The problems of free trade, investment and globalisation

Don't talk about exports, by Bill Rosenberg (PDF 19KB)

A central feature of the Labour/Alliance government's economic programme is its assistance to industry and regional development. However, agreements such as those under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Singapore-New Zealand "Closer Economic Partnership" agreement, and CER constrain the government's ability to provide assistance to industry, particularly if it favours locally owned companies or involves exports.

Government officials, from Ministers down, have been warned not to even talk about industry assistance programmes for increasing exports.

This is a longer version of an article published in the "Independent" business weekly on 17 October 2001, "Loose lips sink subsidies: International agreements constrain our economic development".

The Globalisation of Poverty, by Bill Rosenberg (DOC 84KB)

"Globalisation of Poverty" has two meanings: firstly, it simply refers to the terrible fact that, not just in isolation but around the globe, poverty is once again on the increase. Professor Michel Chossudovsky, who visited Aotearoa/New Zealand in 1999, described some of it as poverty on a scale never seen before in history. But globalisation has another meaning: increasing economic integration between countries. Chossudovsky described how this is leading to the global spread of poverty. This paper describes how the same increasing economic integration is also a major contributor to Aotearoa/New Zealand's present state.

Free trade and New Zealand agriculture, by Bill Rosenberg (DOC 60KB)

A paper prepared for a debate with free trade advocate and MFAT trade envoy, Malcolm Bailey, on "Free Trade or Fair Trade" at the AGM of Marlborough Federated Farmers in May 2000.

Equity Conflicts in Environment and Trade, by Bill Rosenberg (DOC 60KB)

How environmental concerns and trade rules conflict. Presented to a Resource Management Law Association conference workshop in 1999.

Free trade vs economic development - paper for Alliance National Conference workshop, by Bill Rosenberg (PDF 121KB)

Two policies are more than anything associated with the Alliance: an explicit, active and interventionist policy on economic development, and a critical view of the "open economy". They are entirely consistent with each other. What most distinguishes the Alliance from its coalition partner, Labour, is the open economy. The Alliance campaigned strongly against the MAI. In stark contrast, the Singapore free trade agreement signals that Labour will pursue its open economy policies aggressively. Bill Rosenberg was invited by the Alliance to run this workshop at its National Conference in October 2000. It attracted a large audience. This background paper was prepared for it. (A PDF - Acrobat - file.)


WTO "New Issues" = Old MAI, by Bill Rosenberg (PDF 43KB)

Remember the proposed MAI – the Multilateral Agreement on Investment? It's back again wearing a trendy "development" T-shirt and claiming it has been converted to moderation. Don't believe it. Proposed new agreements on investment and competition in the WTO, among others, will threaten development options, undermine community and producer organisations, and speed the commercialisation and privatisation of public services.

The proposed 2001 New Zealand-Hong Kong free trade and investment agreement

Globalisation by Stealth: The proposed New Zealand-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement and investment, by Bill Rosenberg (PDF 450KB)

Summary (PDF 137KB)

The New Zealand and Hong Kong governments held unsuccessful negotiations in 2001 with the aim of negotiating a free trade and investment agreement. This 64 page study found that if such an agreement was based on the Singapore-New Zealand Closer Economic Partnership, an existing Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, and the WTO, it presented numerous dangers to New Zealand. (PDF - Acrobat - files.) Since then an agreement has been reached (2010).

ARENA submission (PDF 33KB)

Arena's submission to MFAT on the proposed Hong Kong free trade and investment agreement (in addition to "Globalisation by Stealth").

Tariffs and Rules of Origin - the effect on the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear industry. Supplementary Submission by the Central Districts Federated Clothing, Laundry and Allied Workers Union on the proposed Hong Kong free trade and investment agreement. (Prepared by Bill Rosenberg.) (PDF 39KB)

MFAT Myths, by Bill Rosenberg (PDF 25KB)

Myths of MFAT consultation and expertise disturbed in Hong Kong negotiations: are consultations genuine? Is the advice they are giving on the crucial issue of expropriation sound? This is a longer version of an article published in the "Independent" business weekly on 5 September

2001, "Debunking myths of MFAT consultation and expertise in Hong Kong negotiations".

