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China trade an issue for NZ with tougher talking Republican Romney

Nov 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Lead Story, Most Popular, News

IMAGE: CartoonArts International / The New York Times Syndicate

NEW ZEALAND is on the verge of teaming up with America to break down trade barriers – but a new US President may mean a different agreement.

Negotiations have been postponed until after the elections, which will further delay the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

This trade agreement involves an open market without any tariffs in the Asia-Pacific rim with America, while excluding China.

New Zealand is hosting the 15th round of discussions to be held in Auckland in December.

During a live chat online on in October, executive director of the New Zealand United States Council Stephen Jacobi said: “If President Obama wins it will be business as usual. If Governor Romney wins there could be a slight delay while his team is put in place.

“Both candidates are on record as supporting TPP [Trans Pacific Partnership] and both are keen to grow the US economy through trade.”

However a tougher Republican stance on China may change things.

New Zealand’s Trade Minister Tim Groser told Radio New Zealand there would be no TPP if it was a strategy for America to gain power over China.

“The moment we smelt or sensed that this was an anti-China thing, we’d leave the TPP,” says Mr Groser, who has also been involved with separate trade agreement negotiations with the Chinese.

Mitt Romney, at the Hanover Economic Debate in 2011, said: “I will label China as it is a currency manipulator. And I will go after them for stealing our intellectual property. And they will recognize that if they cheat, there is a price to pay.”

“We’re organising trade relations with countries other than China so that China starts feeling more pressure about meeting basic international standards,” President Barack Obama said during the last presidential debate in October.

Romney’s policy on trade is similar to Obama – to have “trade that works for America”.

As part of his five point plan, Romney believes signing new trade deals throughout the global market will create more jobs.

“The case for trade makes good economic sense – trade improves the wages and standard of living for the average citizen,” Romney wrote in his book No Apology: The case for American Greatness, published in March 2010.

He goes on to say: “Trade is good for the nation and for the average citizen, but it is decidedly not good for everybody.”

Romney believes trade can have negative results if other nations, such as China, do not abide by the same rules.

On his political website, he states that if the global market was more open and willing to trade, the more America can improve its economy.

“Mitt Romney believes free trade is essential to restoring robust economic growth and creating jobs.”

The Obama administration took office in 2008 with a goal to double America’s exports by 2014.

On July 2008, during a speech in Berlin, Obama spoke about taking advantage of the global market and its wealth, while also sharing the benefits more equally.

“Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favours the few, and not the many.

“This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all.”

President Obama began by introducing the National Export Initiative in 2010, and signed a bill to lower tariffs on American exports to reach that goal.

“Before I took office, I made it clear that we would enforce our trade agreements,” the President told the audience during his State of Union speech in 2011.

Subsequently, South Korea, Colombia and Panama signed free trade agreements with America in 2011.

“And that’s what I intend to do as we pursue agreements … and continue our Asia Pacific and global trade talks.”

These initiatives then saw America reaching out to the Asia-Pacific rim, talking to countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, and Vietnam to sign the TPP collective agreement.



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