Wednesday, 20 September 2023 12:55

Editorial: Canada eats humble pie

Written by  Staff Reporters
When Canada signed up for the CPTTP, did it do so for political theatre or were they serious about the obligations of this FTA? When Canada signed up for the CPTTP, did it do so for political theatre or were they serious about the obligations of this FTA?

OPINION: While the champagne corks have been popping in New Zealand with our victory over Canada at the latest CPTTP outcome, in Canada, humble pie might be the order of the day.

And with that humble pie, maybe a few large dollops of their subsidised dairy products will help make it a bit more palatable.

Seriously, Canada’s actions are weird, to say the least.

Why saunter around the world saying how committed you are to rules-based trade and the free market, and even sign up to a Free Trade Agreement that embodies these principles, and then suddenly renege on the deal?

When Canada signed up for the CPTTP, did it do so for political theatre or were they serious about the obligations of this FTA? Or did they believe that they could ride roughshod over little old New Zealand and bully us into accepting their position and assume we would do nothing?

If they did, they should have read a few history books about NZ politics, which might have warned them that we have a track record of being a strong small nation and will not be bullied.

NZ has long been its own person when it comes to foreign policy, dating back to the 1930s when NZ and Ireland were the only two countries which publicly rebuked Italy for its invasion of Abyssinia. Then there was the nuclear free policy.

While the Canadian market is small in value terms to NZ, it’s the principle that’s at stake.

NZ is so lucky that it has a talented team of professionals at Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) who are prepared to defend the lifeblood of our economy – the primary sector on the world stage.

In the first instance, by negotiating the FTAs, and secondly by defending them.

As one famous Wellington retailer used to say – it’s the putting right that counts.

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