Fran O’Sullivan is – as always – very excited that her friend Trade Minister Tim Groser is doing high level serious important trade stuff and meeting important serious people during the TPP negotiations. Although . . .
At the negotiating level, broad support has been stitched up in several areas, notably constraining state-owned enterprises from using soft loans to compete against private companies.
But contentious issues critical to New Zealand’s well-being are yet to be addressed.
Top of the agenda is market access for dairy.
Both Groser and John Key earlier signaled that it would be a deal-breaker for NZ if there was not a high-quality comprehensive result on this score. The position has since become more nuanced.
On TV3’s The Nation’s Groser said it was important as it was 25 per cent of export earnings. “It’ll be a bit light this year because of fallen dairy prices, but it’s typically around that. We’ve got very good deals shaping up in the other areas, and the deal on dairy simply isn’t there yet.
So we’ve conceded on IP, generic drugs, investor state dispute mechanisms and government anti-competition clauses, but haven’t quite gotten around to even asking for anything that we want yet.
I sure would like to play poker with Tim Groser. ‘Right. I’ve given you my house, my savings, my pension scheme, my clothes, my boots and my car keys. Now shuffle the deck and let’s start playing.’