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CANZUK - What are your thoughts?


Jerry_Atrick
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With Brexit literally a couple of weeks away, there is more hype surfacing about a tight integration of Canada, Austrralia, NZ and the UK, being coined as CANZAC. It would allow freedom of movement and trade, more alongs the TTTA rather than a supranational agreement the EU is. So, freedom of movement doesn't actually mean unilateral freedom of movement the EU has become (remembering originally the idea was that one was free to move around the EU for work only). We know that in negotiations for a free trade deal with the UK, the prospect of freedom of movement between theUK and Aus is under discussion.

 

The idea of Canzuk, according to the yootoob below, is that all 4 countries stem from the commonwealth, have very similar culture, language, have the same head of state, democratic, have very similar legal systems and laws, respect the rule of law, have similar health services, etc. On one hand, I think CANZUK woud be of great benefit. The total sized of the market is 135m people and 6.5tn USD. The UK is the biggest GDP provider, but not so disproprtionately against the other states as to exert too much dominance. I think it represents a reasonable way for all countries to start diversifying their international trade concentration risk, which is being realised for Australia at the moment (with China).

 

But,I also see some disadvantages. For example, there are 54 nations that are members of the commonwealth. Some are of dubiious repute (Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, etc). I can see this creating a two-tier Commonwealth and may lead to some countries we don't want leaving, leave. For example, although Singapore is not technically a democracy, it certainly has a very similar culture to CANZUK countries, speaks English, believes in the rle of law, has good educational and health services. Yes, Lizzy isn't the head of the Singaporiean state, but to be honest, that should not be a defining factor. So why would we not include Singapore.

 

Similarly, other coutries such as Nauru (at least while their super-phosphate mines were making money), while not hitting all of the criteria, are good, upstanding countries that may feel gyped for not being included - or more likely, feel an element of racism as it is the only predominantly white countries that are being included.

 

Also, for some reason, most people think that Brexit will be the end to the UK's immigration blues. There was 219,000 non-EU net immigration last year, and non-EU immigration continues to climb whole those originally from non-EU countries emigrating stay about the same. So, with a country that has well published (if senasationaled) short-comings in its ability to manage immigration - if you don't want your country to be the final stop after the UK allow immigrants in to their country and hand out citizenship in the packet of breakfast cereal, well, that is something to think about (personally, I am relaxed about most immigration).

 

 

There are other other things as well, but it is late, so.. .it would be interesting to hear your views.

 

 

 

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I reckon free trade deals are OK, so long as they suit Australia, not the sort produced by John Howard that excluded some of our agricultural products. We do not need any deals that allow other nationalities into Australia without them being properly assessed for suitability. For too long our government has allowed all sorts of people to become Australian citizens and still keep their original citizenship. They then go back where they came from and live happily in the knowledge that Australia will save them when their country blows up.

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Prior to the Common market, Australia and New Zealand were suppliers of primary products to Great Britain. In return, Great Britain back traded manufactured goods. I'm not sure of the extent of primary produce Aust & NZ sent to Canada, but we did import manufactured goods from them - mainly motor vehicles.

 

During the Common Market/EU years, the manufacturing activity in Great Britain appears to have died. If CANZUK became a reality, how long would it take before GB brought its manufacturing levels up to pre-Common Market levels? Also, how would this partnership assist Australia to develop its manufacturing base. We might end up being an economic "colony" again as we were in the past.

 

CANZUK would definitely teach those uppity natives for demanding independence from the Crown.

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Well said Jerry. I reckon the old Commonwealth has been taken over by the indigenous lobby so I support the idea of a group of similar countries forming a bloc.

Not that I am hostile to everything about the indigenous lobby, just the more extremist bits like how Ausralia Day should be called Invasion day.

 

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Trading blocks are arranged on mutually beneficial principles. That is, the requirements of Country A are produced by Country B and vice versa.

In the days when Australia rode on the sheeps back (say, 1920's to the 1960's), we had 50 times as many sheep as we did human population.

Wool (and all our Primary Industry products, such as grains, meat, dairy products, and fruit) were in high demand in both Britain and other Commonwealth countries.

Australia was still a developing nation and probably only half the land that is cleared and in primary production today, was cleared and in use in the largest part of the period above.

Much land clearing and development did not take place until the late 1940's and through the 1950's, tapering off rapidly in the 1970's.

Today, Australia is largely fully developed as far as agricultural pursuits go, and only improvements in water harvesting, new types of crops, progress in improved crop yields via breeding and genetic strategies, will see a lift in primary production.

 

We live in an age where former barriers to trade, such as the cost of transport, and product handling costs, have never been so low, and communication has never been so fast and efficient.

Education has reduced language barriers, and improved leaders understanding of the requirements of stable economies. Most countries still seek ways to gain economic advantage, and an improved standard of living for their populations.

 

However, there are still two factors that govern trade - currency values and trade barriers. The leading economists of the world have convinced virtually every country of the world that there is no benefit in tying ones currency to a fixed standard.

As a result, virtually every countrys currency "floats" today, with their currencies altering in value on a daily basis, according to many mysterious "factors", that few people understand.

