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4 Mar 2022

Jane Kelsey, The Conversation

Opinion: The NZ-UK trade deal disappoints politically and economically

' Behind the ‘inclusive’ window dressing, the NZ-UK free trade deal disappoints politically and economically', 4 March 2022

"The free trade agreement (FTA) signed between New Zealand and the United Kingdom this week demonstrates the intransigence of political leaders and their official advisers in the face of concerted demands to rethink the country’s trade policy paradigm. Those demands reached a high point with the deeply unpopular Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which was rescued from the even more unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) after the US had quit.

Opposition to the TPP/CPTPP was part of an international backlash that saw a series of high-profile negotiations abandoned or seriously stalled. These included the EU’s mega-deal with the US for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) across 23 mainly rich parties, the Canada and EU Trade Agreement (CETA) and others.

As I wrote in The FIRE Economy in 2015, this backlash was part of a broader rejection of neoliberal globalisation and the massive private power accumulated by global capital, especially finance capital. The global financial crisis had brought a human face to structural wealth and income inequality in Anglo-American countries (as Thomas Piketty documented in his book Capital in the 21st Century), and to its unequal gender and race impacts..."