Tag Archives: trade agreement

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s government is in the spotlight for failing to mention Chinese interference | Instant News


Last week, 13 countries around the world voiced their concerns about China’s interference in the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which includes Australia, Canada, the UK and the US, all signed the joint declaration.

Almost everything. One Five Eyes Nation, New Zealand, declined to be named in the communique.

This has raised lingering concerns that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government is weaker against Beijing. It is even dubbed the “soft belly” of the Five Eyes.

Wellington may have witnessed a diplomatic and trade dispute between the two China and Australia and have decided they don’t want to end up in the same position. But as New Zealand knows, even light criticism can anger China.

NZ failed to follow China’s Five Eyes’ statement

“New Zealand has been criticized for being reluctant to join forces with other states and to speak of concerning issues of concern with China,” wrote University of Canterbury China specialist Professor Anne-Marie Brady in the magazine. Diplomat last year.

“It practices deliberate ambiguity in its Chinese policies, and so far, seems to have gotten away with it.”

But New Zealand’s efforts to find a win-win way to deal with Beijing have caused its political will to be questioned by its allies.

In January last year, the British newspaper the Financial time declared that New Zealand was “on the verge of survival as a member” of the Five Eyes and had a “recumbent” attitude toward China.

A piece of evidence supporting that view occurred this week when even WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on China over its reluctance to provide WHO COVID-19 investigations with the raw data the scientists asked for.

That New Zealand doesn’t endorse the WHO, the Five Eyes, or the likes of Japan, South Korea and Israel in calling China China is shocking.

Ardern’s government said its reluctance to join the chorus disapproved because it had not fully read the report. That was despite everyone, including small Estonians, had enough time to study the contents.

“Our technical experts are analyzing the report,” said New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta spokeswoman Australian.

“Since this is a scientific report, we wanted to make sure we understood science before commenting.”

RELATED: A chilling find in the disputed China Sea

Denial has happened before. In January, New Zealand failed to sign another official statement of the other Five Eyes condemned the arrests of pro-democracy politicians in Hong Kong.

Also in January, Trade Minister Kiwi Damien Cook said Australia should follow New Zealand and “Show respect” to China and “beware of words”.

The advice led former diplomat and Liberal MP Dave Sharma to say he “expects more from trans-Tasman solidarity”.

“It shows a lack of familiarity with basic facts that I would not expect from close friends and partners like New Zealand,” he told SMH.

A lot of eyebrows have been raised about New Zealand’s handling of its relationship with China.

Unlike Australia, Australia has signed up to one aspect of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. According to Financial time, Businessmen associated with the Chinese Communist Party are major donors to New Zealand’s main political party.

A New Zealand lawmaker recently admitted it teaching Chinese spies English to monitor other countries’ communications before emigrating. But he has denied passing information about his adoptive country back to Beijing, reports the Stuff website.

RELATED: Australian doctors reveal the WHO COVID report

NZ nicknamed Five Eyes ‘soft belly’

“Tiny New Zealand may seem like an odd target for Communist party infiltration, but the country appeals to Beijing as the soft belly of the Five Eyes,” wrote Jamil Anderlini in an opinion piece for Financial time last year.

The term “soft belly” haunts Mrs. Ardern. In 2018, the Canadian Government used it in official document to illustrate how China views New Zealand as a weak spot in security intelligence. It added that Beijing’s relationship with Wellington is a model for future Sino-Australian relations.

New Zealand exported $ 18 billion of product to China, double that of Australia.

“Perhaps fearing Beijing will respond with economic sanctions, Ms. Ardern has gone to great lengths to avoid mentioning the topic of Chinese political interference,” Anderlini added.

He only has to look across Tasman to see the trade pain China has inflicted on Australia after Canberra called for a WHO investigation, barred Chinese tech giant Huawei from sensitive infrastructure and continued to criticize Beijing’s human rights record.

In contrast, earlier this year, the free trade agreement between China and New Zealand was stepped up.

