Goff vs Cunliffe on trade

October 8th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Audrey Young reports:

Labour’s trade spokesman and a former Trade Minister says he understands why the Government is not releasing text of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement but says it could be doing more to communicate with New Zealanders.

His position is more moderate than that of new Labour leader , a former diplomat, who called on the Government to release the draft text on his first day in the job. …

Asked for a response to the online campaign by some New Zealand celebrities to release draft text of the , Mr Goff said that would probably not be possible.

The 12 parties would have an agreement that the text could not be revealed.

“You probably can’t breach that agreement but what you can do and what the Government hasn’t done is broadly spell out its negotiating position,” he told the Herald.

Goff is playing this straight, while Cunliffe has been talking nonsense on this (and he knows it as a former diplomat). I’m all for more openness in some of our treaty or trade negotiations, but it is simply impossible to unilaterally release a negotiating text. You’d be effectively expelled from the negotiation.

All countries need to agree to to release a text. New Zealand has no authority to release a draft text. At the beginning of negotiations, it is agreed whether drafts will be released or not, and the international default is they are not. If you do not have agreement from other countries to release a draft text, and you do it anyway, then they’ll never trust you again. You won’t be allowed into any negotiations more significant than the protection of small snails convention.

Personally it would be good if there had been agreement when the talks began (under Labour) for draft texts to be released at certain stages. But you can’t unilaterally change or ignore the rules later on.

What is a worry is that Cunliffe knows this beyond any doubt. He has been a trade negotiator (according to his CV). When he called for NZ to release the draft text, he knew absolutely that it was impossible and if NZ did so, they’d be effectively expelled from the negotiations.

I’m glad to see Phil Goff is not acting so irresponsibly.

But what will Cunliffe think of Goff contradicting him? If Goff the one MP that has yet to swear loyalty to Cunliffe and Cunliffe has pledged to expel from party membership if he doesn’t get it? It’s probably Mallard, but might not be.

Personally I think Goff should pledge to be just as loyal to Cunliffe as Cunliffe was to him. How could he complain about that as a loyalty pledge? :-)

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37 Responses to “Goff vs Cunliffe on trade”

  1. Cunningham (836 comments) says:

    Wow it’s almost a pinch yourself moment when you hear someone from the opposition actually talking sense (or something cclose to it).

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  2. BeaB (2,104 comments) says:

    It may be Goff’s swansong. You don’t last long as a Labour politician when you start speaking the truth.

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  3. Ross Miller (1,686 comments) says:

    Shame on you David for attacking that nice Mr Cunliffe. He walks on water, his word is law, God seeks advice from him and hitherto feral dogs cower down when faced by him (except one called Mallard). Who are you to criticise?

    Only pity is that the 70% of the Labour caucus who voted for another candidate as their first preference to lead the Labour Party didn’t have the ‘smarts’ to recognise this innate truth.

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  4. smttc (730 comments) says:

    Is there any convention, agreement or rule this idiot Cunliffe doesn’t want to ride rough shod over?

    New Zealanders need to be very wary of and worried about this man and his stupid ideas.

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  5. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    What is a worry is that Cunliffe knows this beyond any doubt. He has been a trade negotiator (according to his CV). When he called for NZ to release the draft text, he knew absolutely that it was impossible and if NZ did so, they’d be effectively expelled from the negotiations.

    Isn’t his position that all countries should do so in this case?

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  6. RightNow (6,966 comments) says:

    I would optimistically hope that Cunliffe, Norman/Turei, Hone and Winston would all be competing for the same demographic, which I would generalise as ‘too stupid to fill out a ballot paper unaided’. Unfortunately it seems there are more functionally literate idiots out there than I expected.

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  7. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Unfortunately it seems there are more functionally literate idiots out there than I expected.

    Not really. ACT only polls within the margin of error these days.

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  8. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Is there any convention, agreement or rule this idiot Cunliffe doesn’t want to ride rough shod over?

    Apparently not.

    Is this article just another in a recent series of articles characterised by butthurt and bleating now that the polls make it look like a change of government is inevitable?

