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  • 19 Sep 2014 5:19 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The Strategic Importance of TPP

    Washington, D.C.

    September 18, 2014

    *As Delivered*

    “The stakes for U.S. trade policy have always reached beyond the economic realm. As nuclear strategist and Nobel Prize winning economist Thomas Schelling once noted, “Trade is what most of international relations are about. For that reason trade policy is national security policy.”

    “What’s remarkable about Schelling’s observation is that it was made during an era when economic power was viewed largely as an ancillary power to military power. During the Cold War, and for much of the 20th century, economic policy – including trade policy – was seen largely as an enabler:  The role of a strong economy was to support a strong military.

    “Military power still has deep economic roots, and as history has shown, when those roots dry up, it is not long before our military forces begin to wither as well. But the world has changed dramatically since Schelling’s time, and the sum of those changes has brought economic and strategic aspects of trade into even closer alignment.

    “In the 21st century, the oldest and strongest strategic argument for trade – its contribution to the U.S. economy – has only grown stronger.  Increasingly, though, economic clout is a key yardstick by which power is measured and a principal means by which influence is exercised. Today, market changes are watched just as closely as military maneuvers, and decisions in boardrooms can matter as much as those made on battlefields.

    “Strengthening the U.S. economy is not simply a means of enabling military might, but rather a key strategic goal in itself.  As such, it’s critical that we continue to evaluate trade agreements first and foremost on their economic merits.  Those agreements must support jobs, spur economic growth, and strengthen the middle class.

    “For the United States, the economic merits of trade have never been clearer than they are now. Over the past five years, the increase in U.S. exports has generated nearly one-third of our economic growth, and over the past four years, this surge has supported 1.6 million new jobs.  Last year, U.S. exports hit an all-time high, $2.3 trillion dollars of U.S. goods and services, with record-breaking performances across the whole economy, from agriculture to manufacturing to services.

    “Building on these successes, President Obama’s trade agenda aims to make the United States the world’s production platform of choice – the top destination for investment.  To paraphrase Chairman Wyden, we want to make it here, grow it here, add value to it here and sell it everywhere – sell it all over the world. 

    “We already have many of the pieces in place: We are a $17 trillion economy, we have strong rule of law, a skilled and productive workforce, an entrepreneurial culture, and now new sources of abundant and affordable energy.

    “Layered on top of this is a trade agenda that would give American businesses and workers unfettered access to two-thirds of the global economy, boosting investment and manufacturing policies that have already begun to bring manufacturing jobs back to our shores.

    “The economic case for trade is the longest pole in the strategic tent, but the tent extends well beyond economics. U.S. trade policy is a central part of what may be the most consequential strategic project of our time: revitalizing the post-World War II international economic order.

    “That order, as John [Hamre, President of CSIS] just said, has ushered in prosperity and peace and developed that is unparalleled in history, not only for the United States, but for every nation that has been willing to embrace the pillars of openness and fairness. In recent years, however, a series of seismic shocks – globalization, technological change, and the rise of emerging markets – have shaken the foundation of this order.

    “We’re now engaged in a major effort to ensure that as the current order evolves, it continues to reflect our interests and our values, and that the United States continues to play a leading role in it. And trade is one of our most promising tools for that project. Now I could talk here today about T-TIP, TiSA, or ITA, or EGA or TFA, but I know you’ve gathered here to talk about TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and so I’ll focus on that as the perfect example of how the economic and strategic logic of U.S. trade policy are mutually reinforcing.   

    “As you all know, TPP is an ambitious and comprehensive agreement that the United States and 11 other Asia-Pacific countries are trying to complete. Economically, TPP is an opportunity to bind together a group that represents 40 percent of global GDP.

    “In today’s global economy, our workers and our firms are already competing against others who do not share our high standards in labor rights, environmental protections, intellectual property rights, a free and open internet, and other issues.

    “By setting high standards, TPP will help level the playing field for American workers and businesses, who are among the most productive in the world.  We already know that when the game is fair, that we can compete and win.  And having already lowered most of our barriers, we stand to gain disproportionately from encouraging others to do the same.

