Could NZ be the winner from AUKUS?

Geoffrey Miller writes:

China’s level of anger at the new Aukus defence pact between Australia, the UK and the US was only to be expected.

France’s was not, and Paris’s dramatic recall of its ambassadors to Canberra and Washington at the weekend may be just the start of the impact. …

That’s because New Zealand is poised to be the big winner of the Aukus partnership.

Trade is a big factor – but it’s not the only one.

The day after the Aukus announcement, the EU released its long-awaited Indo-Pacific strategy.

The strategy explicitly prioritises the need to sign free trade deals with Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand.

But France’s fury means that Australia’s agreement is now almost certainly going to be delayed.

When asked about the deal, France’s European affairs minister Clément Beaune said “I don’t see how we can trust our Australian partners”.

So we may get a trade deal with the EU because France is pissed at Australia. I’ll take that.

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