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  9. Cunningham (836 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson (1,377) Says:

    “Is this article just another in a recent series of articles characterised by butthurt and bleating now that the polls make it look like a change of government is inevitable?”

    It is not inevitable Tom. Wait until the freakshow Labour/Greens combination is put under the blowtorch during the election campaign. If the public still want them to govern then I will look forward to saying ‘I told you so’ to people such as yourself when the economy is hurting.

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  10. dishy (241 comments) says:

    Tom, IF that is Cunliffe’s position, he will no doubt let us know by showing that he has asked all the other countries to do what he wants. But he’s probably bright enough to think twice before looking like a dick in front of them as well.

    As for those ‘celebrities’ that are behind this campaign…..it never ceases to amaze me that some people appear to think that just because a few people have heard their songs or seen some movies or telly programmes that they have been in, they have some special understanding of politics, economics and/or science that means we should pay special attention to them. Maybe that little turd Bono has inspired them.

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  11. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    Is this article just another in a recent series of articles characterised by butthurt and bleating now that the polls make it look like a change of government is inevitable?

    Oh, so a change of government is inevitable now?

    That’s not what you were saying 3 years ago. Wait, yes it was.

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  12. Prince (102 comments) says:

    Will Cunliffe commit to releasing all agreements in draft negotiations if he is PM ?
    Has anyone asked him to do that ?

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  13. RightNow (6,966 comments) says:

    “the polls make it look like a change of government is inevitable”

    Talk it up Tom, I’m buying large on iPredict at the moment. I’ve never lost money betting against Labour yet. They always manage to knobble themselves somehow.

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  14. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    That’s not what you were saying 3 years ago. Wait, yes it was.

    I wasn’t posting here 3 years ago. I picked National to win the last election, which I did not vote in.

    It’s not rocket science. National ate their coalition partners and tacked too far right. I guess they could try to do a deal with Winston First, but the very notion that he might go into coalition with National would kill his vote below 5% because NZF is at heart an anti Nat party (as Winston discovered by trying to go into coalition with National).

    If the National government had continued on the same sort of moderate policy settings that it did in its first term, then I imagine it would have had a good chance of winning again. Instead, they decided to tack right and sell assets.

    Here’s the fact of NZ politics under MMP: there is no natural right wing majority. National has been doing as well as it is possible for a right wing party to do in NZ under MMP and it only makes it by doing electorate deals and shacking up with Dunne or the Maoris.

    The total “Left” vote has been 48-52% when they are doing well (National and ACT did almost that well precisely once). If you add NZF as part of the “anti-Nat vote”, that bloc has got over 50% in all but the last two MMP elections ( in which it got 46% of the vote both times).

    Explain to me how National is going to win without viable coalition partners and with the obvious fact that it’s not going to get 47% of the vote again.

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  15. edhunter (535 comments) says:

    Tom I’m really interested to know what “too far right” policies National have introduced that you’d have a Lab/Green coalition renounce once they come to power?
    Most “right wingers” would say National haven’t gone far enough, we still have interest free student loans, WFF, & a PM who refuses to even enter the SUPER debate on his watch.
    And if you think your mob will buy back MRP & Meridian you’re dreamin

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  16. georgebolwing (758 comments) says:

    Tom:

    National first raised the idea of selling assets during its first term. It campaigned on this issue at the last election. That campaign was during its first term. It implemented its policy after winning said election.

    And in answer to your question, (and, by the way, it is not an “obvious fact” that it’s not going to get 47% of the vote again): it’s the economy, stupid. Today’s business confidence figures say it all. Despite the various opposition parties trying desperately to paint the New Zealand economy as in dire straigts, it is an “obvious fact” that the economy is growing strongly across many sectors and regions.

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  17. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Look here’s the problem.

    We have a “right” bloc and a “left” bloc in NZ.

    The best that the “right” bloc has ever done is in the last two elections where it got about 48% of the vote. Just not enough.

    The “left” bloc has got about the same once, and bettered that twice – just enough.