    “Those standards that we are seeking include are the highest labor and environmental standards of any trade agreement – standards that will be fully enforceable.  They include advancements in intellectual property rights protection, both to spur innovation and ensure access to it.  This agreement will include the first-ever disciplines on state-owned enterprises, which will ensure that when SOEs compete against private firms, they do so on a commercial basis.  And this agreement will break new ground by translating trade principles from the physical economy into the digital economy to ensure that there is a free and open Internet – which is so critical for small and medium-sized businesses being able to access the global market.

    “These standards reflect both our values and our interests.  There are alternative models bring promoted as well.  Ones that are based more on mercantilist policies; ones that do not focus on labor and environmental standards; ones that do not focus on protecting intellectual property rights or leveling the playing field between State Owned Enterprises and private firms or maintaining a free and open Internet.  These models do not reflect our interests and our values. 

    “So we want to see a race to the top, not a race to the bottom that we cannot win and should not try to run.

    “But looking beyond just the trade elements, TPP is a central component of America’s rebalance to Asia.

    “At a time when there are unresolved territorial and maritime disputes, TPP can reinforce our presence in the region and our interest in establishing methods of cooperation and mechanisms for resolving frictions.

    “At a time when there are crises on multiple fronts, TPP can demonstrate that the United States is and always will be a Pacific power and be a concrete manifestation of our enduring commitment to the region.

    “At a time when there is uncertainty about the direction of the global trading system, TPP can play a central role in setting rules of the road for a critical region in flux.

    “The stakes for setting new rules of the road for the global trading system have never been clearer, and yet it has become increasingly difficult to do just that.  One barrier to progress has been the emergence of emerging economies that have been unwilling to date to assume enhanced responsibilities commensurate with their increased role in the global economy.

    “At the WTO, for example, where recently we’ve seen a handful of countries block the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which would have brought significant benefits to developing countries and developed countries alike by making border and customs procedures more efficient.

    “In the face of these challenges, we must keep moving forward and working with others who share our commitment to setting higher standards.

    “Motivated by these stakes, both economic and strategic, we’ve made substantial progress in the TPP negotiations to date. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it will take a final push, a collective effort, and a willingness to stretch to achieve an agreement that is consistent with our high ambitions.

    “Central to that collective effort and the future of TPP are our ongoing negotiations with Japan.

    “Japan asked to join TPP three years into the negotiations, after much consultation, based on its own assessment of its strategic and economic interests. Japan did so with a clear commitment to meet the same level of ambition as the rest of the TPP partners, and it on that basis that President Obama and the other TPP Leaders welcomed Japan’s participation. 

    “But Japan’s entry into TPP was about more than just a commitment to its partners. It was about a bold and compelling vision laid out by Prime Minister Abe to end Japan’s prolonged period of stagnation by using structural reforms, as well as fiscal and monetary policy, to contribute to economic revitalization.

    “Because Japan’s success is so important, we are all watching its economy very carefully.  The record is uncertain.  We’ve seen growth, and we’ve seen contraction.  Right now, in the final weeks of the third quarter, both internal and domestic demand are weak.  Real incomes and consumer spending are down.  And as Christine Lagarde at the IMF recently said, all of this puts a premium on Japan delivering on the third arrow of structural reform.

    “In London, the Prime Minister said, “The Japan that I am pursuing is a Japan that leads to being wide open to the entire world.” 

    “He asked, “How will we achieve growth? We will open up the country and open up Japan's markets. This is a philosophy that has coursed through my veins consistently ever since I entered politics.”

    “This vision matches TPP both in its ambition and its objectives – to support growth and prosperity by unlocking new opportunities for business and workers as well as new benefits for consumers, to tap new sources of domestic demand, to implement reforms in key markets, and to spur productivity.

    “It’s a vision that the United States has wholeheartedly supported not only because Japan is one of our closest allies, but also because its success as the world’s third largest economy is vitally important to the global economy.  Ending two decades of stagnation and returning Japan to a path of sustainable growth, based on domestic demand, is in everyone’s interests.

     “As Prime Minister Abe made clear, TPP has a key role to play in putting Japan on that path. 

    “When talking about TPP, he said, “What is necessary for Japan's revival is a powerful catalyst that will restyle the old Japan and then make the ‘new’ Japan even stronger.”

