The Russian FTA

November 14th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

I just love the fact the we are going to be first in the world to have free trade agreements with both China and – the two former communist economies. The world has changed, and for the better.

John Armstrong reports:

New Zealand has scored a major trade coup, becoming the first country in the world to start negotiating a free trade deal with Russia.

The decision to officially begin negotiations was announced last night by Prime Minister and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev following a one-on-one meeting between the pair during this weekend’s summit in Japan.

It will be wonderfully ironic is we conclude the Russian FTA before we get an agreement with the US.

Meanwhile, the Apec “silly shirt” tradition for leaders was to be extended to spouses this year.

Bronagh Key was measured for a kimono designed by Japanese fashion maestro Hiroko Koshino. John Key was not sure how his wife would look.

“If they have Bronagh versus Michelle Obama, she [Bronagh] will look like the Hobbit,” he said, referring to the difference in height between the two first ladies.

Good God, that comment may cost him :-)

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20 Responses to “The Russian FTA”

  1. Yvette (2,765 comments) says:

    Bronagh has unusual feet?

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  2. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    Is he stupid?
    His wife is going to kill him.
    His stupidest public comment so far and it was about his own wife!

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  3. BeaB (2,105 comments) says:

    God forbid he makes a funny remark. The mean and nasty are always waiting to take a poke.
    Perhaps you are not used to our PMs having a normal, happy marriage after Clark’s odd arrangement.
    Shunda – I think the last word we would describe Key as is ‘stupid’. A man who has proved himself on the global business stage and now as a leader, both at home and abroad. NZ could do with more of this stupidity!!!

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  4. davidp (3,576 comments) says:

    >Good God, that comment may cost him

    Because Simon Whipp, Robyn Malcolm, and the CTU will try and make her move to Ireland?

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  5. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    John Key may have some faults, but he seems to be getting better the longer he is in the job. I hope the global financial crisis doesn’t shorten his tenure as a long term PM.

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  6. tvb (4,324 comments) says:

    The Russian deal looks fine. The Americans by contrast are not interested in economic security for NZ they just want us to play our role in security issues even though they are not relevant to our interests. China and Russia are happy just to do business with us, the US wants us to help them fight some war somewhere, that has little or no relationship with our security. The US seems to be saying, you fight in some war that we are waging, and we will look at a trade agreement – perhaps the TPP deal. But first you must front on the military thing. China and Russia make no such demand on NZ.

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  7. jaba (2,120 comments) says:

    you can call Key whatever you like .. smile and wave is all the tossers in Labour can think up, but stupid is not one of them.
    FTA with Russia .. mmm, cheap vodka, mmmm

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  8. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    Shunda – I think the last word we would describe Key as is ‘stupid’. A man who has proved himself on the global business stage and now as a leader, both at home and abroad.

    Ok then Sponge bob serious pants!

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  9. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    Must be Sunday serious time.

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  10. RightNow (6,968 comments) says:

    If that comment takes flak it will only come from desperate corners.

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  11. reid (16,224 comments) says:

    The Americans by contrast are not interested in economic security for NZ they just want us to play our role in security issues even though they are not relevant to our interests. …the US wants us to help them fight some war somewhere, that has little or no relationship with our security. The US seems to be saying, you fight in some war that we are waging, and we will look at a trade agreement – perhaps the TPP deal. But first you must front on the military thing.

    So what, tvb? Every nation has its price. You seem to be saying the big meanies are making us commit violence and that’s vewy vewy wrong of them [stamp]. China and Russia will have their price as well tvb. The pressure you speak of is not actually there. The US does reward its allies, it doesn’t punish a nation who doesn’t want to participate in their military interventions. It doesn’t invade them or sabotage their economy or anything like that. If it did, that would be bad but it doesn’t.

    Your objection appears to arise from the naive lefty affliction which makes one believe that the best defense against real aggressors who are there whether you know it or not, is to stand up in the UN and proclaim we’re a peaceful nation and please don’t invade us. Meanwhile here in NZ your tactic would be to go down to the beach and explain to the nice man in charge of the invasion that we’re not great big meanies after all so would he kindly just go way and if he doesn’t then you’re just going to hold a sit-in until he does, so there.

    This is a big problem in the real world tvb, I’m not sure the lefty plan would work in reality, you see.

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  12. backster (2,142 comments) says:

    Chinese Triads v Russian Mafia…Just don’t get caught in the cross fire.

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  13. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    The more trade we do with former “enemies” the less likely a war with them will be. Keep the FTAs coming!

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  14. adze (2,089 comments) says:

    Key is certainly putting the work in. One day he’s dealing with a Ministerial scandal, the next he’s talking FTAs with a former superpower.

    We shouldn’t be under any illusion that China or Russia won’t use trade as leverage against us. China is showing signs that it is quite willing to put pressure on other governments for political ends (just not militarily – yet). But having a “diverse portfolio” of trade partners is very useful for a country reliant on foreign trade and investment.

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  15. wat dabney (3,758 comments) says:

    Too much to expect the economically literate policy of dispensing with all such negotiations and simply unilateraly abolishing all artificial trade restrictions…

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  16. Fletch (6,251 comments) says:

    Am I the only one who is uncomfortable that we’re doing deals with China and Russia and not our traditional allies?
    I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t sit right with me.

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  17. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    FTA? Pffffft. Just marry Pansy Wong off to a Russian oligarch and change his will. That’ll have the same effect and be quicker.

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  18. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Fletch – if we’re trading with them we’re not fighting with them. I don’t see the problem.

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  19. ephemera (564 comments) says:

    @PDF: Why do you describe China as a ‘former’ communist economy?

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  20. KiwiGreg (3,247 comments) says:

    @ Fletch I dont think we are the reason we arent getting FTAs with “our former allies”. Of course (both Nationalist and Communist) China and the USSR WERE our “former allies” in WWII :)

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