US v China

October 28th, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

A comment in the PREFU about our relative trade with and the US got me curious, so I downloaded the export data from Stats NZ. This is purely how much we export to each country. The years are June years.

  • In 1990 we exported 12 times as much to the US than China – $1.9b v $0.16b
  • In 2000 we exported 5 times as much to the US than China – $3.7b v $0.77b
  • In 2008 we exported twice as much to the US than China – $$4.0b v $2.1b
  • In 2011 we exported 7/10ths as much to the US than – $3.9b v $5.6b
  • From 2000 to 2011 the level of exports to the US has increased only 5% (and these are nominal dollars)
  • From 2000 to 2011 the level of exports to China have increased 635%
  • Since the FTA was signed in 2008, exports to China have increased a massive 170% in just three years
  • In actual dollar terms, that is $3.6b more exports to China in 2011 than 2008
  • Comparing three year periods, 2009-11 saw $13.1b of exports compared to $5.7b the previous three years

I suggest people ask candidates of parties that opposed the NZ-China , why? The Foreign Minister in the last Government campaigned against it. The Greens voted against it.

I regard the China/FTA as the best achievement of the 5th Labour Government, and a probably the best legacy from both Clark and Goff who should be very proud of making it happen. If we had not had that extra $13b of exports in the last three years, we’d be a lot worse off.

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20 Responses to “US v China”

  1. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    Because some of us have a heart and care that China’s government is evil, oppressive and commits human rights violations? They literally arrest members of the Falun Gong (a large Chinese cult) simply because of what they believe and extract their internal organs to sell to the West for a profit or to rich Party members.

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  2. Graeme Edgeler (3,290 comments) says:

    The good state of the government books when the global recession hit was pretty useful too.

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  3. James Stephenson (2,225 comments) says:

    What do the relative balances of trade look like?

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  4. Fox (206 comments) says:

    If you’re going to present statistics, and ask your readers to consider whether the FTA with China is beneficial to our country based on those statistics, doesn’t it make sense to include import data as well?

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  5. Nick R (510 comments) says:

    Whoa! That’s at least two complimentary comments about Labour in the last 24 hours or so! Steady on there…

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  6. swan (665 comments) says:

    Absolutely Fox – Imports from China are also beneficial so they would add to the benefits of trade with China. It turns out we import alot of stuff from China that we could not hope to make as cheaply ourselves. So we benefit significantly from our imports from China. I don’t know how much the FTA changed our import situation however. I know we still pay large tarrifs to import shoes for some reason. Hence everyone orders theirs off Amazon.

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  7. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    Aredhel says:- “Because some of us have a heart and care that China’s government is evil, oppressive and commits human rights violations”

    Two questions:

    1) Were the Romans or Greeks evil?
    2) What are human rights?

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  8. ROBBO (14 comments) says:

    @ Aredhel777

    Yes you are correct and isn’t it good that the last bastion of communist rule that perpetuates such abuses is slowly being dismantled by capitalism

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  9. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    “1) Were the Romans or Greeks evil?
    2) What are human rights?”

    The Romans had some very nasty practices (throwing people to the lions etc) and their government was authoritarian, and the Greeks could be pretty brutal too (Alexander the Great’s conquests of say, Tyre, or Thebes, resulted in massacres.) What is your point?

    Human rights are spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948. Glad you asked. :3

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  10. swan (665 comments) says:

    @ Aredhel777

    What is your point? What have the PRC government’s authoritarianism and human rights violations got to do with the FTA?

    Does trade with China increase or decrease the power of the government over its citizens? Does trade reinforce or denigrate the rule of law? Does trade improve or undermine the welfare of the Chinese people?

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  11. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    “What is your point? What have the PRC government’s authoritarianism and human rights violations got to do with the FTA?”

    Whether or not a government commits obscenities should be taken into consideration when we sign treaties for moral reasons.

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  12. wreck1080 (3,962 comments) says:

    Actually, i agree that the China FTA was Labours largest success. The one thing they did not stuff up. Everything else, well…

    Regarding human rights abuses by trading partners:: this is a concern. But, NZ trades with many countries that have poor records of human rights, check Saudi Arabia. Even Australia, they really screwed over the aborigines.

    NZ just has to apply pressure for such countries to improve human rights.

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  13. peterwn (3,307 comments) says:

    A big problem with MMP. A leader of a minor party can demand a plum portfolio and then refuse to implement Government decisions concerning the portfolio. The PM then has to appoint an ‘associate’ minister to get the work done.

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  14. Manolo (14,064 comments) says:

    An interesting article related to this topic: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7505d210-00ba-11e1-8590-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1c2Pn0XuW

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  15. kowtow (8,770 comments) says:

    FTA China is a contradiction in terms.

    The importance of that FTA to China was NZ pioneered it for the rest of the world. Once we did it the rest of the world could stop holding their nostrils and sign up to a lie with the new masters on the block all the while knowing that China doesn’t qualify.
    A bit like the EU saying Greece was qualified to join the Eurozone.Political/economic lies will come home to roost.

    All that trade with China is going to be lost when the China bubble bursts ,which it inevitably will. I hope we’re prepared for that.

    Andl ook at all the jobs we’ve lost to them,for what ? Cheap kettles at the Warehouse. Fucking brilliant.

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  16. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    There was an item on the radio this afternoon. It appears more and more Kiwis not only like trading with China but are buying up their currency as well. Will the Yuan replace the dollar? . I bet the yanks aren’t to thrilled with the prospect.

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  17. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    Aredhel says:- “What is your point?”

    You didn’t answer my first question. Were the Romans or Greeks *evil*?

    I’ll rephrase my second question:

    How do *you* define human rights?

    My point is, you consider China to be evil, and to ignore human rights, so I’m merely trying to understand what you mean by that.

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  18. Pundit (8 comments) says:

    The trade deficit with China has narrowed hugely since the China FTA was signed; a consequence of New Zealand exporters gaining more value trading into a growing Chinese economy that was opened more to New Zealand exporters as a result of the concessions negotiated in the FTA. No other developed economy has yet achieved an agreement like it. DF is right to acknowledge it as a really significant achievement of the 5th Labour government, not to forget the skill and foresight of some important MFAT staff.

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  19. Apteryx (4 comments) says:

    And Jim Sutton, don’t forget his efforts as trade minister at the time.

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  20. Liberty (271 comments) says:

    Which makes it very difficult for labour to form a coalition with Peters. The Enoch Powell of the south pacific. How could they have a Minister with such an appalling attitude towards the Chinese?
    Fortunately all a bit academic. NZ first is history which means labour will also be history.

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