     “But for TPP to succeed in being that catalyst, it needs be as bold as the Prime Minister’s vision.  It needs to be an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard agreement. 

    “We’re now at a critical juncture in this negotiation. We are working hard with Japan to achieve our shared objectives.  Now is the time for that bold vision to be translated into concrete progress at the negotiating table.  We know this is tough, but as the Prime Minister said, “there is no alternative.” 

    “Undertaking this kind of structural reform is difficult.  We know.  We did it in autos, we did in in the financial sector, and we’ve done it in health care.  But it can be done with political will.  Quoting the Prime Minister one more time, “Achieving this will require robust political power that takes on vested interests.”

    “We have worked well and hard with Japan in TPP, hand-in-hand, to promote strong rules that reflect our shared interests.  We look forward to doing the same to achieve the high level of ambition in terms of opening markets which reflects not only the commitment to all TPP members, but the vision that Prime Minister Abe and the Japanese people have for their own country.

    “Now is the time.  From the United States’ perspective, there is no premium in delay.  Others are certainly not standing on the sidelines.

    “The European Union is negotiating FTAs with Japan and Vietnam and finalizing a deal with Canada. 

    “China is negotiating an FTA with Korea and Australia and, of course, RCEP.

    “Australia recently concluded deals with Japan and Korea. 

    “Right now, there are 500 million middle class consumers in the Asia-Pacific region.  That number is expected to grow to 2.7 billion by 2030.  They are going to want more protein, a higher nutrition, better and safer food.  They’re going to need everything from machinery to and consumer goods.  And they’re going to want a wide choice in services, from entertainment to health care.  We want to be part of their future.  The Made-In-America brand is a strong one.  And exporting more Made-in-America products drives the creation of good jobs here at home.

    “The economic costs of failing to compete are clear. But consider also the strategic costs.

    “The United States would forfeit its seat at the center of the global economy.  It would be left to be shaped by globalization, rather than be in a position to shape it.

    “We’d watch standards deteriorate rather than improve, and that just cannot be in the interest of American workers and American firms.

    “And we’d see our partnerships deprived of the strength that comes from enhanced economic engagements in a world that is increasingly unpredictable.

    “As President Eisenhower warned Congress six decades ago, “If we fail in our trade policy, we may fail in all.  Our domestic employment, our standard of living, our security, and the solidarity of the free world – all are involved.”

    “The stakes of our trade policy, economic and strategic, are even greater in this century than they were during the last. 

    “Thank you very much.”

  • 12 Sep 2014 1:03 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Hanoi – Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) chief negotiators completed 10 days of intensive meetings today, making important progress across a range of issues as they continue their drive toward a comprehensive, high-standard agreement.

    "We have committed to a focused work plan, which will allow us to boost momentum and make continued progress,” said Barbara Weisel, U.S. Chief Negotiator for TPP. "All countries involved want to reach a conclusion to unlock the enormous opportunity TPP represents.”

    Through the TPP, the United States is working to establish a trade and investment framework in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region that supports U.S. job creation by expanding trade, which accounted for about a third of U.S. economic growth in the past five years.

    The United States is also taking steps to establish innovative rules that promote core U.S. values in the agreement, such as transparency and good governance and strong and enforceable labor and environmental standards.

    During the session in Hanoi, Vietnam, the United States and its TPP partners – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam – successfully resolved many issues and narrowed gaps in other areas.  The teams made important progress on State-owned enterprises, intellectual property, investment, rules of origin, transparency and anti-corruption, and labor.  They also continued to move forward with their work to construct ambitious packages for preferential access to each other’s markets for goods, services/investment, financial services, and government procurement.

    Having reduced the number of outstanding issues, the United States and the other 11 TPP countries share a commitment to resolve the remaining issues as quickly as possible, including both on the text and market access packages.

    To advance this work, Ambassador Michael Froman will work bilaterally with many of his TPP counterparts in the coming weeks.  Next week, he will meet with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Ninh in Washington, DC and other meetings with TPP ministers are expected to follow.

    Source: USTR

  • 08 Aug 2014 4:58 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The 15th annual AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards have been held this evening at the Pullman Auckland Hotel, with Orion Health winning the Supreme Award for trade with the United States.

