Jan 21, 2008

Good News For Government On China FTA

Why it takes a month we don't know, but Phil Goff today released Wellington's worst kept secret, that FTA negotiations with China have been completed and that the process is now one of legal rectification. There is unfortunately not much detail released, but it would appear from his comments that all goods are covered including dairy. Side deals on labour and environment appear to have been concluded also.

The Hive is surprised at the luke warm reaction from retailers, they should be the strongest champions of free trade. John Walley's dinosaur grouping of manufacturers were expected to be negative. Likewise the Greens are true to form in opposing sensible economic policy.

This is good work by the Government. Phil Goff and Helen Clark both deserve praise for delivering this outcome.

The way this big news was released (by a radio interview) is interesting. This appears to be a solo Goff effort as opposed to a carefully managed Government release (where is the press statement? Why were stake holders not given a heads up etc). We had been thinking that Helen Clark was wanting to release this info herself - after Wednesday's Cabinet meeting. Could this be a sign of tension between the PM and her best performing Minister?