Josie Pagani

JOSIE PAGANI

STRAIGHT AND TRUE

China and the Pacific

Josie joined Bernard Hickey's 'hoon' podcast to discuss New Zealand's relationship with the US and China with Peter Bale and Robert Patman.

Listen here or on your podcast app here.

She also joined Gerry Brownlee's podcast to discuss China's activity in the Pacific, New Zealand's response, and our engagement with the region.

Learn from the Pacific on China-US squeeze

We haven't received much in return from the US for joining its chest-thumping on China. China is mad at us. But the US has not moved an inch towards the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.

New Zealand is walking a tightrope. We align with the US values of democracy, and human rights, but we align with China more on trade. China gives us something the US hasn’t: market access.

Larger powers have had a lot of advice for the Pacific about China’s role, but, instead of offering advice, we should be humble enough to learn from a region that has been figuring out how to navigate the superpower squeeze for longer than we have.

Josie's column is here.

PM's commencement address at Harvard

Josie was interviewed on AM. Watch here.

More must be delivered on trade

This week New Zealand agreed to be part of Biden's ‘’new trade deal that’s not a trade deal’’ – the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). It's a vegan sausage. We have agreed to ‘’serious discussions’’ in ‘’working groups’’ on stuff like supply chain resilience, common rules for the digital economy, clean energy, and anti-corruption. We need a formal agreement to talk about these topics like a vegan sausage needs a bicycle.

The IPEF is the CPTPP without any of the good bits – like tariff-free market access and proper, enforceable rules on subjects including the environment, labour rights and climate. It gives the US cover to pretend it is engaging in trade talks, while telling voters at home, ‘’we're just pretending’’.

Instead of using her considerable international star power to charm Stephen Colbert on late-night TV this week, our PM should use it to persuade the US to come back to the CPTPP. We won't sign your ghost trade deal until you sign our real one. The TPP had to be rebranded as the Comprehensive and Progressive TPP (CPTPP) because Justin Trudeau in Canada and Ardern had won office on outrageous pledges not to sign it. However, the rose with another name smells as sweet. The prime minister should tell the US president that she had believed the terrible things about TPP too, but they never happened.

Read Josie's Stuff column here.

The socks for Xmas budget

The prime minister’s promise that she was in politics to end child poverty will have to wait. Next year, perhaps.Housing has become so unaffordable for poor families, food essentials so expensive, and the economy so close to recession, that by the end of next year child poverty will be heading back to 1990s levels. The children of the 1990s are the new parents of today and intergenerational hardship is disappearing from the political agenda. Delivering more requires courage, and tough choices. Just handing out cash to the squeakiest wheels is easy.


Read more here.