    Chair of the Judging panel Stephen Titter said “Orion Health clearly and succinctly described its business operation and value proposition, including its focus and commitment to customer centric product and service innovation, which has propelled its continuing rapid growth in a highly competitive sector and its winning significant and strategic customers internationally and in particular the USA.

    The judges were particularly impressed with the strength of the Orion business model is and its ability to secure long-term annuity contracts and add further value through consulting services, tailoring Orion Health solutions to specific customer requirements.

    Of special interest to the judges was Orion Health’s outstanding and consistent track-record in Corporate Social responsibility, in particular a strategic and close working relationship with the Auckland University School of Medicine”.

    This was one of the toughest years for the judges particularly in the Exporters over $5 million category finalists. There was only a point or two between all the finalists.

    AmCham was delighted to welcome Minister Steven Joyce to his first AmCham Awards dinner where he presented the three exporter and supreme awards.

    Tim Baxter, country manager DHL Express New Zealand, who announced the supreme winner said, “At DHL Express we recognise that the NZ/US trade lane is highly valuable and growing steadily. It is encouraging to see organisations like Orion Health maximising this opportunity. Orion has demonstrated the successes that can be achieved through expansion into international markets with the right business strategies and focus”.

    The Supreme Award is chosen from the winners of each of the categories presented on the night. The complete list of winners follows:
    Importer of the Year from the USA: BMW New Zealand Ltd
    Investor of the Year to or from the USA: Valar Ventures/Matrix Capital
    Exporter of the Year – under NZ$500,000: Kiwa Digital Ltd
    Exporter of the Year – NZ$500,000 – 5 million: Jucy Group Ltd
    Exporter of the Year – over NZ$5 million: Orion Health Ltd
    Trevor Eagle Memorial Award – AmCham Supporter of the Year: AUT University Business School
    Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy: Fulbright New Zealand
    Supreme Award Winner: Orion Health Ltd

    The AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards celebrate success and innovation in the export, import and investment sectors between New Zealand and its third-largest trading partner, the USA. Winners of the importer, exporter & Citizen Diplomacy categories receive airfares to the value of $2,000 from Hawaiian Airlines for travel to the USA.

    In addition to AmCham, DHL-Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the Awards are also supported by ASB Bank, Baldwins, Fonterra, Prescient Marketing & Communications, The Pullman Auckland Hotel and media partner The Business.

    Other previous winners of the Supreme Award include Zespri International, Specialist Marine Interiors, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Systems International, Zeacom and Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services t/a Christchurch Engine Centre, Buckley Systems, Vista Entertainment and Greenshell New Zealand.

  • 07 Jul 2014 3:07 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    AUCKLAND, 7 July, 2014– The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand has today announced the finalists for the 2014 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards, the 15th year of these awards celebrating success and innovation for companies doing business with the USA.

    Mike Hearn, Executive Director for AmCham, says 2014 has seen another strong group of entrants, covering diverse range of products and services.  These include cars, refrigeration equipment, technologies, cricket bats, water, agricultural equipment, horticultural products, healthcare devices, pharmaceuticals and tourism.   

     “We continue to see New Zealand companies entering the US market and succeeding there.  While trade with the USA continues to run around $9 billion pa, there are more New Zealand companies establishing offices in the USA, particularly in the tech sector.” says Mr Hearn.

    Tim Baxter, country manager DHL Express New Zealand further highlights the interest in the US market. “In a recent exporter survey conducted by DHL Express, it found that the US continues to be the second major export destination behind Australia. Fifty per cent (50%) of exporters shipped goods there in the last 12 months.

    “Exporters continue to face challenges such as the strong kiwi dollar, rising fuel costs and increased competition in export markets. However they are continuing to innovate and make in-roads into the lucrative US market. We do everything we can to support exporters with our dedicated team of Certified International Specialists at DHL Express,” says Mr Baxter.

    This is the first year of the Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy which has attracted a diverse range of entries.


