Groser’s gross diplomacy creates ‘Grossing’ verb

New Zealand is a laughing stock on the international stage yet again with revelations Tim Groser’s unbecoming and undiplomatic language has led to a new term, ‘Grossing’ in Washington DC circles, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson.
“According to Delaware policy analyst Mary Bates, Trade Minister and WTO aspirant Tim Groser has left Canadian diplomats furious after he insulted their approach to the TPPA negotiations and said their dairy industry, ‘looks like it belongs in the former Soviet Union’. Reuters also reported the insult.
“Mr Groser is now the ridiculed owner of a verb in his dubious honour. ‘Grossing’ now means ‘counterproductive undiplomatic sledging’ in the DC diplomatic community.
“It is an apt term for someone whose arrogant style offends many.
“We all know how much of a joke our Prime Minister has been in recent international news, but it’s grossly disturbing that our Trade Minister is joining him.
“This latest serious misjudgement comes weeks after it was revealed that the GCSB spied on Mr Groser’s rivals in his failed bid for the top job at the WTO.
“His approach is having serious repercussions. The reports show he has undermined New Zealand’s negotiations with Canada on reductions to dairy product tariffs, making it likely tariff reductions similar to those achieved in the China FTA will not be achieved.  This will hurt New Zealand’s economy for many years to come,” says David Parker.
20 May 2015                                                           MEDIA STATEMENT


Housing crisis hurting export growth


Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Labour Logo - redDavid
Export Growth and Trade Spokesperson 
24 April 2015                                                           MEDIA STATEMENT
Housing crisis hurting export growth
If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson.
“Our exporters are struggling to compete overseas because the overvalued dollar is being pushed up by interest rates that are being kept higher than needed to tackle Auckland’s rampant property bubble.
“In normal circumstances next week’s OCR review would see interest rates going down resulting in our exporters who are up against the highest rates in the developed world getting a break. But the Reserve Bank is cornered by the Government’s incompetent handling of Auckland’s out of control house prices. Rates won’t drop.
“With merchandise exports dropping 13 per cent in February compared to last year, New Zealand exporters are being hit by the double blows of high interest rates and the higher exchange rate that results.
“Next week’s news will again be bad for exporters. Merchandise trade figures will be further proof the Government’s mishandling of Auckland housing is hurting our exporters and adding a chill to early winter in the regions.
“Spin-master-in-chief Steven Joyce’s response to New Zealand’s exports dropping as a percentage of GDP to under 30 per cent was to lower his previously heralded trade target of increasing exports from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP.
“It’s time for National to admit that Auckland’s housing crisis is hurting our exporters, and the regional economies that generate them,” says David Parker.

Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses

The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson.
“Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which includes well drafted ISDS provisions. We also support the FTA with South Korea.
“Some investor state dispute settlement provisions have enabled inappropriate claims by multi-national corporate investors for alleged losses suffered as a consequence of quite proper government decisions. We believe these sorts of ISDS provisions are inappropriate and should be avoided.
“The Labour Party will support the first reading of the NZ First member’s bill concerning investor state dispute settlement provisions (ISDS provisions) in Trade and Investment Agreements so New Zealanders can have a debate around these provisions.
“National should not be scared of that debate, especially given the low level of transparency around the TPP negotiations under National is fuelling suspicion amongst concerned New Zealanders.
“The arguments for and against such clauses include:
ISDS provisions can help protect New Zealand companies against unjust treatment in overseas countries where governments do not treat investors or exporters fairly, especially where Courts are not free from corruption nor impartial and separate from government.
However other forms of these clauses undermine the sovereignty of governments, including our own, to regulate for public purposes including:
Environmental standards for clean water or air, or climate change, and protection of public property rights – like terms for use of public water and access to rivers and lakes.
Public health measures such as what health treatments should or shouldn’t be able to patented, and controls on smoking.
Whether a country can control the overseas purchase of our farmland or housing if that affects values.
The adjudication panels are made up of trade lawyers who, while they may be independent of the countries concerned, may not be impartial because their private interests as trade lawyers can mean they are or appear conflicted.
Overseas investors may gain more rights than locals.
“In recent months, following a report by the European Union Ombudsman, the European Commission has promised more transparency in connection with the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), the European equivalent to the TPP.  New Zealand should follow that lead,” says David Parker.
7 March 2015                                                           MEDIA STATEMENT

Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk

Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says.

“National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its own forecasters, with Treasury announcing the Government is expected to drive New Zealand backwards on exports as a percentage of the overall economy,” Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.

“The Government’s own target aims to shift exports as a proportion of the economy from 30 percent to 40 percent by 2025. Latest forecasts say exports are moving in the opposite direction.

“Far from sprinting to the finish, the Government appears to have thrown the economy into reverse, and is backing away from the starting line.

“Steven Joyce talks a big game but once again has egg on his face. The Reserve Bank consistently warns about New Zealand’s fortunes being over-reliant on the primary sector, China, foreign capital and a housing bubble.”

Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker said Government policies favouring speculation and consumption are causing underinvestment in export industries, which puts the prosperity of New Zealanders at risk.

“The failure to diversify means we will all continue to pay a premium to access capital, whether for basic housing or for business expansion.

“By 2017, after nine years of a National Government, exports will still be under 30 per cent of GDP. Meanwhile New Zealand’s external deficit will grow larger and that deficit will be plugged by selling more houses and businesses to overseas buyers.

“Steven Joyce and Bill English have delivered a Christmas present no one wants,” David Parker says.

17 December  2014                                                      MEDIA STATEMENT

Exports drop puts more pressure on surplus

A 5 per cent fall in exports shows National’s reputation for economic management is taking a hit and even puts its golden surplus target at risk, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Exports Growth spokesperson David Parker.
“Bill English’s promise to rebalance the economy and boost the export sector is turning into a pipedream. The trend for exports has been falling since January, showing this is a long term trend,” says Grant Robertson.

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Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard

The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“Dairy prices have nearly halved since February and the Reserve Bank today said a low dairy pay out could increase the number of loan defaults in coming years.
“The risk of another housing market surge and our reliance on the Chinese market are other causes for concern from Graeme Wheeler.
“These risks show an increasingly unbalanced economy based on milk powder and house sales. 
“New Zealanders will never achieve the standard of living they deserve unless we refocus our economy towards value-added exports.
12 November 2014                                         Media Statement

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