“A mixture of unconsciousness and ambivalence guides the EU-New Zealand agreement.”

“A mixture of unconsciousness and ambivalence guides the EU-New Zealand agreement.”

The free trade agreement with New Zealand represents the culmination of negotiations that began in 2018. The volume of trade between the two parties amounts to $9 billion. Although judged positive by the first projections made by the Commission's study, the economic impact remains modest, the foundation wrote: “ Economic analysis indicates that an EU-New Zealand FTA is likely to have positive impacts on the EU and New Zealand economies in both the ambitious and conservative scenarios. By 2030, compared to the baseline scenario, real EU GDP is not expected to change in relative terms in either scenario, although it remains significant in euro terms, at €1.8 billion in the conservative scenario and €3.9 billion in the conservative scenario. Ambition. For New Zealand, real GDP is expected to rise by €1.3 billion in the ambitious scenario and by €0.7 billion in the conservative scenario. “.

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By 2030, growth gains will remain very modest even under the ambitious scenario. In general, the FTAs ​​that have already been ratified have not shown any significant effects on the economic growth of the Union. Suffice it to say that even if the 3.9 billion euros were obtained, it would be necessary to divide it among twenty-seven countries, which is a modest amount. To make things easier, the Committee is proud to protect a large number of protected geographical indications. But the Commission's impact study tempers enthusiasm by suggesting that trade growth would have an impact on the increase in global greenhouse gases. ” A free trade agreement is expected [accord de libre-échange] Climate change impacts, primarily through its impact on the volume of economic activity in the agricultural sector, especially in the meat and dairy sectors, both of which contribute a significant share of total greenhouse gas emissions. [gaz à effet de serre] In New Zealand. »


What's worse is that as we continue reading we find this kind of statement very unsuspecting: ” If this is eventually agreed upon by the parties, it could, in theory, have a positive impact on the global climate. However, since no concrete measures have been identified, we cannot comment on the effectiveness of this plan. “There is a certain astonishment that prevails when one reads such a thing. In order to achieve modest growth, countries are prepared to further jeopardize the global climate situation. Therefore, based on this study of influence, it is a combination of the unconscious and contradiction that guides negotiators.

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If we follow the work of this study, it is also interesting to see the fragility of the methodological tools used to evaluate the social impact of such an agreement. There are almost delicious parts: “ The use of an economic model in social analysis involves making certain assumptions and simplifications compared to the real situation, for example regarding the constant total employment in the economy, which means that unemployment does not exist and that workers move flexibly from declining to developing sectors. In fact, restrictions on the movement of people (e.g. between regions of a country), mismatches between the skills offered by workers and those sought by employers, the time required for training (e.g. upgrading skills) and other factors can prolong the period of Moving between job opportunities and contributing to unemployment in the short or long term. »

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So those are pretty good admissions about the reliability of all of this. The reader will appreciate that in the form used, ” Unemployment is non-existent and workers move flexibly from declining sectors to growing sectors “If we continue the detailed review, we note that it is European agriculture that faces the risk of suffering from the import of New Zealand products. Especially since farmers in this country can use chemicals banned in Europe. The agricultural world, which is already suffering from difficulties, will have to face A serious shock resulting from competition. The Convention does not provide for any penalties in the event of non-compliance with social and environmental standards. The social and environmental benefits promoted by the Commission are more a matter of principle than an actual reality. If some MEPs or members of the European Commission highlight the fact Since the agreement follows a new business logic more concerned with social and environmental issues, the impact study calls for a tempering of this enthusiasm.

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