Proposed US-NZ Free Trade Agreement

What price free trade with the U.S.?, by Bill Rosenberg (PDF 10KB)

It looks like we're back to "trade access for troops" diplomacy. Muldoon used to claim (with scant evidence) that military ties to the U.S. improved access for our agricultural exports. Helen Clark hints that her government's offer of SAS troops to the war in Afghanistan has eased the way for a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. Morality aside, is such an agreement worth pursuing?

Singapore Free Trade Agreement

CAFCA Submission on the Singapore Free Trade Agreement (PDF 323KB)

What are the implications for foreign investment, services, competition, government procurement, tariffs and other aspects of our economy, of the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore? Is it a "creeping MAI"? Singapore is a big investor in Aotearoa/New Zealand. What are its policies at home? This comprehensive submission, which focuses on the farcical process used to adopt the Agreement, and on the implications for foreign investment and services, also backgrounds Singapore investment in New Zealand and its policies at home. Recent investments are listed and analysed to show the implications of these developments.

Jane Kelsey's Submission on the Singapore Agreement (PDF 147KB)

A detailed and devastating analysis of the agreement, in principle, and article by article by Professor Jane Kelsey, of the Faculty of Law, Auckland University.

Singapore Agreement: A Trojan Horse for investment too, by Bill Rosenberg

This article looks at two of the main effects on opening investment through the Singapore Free Trade Agreement. "Its unprecedented provisions could form a back door entry to New Zealand for overseas investors wanting to avoid tighter controls. Given Singapore's strategic position as a Southeast Asian commercial hub, the agreement will undermine the efforts of a New Zealand government trying to regain some control over hot capital or foreign investment in general."

Singapore Agreement dilutes our sovereignty, by Jane Kelsey

Originally published in the New Zealand Herald, Dialogue page, 20 September 2000 as "Trade treaty dilutes our Sovereignty".

Policy and constitutional implications of the Singapore agreement, by Bill Rosenberg

Article also published in Otago Daily Times, Press, Evening Post and Scoop.


Foreign Investment and APEC, by Bill Rosenberg (DOC 48KB)

APEC is about foreign investment as well as trade liberalisation.

Implications of the APEC agenda, by Bill Rosenberg

More on foreign investment and APEC, debunking the "benefits" of free trade and investment.

APEC Inquiry submission 1998 (DOC 79KB)

Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into APEC. Focuses on investment, and contains a thorough case against liberalising foreign investment flows into Aotearoa/New Zealand.

After APEC, by Bill Rosenberg (DOC 16KB)

Looking at the results of the September 1999 APEC leaders' meeting in Auckland.


CAFCA submission to the Inquiry into New Zealand's economic and trade relationship with Australia (PDF 170KB)

In 2000, the Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade Select Committee held an Inquiry into New Zealand's relationship with Australia. CAFCA's submission focuses on two areas: investment, and a single trans-Tasman currency.

Mike Moore, WTO Director-General

Review of Moore's latest book, by Dennis Small (DOC 75KB)

A critical review of the latest book by Mike Moore, the politician from Aotearoa/New Zealand who is now Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Mike Moore used this book as part of his self-promotion to be the new WTO Director General. He was backed by the US in his campaign for the position. Moore has been the butt of some ridicule in Aotearoa/NZ because of the bombastic crudity and simplicity of his views on free trade and the future of capitalism in general. Ironically, in his book he again provides plenty of ammunition for those who oppose the WTO/World Bank/IMF/etc. agenda for the world.

Mike Moore: A view from New Zealand, by Bill Rosenberg (DOC 32KN)


Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa,
P.O. Box 2258
Christchurch 8140.