entourage,riding around in a car with all the launch codes.Hillary doing the rounds.playing kiss and make up.The Gulf stream showing signs of packing up.Not to mention the drop off in oxygen as the anarobic bacteria start to eat all the oil in the Gulf..CNN. reported that all the people involved in the Exon Valdez cleanup are dead with the average dying age of 51.Mabey if the climate in western europe goes artic,taking Russia with them,food might be the big thing in the coming months,and years ahead?Since Russia has banned all grain exports due to their very strange weather,i'd pick a good relationship with a food producer might be a good idea.

Chris B you are right we are a pawn in a game. If US does not come a knocking, then the chinese sure will. The US does not want the pacific to be dominated by China, and China are flooding the smaller  nations with money in a effort to get a foot hold, the US are loosing there grip in the Pacific/Australia and NZ. But NZ has been smart in that we dont put all our eggs into one basket and now trade with several different regions rather than the old traditional markets of 20 years back, which with the way the US is heading it is a good thing.