     

    The finalists are:

     

    Importer of the Year

    -        BMW Group New Zealand Ltd

    -        Patton Ltd

     

    Exporter of the Year to the USA $1 to $500,000

    • -        Kiwa Digital Ltd
    • -        Laver & Wood Ltd

    -        Modlar Ltd

    -        StQry NZ Ltd  

     

    Exporter of the Year to the USA $500,001 to $5m

    -        1907 Water Ltd

    -        JUCY Group Ltd

    -        Movio Ltd

    -        Pacific Wide NZ Ltd

     

    Exporter of the Year to the USA over $5m

    -        Compac Sorting Equipment Ltd

    -        Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd

    -        Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd

    -        Orion Health Ltd

    -        Scott Technology Ltd

     

    Each of the above winners receives an receives a return economy Class ticket on Hawaiian Airlines from Auckland to either, Honolulu, Maui, The Big Island, Kauai, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Portland, Phoenix, Sacramento or New York.

     

    Investor of the Year to or from the USA

    -     EnerNOC, Inc.

    -      Khosla Ventures, Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, Qiming Ventures (Lanzatech)

    -      Microsoft New Zealand Ltd

    -      Scott Technology Ltd

    -      Valar Ventures & Martix Capital (Xero Ltd)

     

                The Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy

    • -        Fulbright New Zealand
    • -        Royal New Zealand Ballet
    • -        NZ Bootcamp
    • -        New Zealand Robotics Charitable Trust/Vex Robotics
    •  

    One of the above will be chosen as the Supreme winner.  

    One other award will be presented on the night:  The AmCham Supporter of the Year

     

    The awards will be presented at a black tie gala dinner at the Pullman Hotel Auckland on 7th August. For details and tickets see www.amcham.co.nz

    In addition to AmCham, DHL Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the awards are supported by 3M New Zealand, ASB Bank, Baldwins, Fonterra Co-operative, Prescient Marketing & Communications, The Pullman Hotel and media sponsor The Business.

    Previous winners of the Supreme Award have included Zespri International, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Health, Zeacom, SMI Group, Fonterra and Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services t/a Christchurch Engine Centre, Buckley Systems, Vista Entertainment and Greenshell New Zealand.

  • 22 Jun 2014 10:50 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Prime Minister John Key flew out of the US after an Oval Office visit yesterday, saying: "It's hard to see the relationship getting much better."

    His personal friendship with President Barack Obama, forged over Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks and the Honolulu golf course, has had pay-offs in the political relationship.

    The golfing connection was evident in Obama's gift to Key, a putter engraved with his signature and the presidential seal and Key's initials, JPK, for John Phillip Key, along with some presidential golf balls.

    Key left a set of black merino sweaters by Untouched World for Obama and his family.

    Obama said he wanted to visit New Zealand during his presidency which is due to end at the end of 2016.

    Obama said that under his and Key's leadership terms undefined they were both elected to office within days of each other in 2008 undefined "it is fair to say the US New Zealand relationship has never been stronger".

    Key said the United States and New Zealand had a shared history "that words probably can't define".

    "We have a feeling and an understanding of each other and we back each other up and I think that is reflected in the nature of the relationship."

    The US-led TPP led their agenda and Obama set a specific goal of getting a TPP deal to the US Congress before November.

    Key announced yesterday Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would visit New Zealand soon and TPP was bound to be top of the agenda.

    He also indicated on The Nation yesterday that New Zealand would not oppose US air strikes in the growing Iraq crisis.

    Source: New Zealand Herald

  • 22 Jun 2014 10:27 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    During a Whitehouse talk with Prime Minister John Key, US President Barak Obama pledged to visit New Zealand before his term wa up.

    "I would love to come to New Zealand because I hear it's really nice and I know the people are nice because I've had a chance to meet them," the President said.

    "We are going to be working with my schedulers to see what I can come up with, if not this year certainly before the end of my presidency [in Novemer 2016]."

    Mr Key earlier invited Mr Obama to visit New Zealand on the back of the G20 summit in Brisbane in November but it is not clear if Mr Obama's schedule will allow for a visit that soon.

    Mr Obama said ties between NZ and the US were now as strong as they ever have been.

    The president also referred to the US military's relaxation of its ban on New Zealand naval vessels berthing at American military facilities.

    Mr Obama also revealed he had personally intervened to ensure the New Zealand Navy to berth at the US naval base at Pearl Harbour instead of the civilian dock during an exercise this month.

    "I'm proud that my original home state of Hawaii is going to be welcoming a New Zealand ship coming into port for the first time in a couple of decades and we're very proud of that. I'm sure you will get a good welcome when they come," Mr Obama said.

