Food Bill + Megauploads + oil drilling = we are America's bitch: Welcome to the new cold war Sino-US friction point
How NZ plays America off against China to maximize their new combined focus on us is a test that seems beyond the current John Key Government, because make no mistake, the Food Bill, the Megaupload arrests and the fetid desires of American Oil companies promising to turn the East Coast into the Texas of the South Pacific are all connected to the Free Trade deal with America and they are all clear international signals to China from the US that NZ is their bitch.
China has had a recent fixation with NZ as it has expanded into the Pacific. As Fran O'Sullivan so brilliantly explained in her ground breaking 2010 column, China sees NZ as a testing ground for it's lowest cost capitalism model because its current success with lowest cost capitalism is reliant on it working in 3rd world countries with little first world labour regulations. Testing their model of capitalism in NZ allows China to learn how to use their lowest cost capitalism in the West. China used NZ to test out a Free Trade structure and went so far at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo to make NZ the only other country allowed to share 'China' day at the Expo.
America's response to China encroaching upon their Pacific backyard has been an increase in free trade deals to ensure it's economic hegemonic dominance in the region while backing it up with military muscle. Fiji has been targeted for a new US base, the build up of American naval power in the Pacific continues and the Marines are being sent to Australia.
What the draconian and Monsanto inspired Food Bill, alongside the arrests of Megaupload for threatening Hollywood profit margins and America's sudden interest in East Coast oil all represents are multi-armed manifestations of the secret Free Trade deal America is currently attempting to strong arm us into signing.
As Wikileaks pointed out, the real insult to injury here is that NZ get's nothing out of this secret trade deal. New Zealand's chief trade negotiator Mark Sinclair privately told a visiting US State Department official that New Zealand had little to gain from a free-trade agreement and New Zealand would need to "manage" public expectations about the benefits of a US free-trade agreement, this despite John Key's claim the deal would be worth 'Billions and Billions' to us.
Sadly, John Key's love affair with America rules out us having an independent foreign policy any longer as these three recent examples show:
FOOD BILL: 'Monsanto-inspired-regulation-that-allows-for-Genetically-Modified-Organisms-dressed-up-as-food-safety' is a more accurate description of the 'Food Bill' but thanks to no NZPA reporting on bills moving through legislation, Labour and the Greens have been caught with their pants down on this issue.
Shamefully, New Zealand was one of the nations that took the EU to court in 2005/6 for banning the importation of GMOs on biosecurity grounds. The US lead the action arguing that the EU as a member of the WTO had no right to prevent the importation of GMOs by citing ideals within the Cartagena Protocol. NZ, Canada, Australia the US were joined by Monsanto in this legal action. And they won the case. Europe was ordered in 2007 to open its trade lines to GMOs.
The Food Bill is a tidy up job to make sure no future Government can unpick the Free Trade bill that allows for Monsanto to force it's GMO's throughout the food structure.
This joke over reaction for a copyright infringement is jaw dropping. 76 police officers to arrest internet geeks who 'cost' Hollywood $500million, South Canterbury Finance 'costs' us $1.7billion and I didn't see armed offenders squads converging on Allan Hubbards' home. Check out what you can be extradited from NZ to America for - it doesn't mention copyright, racketeering or money laundering.
Would we ever prostitute our Police service to a Chinese company demanding this level of compliance for a mere copyright infringement?
It would never happen.
Megaupload had 25 petabytes of storage and 1000 servers leased in US data centres operated by Carpathia Hosting, plus a further 36 servers leased from US-based Cogent Communications. How can this constitute as US territory when Youtube, Google and a host of other companies do what Megaupload does?
The Free Trade deal allows Hollywood to suddenly put their copyright infringement on par with drug dealing and war crimes. This is America marking it's territory on NZ telling the planet that US jurisdiction now stretches all the way into cyberspace.
DRILLING AND MINING:
Despite the Rena highlighting what deregulation of our safety maritime safety infrastructure leaves us with, the Key Government can't cut deals with US companies to mine and drill NZ fast enough. While the profit will be private, any pollution will certainly end up as a public cost and the Free Trade deal could be used by TAG oil to argue that any attempt to legislate environmental safety laws would be against TAG's 'right' to make a profit here.
In a world where oil is peaking and the fear begins to drive up the price and China and America are locked in a Mexican stand off to be the next Super power, how will tiny, insignificant NZ be able to withstand the type of influence we would see if we found as much oil as the Government is hopeful of? Where ever oil has been found in such quantities, the corporate influence of war and political thuggery is not too far behind. Will we end up the slave of America or China and will NZ be tricked as easily as every other small country who has found oil into descending into the internal political chaos that makes extraction so easy by those outside influences?
Let's forget the wisdom of using MORE oil to release pollution into an increasingly fragile bio-sphere that is already struggling with the pollution we are currently pumping into it, surely we should see that every dollar spent on extracting oil is a dollar not spent on researching new green solutions.
Each of these examples can be added to the long list of fish hooks this Free Trade deal will catch us on...
More expensive medicines
No local content in broadcasting
Weaker controls on overseas investment in NZ
Foreign investors suing the Government for millions in offshore tribunals
Weaker regulation of the financial services
Undermining action on climate change
Delays and restrictions on agricultural market access to the US
...effectively this is a debate about national sovereignty vs codex alimentarius style legal structures, our ability to write our own law against allowing cut and paste legislation written by American corporate interests to trump domestic legislation.
'Free' trade with America is like 'good' cancer. It doesn't exist.
Sleepy Hobbits who trust grinning multi-millionaire money traders reap what they sow.