Funnel CCP Global Time praised Wellington, said it was “impartial” between the US and China and “has kept its own judgment on the main agenda regarding China”.

China’s constant call for western nations to take sides, which also has the useful side effect of undermining any impulse that may come.

Look for ‘safe ways’ to deal with China

Prof Brady said New Zealand was looking for a “safe way” to deal with China. But the country is actually more aggressive in fighting Beijing than ever before.

He dubbed it New Zealand’s “calm shift” from the previously adopted “blind eye”.

“New Zealand is … looking for a safe way to deal with China’s increasing political interference activity and aggressive foreign policy,” he said.

“The New Zealand government strictly avoids direct confrontation with China. Instead, the government is carefully managing a case-by-case recalibration of New Zealand-China relations, while claiming that any changes are ‘state agnostic’. “

In one piece Security, Prof Brady said New Zealand could learn from Australia’s “missteps” in China.

The danger for New Zealand, however, is that there may not be a safe way to manage China and its tiny glass jaws. Any criticism of Beijing is met with hostility.

In December, Ardern supported – in a somewhat muted manner – Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s disillusionment with a tweet from Beijing apparatchik depicting a digger slit the throat of an Afghan child.

That Global Time pointed the thorns towards Wellington. Maybe a warning shot.

“Kiwis bleat like Australian sheep but don’t condemn the killing in Afghanistan,” said the newspaper, who argued that Arden’s comments were something he “had to say” to safeguard trans-Tasman ties.

NZ is not silent on China, but perhaps more silent

New Zealand certainly doesn’t stay idle in China. It has expressed disappointment over the demise of Hong Kong’s already limited democracy. It has also barred Huawei from sensitive infrastructure. Last week, the foreign ministers of Australia and New Zealand said they had “grave concerns” about the treatment of the Uighurs.

Ms Ardern said New Zealand laws prevented sanctions from being imposed on China. That escape route means China is not levying sanctions in return, which is the case for the US, UK and Canada. Despite this, Beijing still rebukes him for meddling in the country’s “internal affairs”.

It’s a difficult balancing act for Ms. Ardern and the New Zealand government.

The aim might be not to poke the dragon. But as its allies routinely resent Beijing’s anger, there may be pressure for Wellington to give up its “calm change” and more firmly support Australia and the rest of the world’s democracies against China.

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US trade deal with UK may be years away as Biden shifts focus | National | Instant News


LONDON – Britain and the United States are unlikely to be ready to reach a trade deal before 2023, as a blow to Britain’s hopes of a quick victory over Brexit, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

President Joe Biden’s administration is focused on other priorities such as China and investing in domestic programs to boost the US economy, and its legal power to accelerate trade deals through Congress expiring on July 1.

According to someone familiar with the UK-US talks, that power is unlikely to renew before at least 2023 – as midterm elections in 2022 will make trade laws too politically sensitive to pass.

In London, the government has spoken optimistically in public about the prospects for a US deal, but officials are now downplaying possible progress in the near future.

“The UK has always been clear that securing a mutually beneficial and comprehensive agreement is more important than reaching an agreement by a certain date,” said a spokesman for the UK government’s Department of International Trade. The US Trade Representative Office declined to comment.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with Biden on Friday but the official UK reading of the call made no mention of trade negotiations.

This slowdown will disappoint Johnson and his allies who are eager to push for a quick deal as an early sign of Britain’s success as a global trading nation, only recently freed from limited EU membership.

Politically, the long wait for a deal also risks adding to the impression that Biden is keeping his distance from Johnson’s UK, in contrast to former President Donald Trump, who has openly championed fast-track trade talks and is an avid Brexit supporter.

Biden has criticized Britain’s handling of its withdrawal from the EU and wants to talk about his Irish ancestry. That came back into focus Thursday, when the president referred to his great-grandfather who fled Ireland on what he called a coffin “because of what the British had done.”

While UK international trade secretary Liz Truss said most trade texts with the US were agreed upon, the most controversial elements of the deal – such as access to US agricultural products such as chlorine-washed chicken or hormone-treated beef – have not. to be negotiated.