    "And although obviously New Zealand is a small country with a small armed forces, the cooperation we have on intelligence issues, New Zealand's excellent efforts when it comes to training and participating in peacekeeping operations, makes it an invaluable partner."

    The two leaders also discussed China, North Korea, climate change and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

    Mr Key told reporters after the meeting, "Top of that list was the TPP and the capacity for the partners to reach an agreement; I feel very confident after the meeting that a high quality comprehensive deal can be achieved. There's a lot more work to be done and its never over till its over but I think there's a willingness on the part of the partners and the US and New Zealand have always been firmly of the view that the TPP was good for [our]countries and for the region."

    Asked about his commentsearlier this week that the TPP might best be resolved by leaving Japan out of the deal for now, Mr Key said New Zealand wanted a high quality comprehensive deal and that was the level every participant country should aiming for.

    Source: www.nbr.co.nz

  • 14 Jun 2014 11:46 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Revenue Minister Todd McClay and United States Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Marie Damour, today signed an intergovernmental-agreement (IGA) which will minimise compliance costs to financial institutions in New Zealand while assist in the prevention of tax evasion.

    The IGA is in response to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) information-reporting regime enacted by the United States which will take effect from 1 July 2014. It requires non-US financial institutions to provide certain information about their US customers to the United States. 

    US tax payers have a worldwide tax responsibility to the US government.

    “Under the IGA, rather than individually sending account information for US taxpayers to the US IRS, New Zealand financial institutions will instead provide this information to Inland Revenue, who will exchange it with the IRS,” Mr McClay says.

    Mr McClay says that the agreement will make it easier for New Zealand financial institutions to comply and thereby reduce additional costs being passed on to New Zealand customers.

    “The IGA is reciprocal, meaning that New Zealand will also receive information about certain accounts held by New Zealand residents with US financial institutions. This will help prevent tax evasion and enhance the integrity of both countries’ tax systems.”

    “This agreement is much the same as negotiated by a number of other nations including Denmark, Australia and the UK. The key difference is that we have managed to negotiate New Zealand-specific exemptions for entities and accounts that are considered low-risk from a US tax evasion and avoidance perspective. This includes Superannuation, KiwiSaver schemes, tax pooling accounts, registered charities, and Maori authorities as defined by tax legislation.”

    “It is not imposing extra taxes or changing taxing rights. It is also not about Inland Revenue collecting taxes on behalf of the US government.”

    “The IGA simply makes it easier for our financial institutions to comply with US law, while also helping stamp out tax evasion,” Mr McClay says.

    The text of the agreement and a related memorandum of understanding are available at www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz.

  • 20 May 2014 10:09 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Prime Minister John Key has welcomed an invitation to meet the President of the United States during his upcoming visit to the US.

    The White House has announced President Obama will meet the Prime Minister in Washington DC on Friday, 20 June.

    “The invitation underlines the very close relationship between the United States and New Zealand,” Mr Key says.

    “I look forward to meeting with President Obama.  We are likely to discuss the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, to take stock of our bilateral relationship, and to exchange views on current regional and international issues,” he says.

    The Prime Minister is travelling to the United States from June 16 to 20.

    While in Washington DC, the Prime Minister will also meet with a range of senior administration figures, Congressional representatives and business leaders. 

    The Prime Minister will also undertake a full programme in New York in support of New Zealand’s bid to win a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2015-16.

  • 23 Apr 2014 2:32 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    New award added to AmCham Awards – the Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy

    Entries open for US-NZ success & innovation awards

    The American Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce the launch of the 2014 AmCham – DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards, held in conjunction with Hawaiian Airlines. The awards celebrate business achievement between New Zealand and the United States. 

    AmCham is also delighted to announce the launch a new award sponsored by 3M New Zealand which will be called the Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy in memory of our special friends who died so tragically a year ago. This award will be presented annually to a person, group of people or organization who have made significant contributions to strengthening the bonds between the people of Aotearoa and the United States. The contributions can be made in any field that complements the deep political and economic ties between these two great nations including education, science, research, culture, arts and sports.