    But the problem for the “right bloc” is that Winston’s party is (while not a left party) at heart an anti-right party. You add him to the left’s total and it’s a blowout most of the time.

    The NZ right wing parties simply don’t have enough support to win in the way that their opponents do. Thus they have to scrape results, do deals and make bad coalitions.

    Look up the numbers for yourself. You don’t have enough.

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  18. RightNow (6,966 comments) says:

    “Explain to me how National is going to win without viable coalition partners and with the obvious fact that it’s not going to get 47% of the vote again.”

    Heh, I’ll put one scenario to you. Key says he’s open to working with Winston. NZ First drop below 5% and get no electorate seats (per your comment).
    National pick up 58 seats, Maori 3, UF/ACT one each and there’s a majority of 63/125 seats.

    It’s more likely that ACT finally get laid to rest and National pick up 59 seats though. I’m also not sure we’ll have so many overhang seats, so one less seat could be enough to give National government.

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  19. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    National first raised the idea of selling assets during its first term. It campaigned on this issue at the last election. That campaign was during its first term. It implemented its policy after winning said election

    Doesn’t matter. Most people don’t like it. They wanted a more moderate National Party.

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  20. RightNow (6,966 comments) says:

    “The NZ right wing parties simply don’t have enough support to win in the way that their opponents do. Thus they have to scrape results, do deals and make bad coalitions.”

    There’s that rich vein of irony again. If the left bloc win are you saying it won’t be by scraping and dealing and making bad coalitions?

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  21. Pita (373 comments) says:

    “Doesn’t matter. Most people don’t like it. They wanted a more moderate National Party”

    Tom, are these the same “most people” who make up the scientific consensus on global warming?

    The left bloc that would make up a Labour led coalition are a disparate group of (generally) single issue parties born out of Labour ..they couldn’t work with each other before and Most people agree they won’t be able to work with each other in future.

    Winston has stated previously he would never work with the Greens.

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  22. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (869 comments) says:

    A Labour/Green/NZ First/Mana government will be in place on November 9th 2014. Nobody, not even God can prevent this from happening. END OF STORY.

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  23. sparky (235 comments) says:

    I have full confidence that John Key National, will be returned to government, comes November 2014. The economy is looking healthy and we are well on track to return to Budget surplus comes 2014/15. Intelligent people will see through the Lefts lolly scramble and there whacko policies. When you look at the mouldy lot of MP’s, lead by fake Cunliffe, it is enough to put the majority off.

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  24. Komata (1,160 comments) says:

    SCS

    Re: ‘A Labour/Green/NZ First/Mana government will be in place on November 9th 2014′

    Your cerrtainty is fascinating, and I gather you have your flight to Austalia booked for the following day?

    As I recall, the same thing happened in Saigon in April 1975, although there were a few loud explosions by way of an accompaniment…

    Presumably you WILL turn off the light switch as you leave?

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  25. georgebolwing (758 comments) says:

    If a Labour/Green/NZ First/Mana government were in place on November 9th 2014, which is not something that I am willing to concede, it will not be in place on November 10th. Unless Labour has a massive rebound and can get well over 50 MPs, it will have to form a formal coalition with members of other parties in cabinet, bound by collective responsibility. That will simply be too hard for the Greens, NZ First and Mana to live with. To start with, they will all want to have a finance minister, as will Labour, and while the Treasurer/Finance Minister split sort of worked with Peters and Birch, it won’t work with Parker, Norman, Peters and Hone all wanting to have a go.

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  26. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    “Heh, I’ll put one scenario to you. Key says he’s open to working with Winston. NZ First drop below 5% and get no electorate seats (per your comment).
    National pick up 58 seats, Maori 3, UF/ACT one each and there’s a majority of 63/125 seats.:

    Interesting, I can’t see the MP retaining 3 seats, but if they did, in that situation they would almost certainly go with Labour.

    Personally I’ll vote for whoever promises a binding referendum on the ratification of a treaty like the TPP.