Truss and new US Trade Representative Katherine Tai held their first talks this week, high-level calls focused on issues such as the coronavirus pandemic, reforming the World Trade Organization and correcting ongoing disputes over illegal aid to Airbus SE and Joint Boeing.

A UK Department of International Trade spokesman said Truss and Tai would have “further discussions on trade agreement negotiations” after Tai had considered the progress of talks so far.

In written answers to senators during his confirmation process in February, Tai said the government plans to review the state of the talks concluded under Trump and chart a path forward consistent with Biden’s policy of prioritizing the interests of American workers, without giving a time-line for the process. that.

“I have a hard time seeing how the Biden administration will make this work in the next two years,” said Simon Lester, associate director of the Washington-based Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. “I don’t know why they want to discuss it with everything else on their agenda.”

David Henig, director of the UK Trade Policy Project at the European Center for International Political Economy, agrees that the US has other priorities now. “There is no feeling that anything will happen soon,” he said. “This is a year where you really want to fix Airbus-Boeing, especially if you catch up to China.”

Resolving permanently the US’s current four-month suspension of tariffs in the Airbus-Boeing dispute, which includes an estimated 550 million pound ($ 755 million) worth of trade with the UK and affects products such as whiskey and frozen cream, is a priority for Tai and Truss. , according to two people familiar with their discussion. Progress on the issue is likely to occur sooner than any breakthrough in a broader UK-US free trade agreement, people say.

As momentum returns to trade talks, Britain hopes that the new US administration will not cancel agreed upon chapters of their five rounds of negotiations, which began in May 2020.

The UK government also believes it will be able to go further on deals in priority areas such as climate change, data and access to digital services than is possible under the Trump administration, one of the sources said.

Distributed by the Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

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Free and fair trade – POLITICO | Instant News


Liz Truss is Britain’s international trade secretary.

LONDON – After nearly 50 years, Britain is back to being an independent trading country.

This is an unrivaled opportunity to realize our vision of a Global UK, fostering an export and investment driven recovery by championing free and fair trade.

As stipulated by the British government on Tuesday at Integrated Review, a full assessment by the British government of its place in the world since the Cold War, we are determined to shape the future international order – a new era rich in jobs and opportunities for people in both developing and developed countries.

We are driven in this approach by our strong belief in the benefits of free trade, from lower prices to higher wages and productivity.

Free and fair trade is the best way forward for all of us. It is a force that has reduced poverty on a scale unprecedented in human history, igniting the spark for transformative innovation and bringing great prosperity.

But lately, confidence in free enterprise and free trade has wavered. Protectionist rhetoric and actions have escalated, and several countries have increased barriers to trade further during the pandemic, which Britain has completely rejected.

To restore support for free trade, we must make it fair and show that it provides things of public concern: better jobs, more prosperous communities, higher standards of living, a greener planet. We will do this by addressing practices ranging from state-sponsored forced labor to the degradation of environmental standards and the use of unreported industrial subsidies to gain trade benefits.

Now it’s time to turn the page. This year, Britain stepped in as G7 president and COP26 host to build a united allied front driven by common values ​​and modern views.

Together, we will lead the responsibility for a more effective, modern and green World Trade Organization that keeps pace with the opportunities and challenges of modern trade. We have to hold the next ministerial conference under the Director General of the WTO Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as an opportunity to rebuild a better trading environment where everyone plays by the rules and the full benefits of trading are felt around the world.

We will work together to reshape global trade rules to reflect our core values: democracy, human rights and high standards across everything from environmental and labor rights to data flows and intellectual property.

British values-driven policies have had success in trade negotiations. We have reached a follow-up agreement covering 66 countries plus the European Union to secure £ 890 billion worth of trade. Our agreement with the European Union is the first block approved based on zero rates and zero quotas. It includes services and has strong measures for digital commerce. We have agreed to state-of-the-art terms for digital and data in our deal with Japan, and are pursuing ambitious agreements with the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

We intend to be at the heart of that action, which is why the UK is deepening trade with markets in the Indo-Pacific region – which will dominate the global economy by the end of this decade – and signed up to join 11 dynamic economies. as part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

It’s just like free trade that made Britain great in 19th century, we can be even bigger in 21st by becoming a global hub for digital commerce and services.