    "The annual Success & Innovation Awards provide an opportunity to showcase those companies that have demonstrated imagination, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as honour and celebrate their achievements."

    Awards categories are: 

    Exporter of the Year to the USA - with export revenues to the USA up to NZ $500,000

    Exporter of the Year to the USA - revenues from NZ $501,000 to NZ $5 million and

    Exporter of the Year to the USA - revenues over NZ $5 million

    Importer of the Year from the USA

    Investor of the Year for NZ companies investing in the US or US companies investing in NZ

    The Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy

    A Supreme Award winner is selected from winners of each of these awards.  AmCham also makes an award to the AmCham Supporter of the Year. 

    The winners of the importer and exporter awards receive a return economy Class ticket on Hawaiian Airlines from Auckland to either, Honolulu, Maui, The Big Island, Kauai, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Portland, Phoenix, Sacramento or New York.

    Award winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Pullman Hotel Auckland on 7th August.

    Previous winners of the Supreme Award have included ZESPRI International, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Systems International, Zeacom, Specialist Marine Interiors, Fonterra and Christchurch Engine Centre, Buckley Systems, Vista Entertainment and Greenshell New Zealand.

    In addition to AmCham, DHL Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the awards are supported by: ASB Bank, Baldwins, Fonterra Co-operative, Prescient Marketing & Communications, 3M New Zealand and the Pullman Hotel Auckland. Media Partner: The Business

    APPLICATION FORM

    If you have any questions contact

    Mike Hearn

    Tel 09-309-9140

    mike@amcham.co.nz


     

      2012 © American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand Inc • Site prepared by Highland Creative

  • 22 Apr 2014 5:37 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    By

    The Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the relationship between the United States and New Zealand is the best it’s been in thirty years.

    ‘It's the best it's been in 30 years. We've had a number of high level visitors come here and try to reiterate the importance of the relationship that we have and me coming here is just another indication of the importance that we place on this partnership.’

    But Admiral Locklear says we are not allies, ‘no, allies require us to have treaties. We don’t have a treaty but we are partners.’

    Admiral Locklear said we need look forward.

    ‘I think in general, we need to look ahead and not in the past.  We need to look at the future security environment that all the globe faces’ 

    When asked whether New Zealand would be well qualified to take up a UN Security Council seat, Admiral Locklear said, ‘of course’.

    ‘It's important to not only to have the perspective of the large nations, but of the smaller nations that often have a unique perspective of a part of the globe.  One of the things I value very much, even in our relationship, security relationship, with the Armed Forces of New Zealand, is that you all have a very unique view, a very valuable view of the South Pacific, and of this region, the Antarctic region.

    ‘If you extrapolate that view into the issues that the UN Security Council are dealing with, I couldn’t see why New Zealand wouldn’t be a great addition to that.’

    Admiral Locklear says climate change is the biggest long-term threat to the Asia Pacific region.

    ‘The increasing frequency of storms, the increasing likelihood that large tsunamis would impact as we’ve seen in Aceh and we’ve seen in Japan that it will impact large population areas which will put many many people at risk and disrupt the security environment. You add to that the fact that in my area of responsibility 70 per cent of all major disasters occur here.’

    He also says there will be a fight for global resources.

    ‘I don’t see a way out of that. The global community is going to have to figure out how to deal with regions that are becoming now arid and deserts that haven’t historically been and the fact that water supplies are becoming challenged.’

    When questioned about the rising influence of China in the Asia Pacific region, Admiral Locklear said, ‘the question for the world with China will be – what leadership role they take, other than in the economic realm.

    ‘What is their role in the security environment? How are they leading their neighbours to good solutions and a good security environment and I think if they make good choices on that and they become leaders and they demonstrate to their neighbours the ability to be trusted and to be transparent then -as they will say to me - there’s plenty of room for everyone to operate here in the Pacific.’

    Asked whether China can be trusted now, Admiral Locklear said, ‘I think trust is a word I wouldn’t apply too broadly.’

    ‘I would say that as far as our bilateral relationship, that we are based on the dialogue between our President and President Xi that we are in the process of developing an improved bilateral relationship, then that trust underlies that.’

    ‘Trust requires that we talk, that we work together, that we understand each other, that there’s a level of transparency and we’re not there yet but we’re working on it.’