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  27. Yoza (1,771 comments) says:

    The Herald article is fluff. Gordon Campbell over at Werewolf delivers a comprehensive examination of the TPP.

    National are going into a death spiral. A very large majority of New Zealanders who are eligible to vote, including a significant portion of National party supporters, are deeply opposed to asset sales. Compounding National’s problems, with its contempt for the popular opinion opposing asset sales, is its desperation to grovel to the US by allowing that country’s answer to the Stasi to monitor the activities of New Zealander’s electronic communications through its domestic franchise, the GCSB.

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  28. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    The left bloc that would make up a Labour led coalition are a disparate group of (generally) single issue parties born out of Labour ..they couldn’t work with each other before and Most people agree they won’t be able to work with each other in future.

    They will be fine. The Greens will be given a reasonable amount of environmental and cultural policies to placate their voters, and Winston will be given his favourite job: attacking the National Party in parliament.

    Winston has stated previously he would never work with the Greens.

    The current Green Party is quite unlike the Green Party addressed by most of Winston’s complaints. It gets 15% of the vote rather than 5%.

    There is no obvious obstacle preventing Winston working with Labour and the Greens – they have in common opposition to right wing economic policies. It is proven that Winston cannot work with National, because the National Party has shown that it cannot help but veer right (this is exactly what happened when they tried it before).

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  29. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    I have full confidence that John Key National, will be returned to government, comes November 2014. The economy is looking healthy and we are well on track to return to Budget surplus comes 2014/15. Intelligent people will see through the Lefts lolly scramble and there whacko policies. When you look at the mouldy lot of MP’s, lead by fake Cunliffe, it is enough to put the majority off.

    And where are these magic votes going to come from?

    You don’t have the numbers. If the foreshore and seabed decision had gone the other way a decade ago, you would never have had the numbers.

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  30. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    It’s more likely that ACT finally get laid to rest and National pick up 59 seats though.

    That assumes that the government will retain its present level of support for a third election. That is almost certainly not going to happen, although David Shearer did his best to make it a reality.

    Look, National isn’t going to get blown out of the water in the next election. I think that is highly unlikely. Their problem is that they have to be almost perfect to win, whereas their opponents do not.

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  31. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Winston Peters will get over 5% and if given the choice he will go with National again rather than share Labour with the Greens.

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  32. smttc (730 comments) says:

    I have said it before and I will say it again. All John Key has to do is come out and say he will never ever work with Winston Peters and all the soft vote will flood back to the National Party.

    Why the hell is he delaying telling people what he will do until next year when he could know exactly where he stands right now?

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  33. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    He is delaying because he knows very well that Peters may hold the trump cards after the next election. He doesn’t like that, but it would be better than not being prime minister any more.

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  34. RightNow (6,966 comments) says:

    “Their problem is that they have to be almost perfect to win, whereas their opponents do not.”
    Perhaps, but their opponents are known to shoot themselves in the feet a lot.

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  35. Paulus (2,594 comments) says:

    What make anybody think the you could trust Winston, or believe anything he says.

    He is a proven cheat and liar who will prostitute himself to the highest bidder, no matter who.

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  36. Yoza (1,771 comments) says:

    Paulus 10:12 am

    What make anybody think the you could trust Winston, or believe anything he says.

    I’m no Peter’s fan, but he was the politician that made the biggest amount of noise when New Zealand’s wealthiest were dodging taxes through Cook Island tax evasion schemes. I understand the need for establishment interests to confine scandals like the Wine Box scam to the memory-hole, but people tend to remember the little guy standing up to corrupt corporate New Zealand and their political enablers – in both National and Labour.

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  37. Duxton (616 comments) says:

    I had the pleasure of Phil Goff’s company at a function in a South Pacific country several weeks ago, and have to say how impressed I was by him. Away from the microphones and with a local beer in hand, he was personable company: as a non-Labour voter, I’d say that I would be comfortable with him as PM. We could do far worse.

    I’ve never met Cunliffe, but suspect that if I ever did I would come away thinking he is a stupid c*nt.

    Much as I do now.

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