Jacinda’s gushing letter begging for a free trade agreement with the EU has gone down well. Only a few days after reminding everyone that our soldiers died in combat alongside their European counterparts, the EU has voted to reduce New Zealand’s existing export rights… even though it would appear that it has no right to do this. quote.
The European Union’s parliament has taken a decisive step towards unilaterally reducing New Zealand’s rights to export specified quantities of tariff-free sheepmeat, beef and dairy products to the trading bloc if and when Brexit occurs.
The move has been slammed as “outrageous” by former trade negotiator Charles Finny in a Tweet and “disappointing” by the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the proposed moves risk compounding “growing international economic uncertainty and rising trade tensions”. end quote.
If it wasn’t so tragic for our agricultural exports, it would be funny. Jacinda wrote a letter only earlier this week begging for a trade deal, and brazenly told everyone on her return that the EU was falling over itself to do a deal with New Zealand. Once again, her inexperience and incompetence is showing. Brainstorming at Davos with billionaires doesn’t count. This is the real world. quote.
Another former diplomat and trade negotiator, the International Business Forum’s Stephen Jacobi, stressed the EU parliament’s adoption of a European Commission recommendation to reduce tariff rate quota access for a range of agricultural products from several countries was simply the latest step in a process that began in 2017.
At that time, both the EU and the UK indicated they wanted to change preferential market access which, in New Zealand’s case, was negotiated as compensation for Britain entering the then European Common Market in 1973. Sheepmeat is the most affected trade, although butter, cheese and beef access rights would also be trimmed.
“They haven’t implemented this and they won’t until Brexit takes place,” said Jacobi. “But the bigger picture is that it’s completely unacceptable for them to act like this. These quotas were negotiated and bought and paid for in the Uruguay Round (mid-1990s global trade agreement) and they cannot simply be adjusted at whim through a change in circumstance like this.
It is certainly not helpful for a free trade agreement with the EU, but exactly who did Jacinda think she was, expecting them to fall for the story of fighting wars side by side? In the world wars, New Zealand soldiers went to support Britain. They most certainly did not fight alongside Germany; they fought on the opposite side in both wars. How could Jacinda possibly be so stupid and naive?
Jacinda obviously thought this was going to be easy. Splash a bit of fairy dust around and everyone will fall at her feet. Well, it hasn’t happened this time. It seems her rising international profile doesn’t impress people in all circles.