The Prime Minister has launched our new Office for Investments, demonstrating that the doors are truly open to potential investors in Global Britain. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has launched our first raft freeport, and I have launched a lower, simpler and greener UK Global Tariff regime.

As the Integrated Review states, Global Britain means local jobs – what I mean is that the opportunities we pursue abroad will support livelihoods across our country. Research last week released by the Department of International Trade estimated that 6.5 million local jobs were dependent on British exports.

By securing new opportunities abroad, business in all parts of the UK will be able to grow through exports, be it a Scotch whiskey refiner, a Welsh sheep farmer or an auto maker in the Midlands.

Trade and investment is also helping Britain play its strength as a science and technology superpower by securing high-quality jobs in the industries that will define our future through innovation and clean technology. From a factory in North Wales producing hundreds of millions of doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed in the UK to British innovators in northern England building the UK’s first electric car battery “gigafactory”.

What’s good for Britain is good for the world. We help build back better by unleashing our full potential, creating new jobs, businesses and industries across the UK and beyond. This is Global Britain in action.

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The EU launches legal proceedings against Britain at the Irish border | Instant News


The European Union said Monday it was launched legal action against Great Britain, on the grounds that they do not respect the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement and violate international law.

The 27-member EU objected to Britain unilaterally extending a grace period after April 1 that applies to trade on the island of Ireland, where the EU and UK share land borders and where a special trading system was established as part of the Brexit divorce deal, as reported The Associated Press (AP).

That marks another one relations have deteriorated between the two parties since the transition period for divorce ended on January 1.

The disputes have ranged from a dispute over vaccines, to full diplomatic recognition of the European Union in the UK and now again the terms of a divorce agreement. Britain announced last week that it was postponing inspections of some EU goods to give businesses more time to prepare for new post-Brexit rules.

On March 3, Britain decided to unilaterally extend a grace period to October for inspections of goods moving between Britain and Northern Ireland, a key part of a deal intended to circumvent the harsh borders on the island of Ireland during the post-Brexit transition period. ends on December 31st. Northern Ireland remains part of the single EU market for goods, meaning products arriving from Great Britain face EU import regulations.

The bloc sends formal notices to initiate “infringement procedures”, which could lead to a fine imposed by the EU’s high court, although that could be at least a year, leaving time to work out a solution.

Maros Sefcovic, the top EU official in charge of British relations, has also sent a separate letter to his British counterpart, David Frost, calling on Britain to refrain from this action but also seek talks on the issue, according to Reuters.

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DUP will lodge a complaint over the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit-POLITICO deal | Instant News


Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party will join legal action against a key part of the Brexit deal, its leader Arlene Foster said Sunday.

The DUP wants to challenge the Northern Irish protocol, which established trade rules between Great Britain and Northern Ireland after Brexit.

“We have considered a number of legal avenues, and will join other union members from across the UK in the judicial review process to challenge the Protocol, unless arrangements have been established,” Foster said in a statement. statement.

The DUP believes the Northern Irish protocol is incompatible with British law as it creates trade barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain Britain and the EU agreed on arrangements to ensure that the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is not needed post-Brexit, in a move aimed at preserving the peace agreement Good Friday.

The Foster party supported Brexit, but harshly criticized the protocol, launching it the five point plan earlier this month vows to oppose all actions associated with the Northern Irish Assembly.

The DUP leader hopes that “other like-minded union members from across Britain” will join him in the challenge.

“Neither the Assembly of Northern Ireland, the Executive of Northern Ireland, nor the people of Northern Ireland approved the Protocol to enter into force or the flow of goods from [Great Britain] to [Northern Ireland] were deterred by the inquiries, “said Foster, adding that” they clearly do not agree with the hearing arrangements determined by powers which do not have a democratic vote. “

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