Herald on WTO bid

April 21st, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

The Green Party is upset that Trade Minister ’s international travel costs soared to almost $250,000 in the first three months of this year as he lobbied for support for his bid to be the director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

As far as I can tell the don’t support there being a , or in fact trade. The logic seems to be:

  1. Trade requires transport
  2. Transport requires power and fuel
  3. Power and fuel cause greenhouse gas emissions
  4. Greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming
  5. Global warming will destroy the planet
  6. Hence trade is evil and must be stopped

True, that sum is more than the combined totals of the Cabinet’s other frequent flyers – the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister.

But it pales into insignificance when viewed alongside the potential gains for this country, and for global trade, if Mr Groser were to succeed Pascal Lamy at the end of August.

The main advantage for New Zealand, if Groser wins, is that he is the best person for the job. This means he represents the best chance of getting a global trade agreement to conclude the Doha round. Such an agreement would be worth billions.

The knowledge and experience gained from these ventures into areas of huge complexity make him the candidate most likely to achieve a successful conclusion to the Doha round talks.

It may well be that the fact that no director-general has ever come from Latin America will thwart his bid. That, however, is no excuse for pettiness.

Well said.

 

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16 Responses to “Herald on WTO bid”

  1. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    I’m no fan of the Greens… but isn’t the point that $250k in three months (ie $1m per year) kinda expensive?

    Sure, you could argue that it’s an ‘investment’, much like invading Australia could be an ‘investment’

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  2. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    He should still pay for his own travel if he isn’t on govt business and looking to line himself up a cushy private sector job instead.

    Justifying the benefit to NZ is bullshit as he’s working for his own benefit. If he doesn’t get the gig he should reimburse the taxpayer.

    Fair enough?

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  3. Nookin (3,344 comments) says:

    He is being promoted by the government for a position that will have direct benefit to NZ.

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  4. hj (7,023 comments) says:

    “As far as I can tell the Greens don’t support there being a WTO, or in fact trade. The logic seems to be:”

    that’s disingenuous. Nations aren’t business entities. Herman Daly states it best
    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/559

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  5. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    Rich coming from the Greens. They’re always the sort of people who come round and drink the last bit of milk in the flat fridge then say ‘oh for god’s sake it’s only milk’. $250k is peanuts compared to the billions of dollars worth of damage they will do to the economy.

    They should never ever be put in charge of the nation’s chequebook

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  6. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    ‘he represents the best chance of getting a global trade agreement’
    Slightly overselling the point DPF?

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  7. hj (7,023 comments) says:

    “Globalization, considered by many to be the inevitable wave of the future, is frequently confused with internationalization, but is in fact something totally different. Internationalization refers to the increasing importance of international trade, international relations, treaties, alliances, etc. Inter-national, of course, means between or among nations. The basic unit remains the nation, even as relations among nations become increasingly necessary and important. Globalization refers to the global economic integration of many formerly national economies into one global economy, mainly by free trade and free capital mobility, but also by somewhat easier or uncontrolled migration. It is the effective erasure of national boundaries for economic purposes. What was international becomes interregional.”
    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/559

    ““Chinese economy we all know about…

    Chinese government says it’s time to grow offshore…..

    Let’s take a good selection of New Zealands “products” over….

    “We’re all New Zealanders, we all love the country so I think it’s healthy for us to have the debate and make the right decisions for our country…. but hey!…. young people coming through see it as “our planet” rather than “our country”

    Harcourts Showcase more than 800 million of property in Shanghai
    http://static.radionz.net.nz/assets/audio_item/0011/2385074/mnr-20100824-0842-More_than_800-million_dollars_worth_of_property_on_display-m048.asx

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  8. Andrew M (50 comments) says:

    I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that you would rather take shots at political children (i.e. the greens) rather than address the disgustingly high travel bill incurred by your friend on the taxpayer.

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  9. hj (7,023 comments) says:

    This probably expresses the Green party position best:

    New Role for the WTO

    THE RECENT INCREASE in attention to global warming is very welcome. Most of the attention seems to be given to complex climate models and their predictions. It is useful, however, to back up a bit and remember an observation by physicist John Wheeler, “We make the world by the questions we ask.” What are the questions asked by the climate models, what kind of world are they making, and what other questions might we ask that would make other worlds?
    {snip}
    The next question we should ask is: what is it that is causing us to systematically emit ever more CO2 into the atmosphere? It is the same thing that causes us to emit more and more of all kinds of waste into the biosphere – namely, our irrational commitment to exponential growth forever on a finite planet. Again we ask the wrong question: how can we grow faster and become richer? Instead we should ask: does growth of the economy, as it physically expands into and displaces the finite biosphere, really increase production benefits faster than it increases environmental and social costs? How do we know that costs are not now increasing faster than benefits, and that we have not passed the optimum scale of the economy relative to the biosphere, and entered an era of ‘uneconomic growth’? Our GDP measures only ‘economic activity’ and does not distinguish costly activities from beneficial ones.
    http://www.resurgence.org/magazine/article89-new-role-for-the-wto.html

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  10. doggone7 (805 comments) says:

    A most fascinating angle for me is that when Mike Moore got his position with the WTO it was the “snout in the trough” of the “corrupt” WTO. Helen Clark at UN the same. In the David Shearer bank episode lately the same. The power of Mr Groser is such that if/when he gets the positon, the organisation in the eyes of some will suddenly will be cleansed and will be God’s work!

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  11. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    pollywog (1,003) Says:
    April 21st, 2013 at 9:23 am

    He should still pay for his own travel if he isn’t on govt business and looking to line himself up a cushy private sector job instead.

    Justifying the benefit to NZ is bullshit as he’s working for his own benefit. If he doesn’t get the gig he should reimburse the taxpayer.

    Fair enough?

    ——————————–
    You mean just like Helen Clark, Peter Clark,

    Oh the kama

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  12. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    V2,

    I’m sure pollywog will be advocating sending Mike Moore a retrospective invoice also…

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  13. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    “Power and fuel cause greenhouse gas emissions” – which makes it utterly crazy that the Greens want cheap electricity. One would have thought that Greens policy objectives would have best been met by fully priced electricity to dampen consumption with supplementary welfare and WFF payments to cover winter power bills.

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  14. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    which makes it utterly crazy that the Greens want cheap electricity.

    Step 1: gain complete control of the power industry in NZ
    Step 2: use that power to mandate renewables as the only source of electricity
    Step 3: blame shortages on greedy commercial consumers
    Step 4: gain complete control over those other industries

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  15. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    The Greens Policy Objectives.

    Happened to Google Greens & Pixies.
    Here is the reply.

    http://pundit.co.nz/content/greens-growth-the-political-maths-of-the-centre-left

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  16. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:


    ….
    Power and fuel cause greenhouse gas emissions
    Greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming
    Global warming will destroy the planet
    Hence trade is evil and must be stopped
    ….

    Of course this is not literally their prospectus. I believe you’ve missed actually commenting on or thinking about what alternatives may be or seriously pondering the questions put forward. Seems to be a quick swipe at an easy target. You’re being what is classically known as a twat.

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