One thing is for sure, those in control of the worlds wealth are the ones setting the currency values every day, according to how they see those values should be set.

This is a far cry from centuries past, where currencies values were fixed, and interchangeable on a set rate, with precious metals, or another powerful Nations currency.

Two of the world most powerful currencies for many dozens of years, were the British Pound and the U.S. dollar. The British Pound gained its power from the vast wealth extracted at low cost from its colonies.

The U.S dollar gained its powerful position because of the U.S.'s technological superiority, early and rapid mechanisation, and its huge manufacturing capabilities. It was also a country quite well-endowed with huge timber and mineral wealth.

 

The trading blocs in the period from roughly WW1 to the 1970's were based on currency strength protection, and a desire to have solid trading partners who could be relied on to support those trading blocs and the countries who initiated them.

It was also about keeping Allies on side, and ensuring that any country that posed a threat to World Peace could be countered by many types of action by those blocs, to effectively "control" the errant nation.

 

However, in the case of both Germany and Japan, the efforts by the U.S. and Britain, as leaders of trading blocs, to try and control militaristic upsurges in both Germany and Japan, failed miserably.

We are now faced with a situation of a huge nation in the form of China becoming very aggressive and increasing its militarism. This is a very worrying sign, and one which will almost certainly lead to another major World War.

 

As a result, anything the former Commonwealth countries (or colonies) can do to re-combine into another powerful trading bloc, to counter the massive trading power and militarism of China, can only be of benefit in ensuring that China will perhaps stop and rethink, and learn that it cannot rule the world, and dictate its style of Govt to anyone it wishes to crush.

 

We now live in a highly technological world, where technological developments, leading to lower costs and increased production, are going to be the feature that will ensure any particular countrys supremacy and survival.

Accordingly, as Australians, we are far better off to ensure that the former lax attitudes of allowing Western corporations to hand over major technological secrets to China, are stopped, and China is "left out in the cold", by depriving it of a "free ride" as far as gaining easy access to Western technological developments and inventions, goes.

 

Britain and Europe will still continue to trade, Post-Brexit - but at reduced levels, and with increased trade barriers. Accordingly, the way is then clear for Britain to again resort to increased trade with former Commonwealth countries, and to strengthen our former Commonwealth bonds to ensure we again form a tightly-knit bloc to counter the rise of an aggressive and dominant China. 

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8 hours ago, onetrack said:

Accordingly, the way is then clear for Britain to again resort to increased trade with former Commonwealth countries, and to strengthen our former Commonwealth bonds to ensure we again form a tightly-knit bloc to counter the rise of an aggressive and dominant China. 

What we plebs are not reminded of is the vast input of finance by China into many of those former British colonies in Africa. Those countries gained political independence, but were not able to manage their financial systems (or were defrauded by dictators and their hangers-on). As a result, China has moved in like Dorian Gray. One personality is that of the benevolent friend, lending a hand to help the underprivileged rise to the level of their former White Masters. The other is the schemer manipulating the helping hand to pick the pockets of those countries it allegedly assists.

 

The second half of the 20th Century has been a period of trial and error by Great Britain. It tried joining its historical enemy - Europe - and abandoning the rest of the world which had made it the world power up to 1945. Hopefully it has seen the error of its ways and will once again interact with those counties that once were ruled in its Empire. As Jerry pointed out, the potential market place simply involving CANZUK is 135m people and USD6.5 trillion. If you add in the African and Caribbean countries those number grow. Also, by re-establishing trade etc with those countries China's economic expansionism would be snookered. 

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There is one country that is not often factored into the world trade equation, that is going to become a dominant power to challenge China in the future - and that is India.

Anyone who has been to India and seen the pace of change there in the last 25-30 years, will soon realise we have a huge nation in the Asian region that is much friendlier towards us, which operates on the British Common Law system, and which has a huge population with rising living standards and expectations, that will provide the next massive market for increased food demand, and a market for our products.

We must curry favour with India and develop our trade with the country as a very viable alternative to relying on China as our primary customer.

 

Personally, I'd like to see a "don't buy Chinese products" boycott start up here, to counter China's attack on our exports. It might have little effect on China initially, but the flow-on effect is there, as others may come to support us.

AFAIC, a very large percentage of Chinese manufactured imports is just rubbish, that only increases our landfill requirements within months of it being purchased. It's high time we went back to higher quality imports with increased build quality, repairability, and recyclability.

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I doubt a boycott of Chinese products would work, given their current dominance of manufacturing; it’s pretty hard to find stuff not made in China. In the medium term, trans-national corporations will find alternative locations for their assembly plants in other developing countries.

(Perhaps this is why Modi is reforming India’s farming system- to give control to big corporations so that hundreds of millions of small farmers are forced to the cities, giving Indian manufacturing an unmatched cheap labor advantage.) 

 

China’s current aggressive attitude and hostage diplomacy has certainly done a lot of damage to their international standing. I suspect many countries will now be very wary of joining their Belt and Road initiative. Perhaps their new “Emperor for Life” might soon face some opposition, as did Zhu Di, the fifteenth century Emperor who almost bankrupted The Middle Kingdom trying to open it to the world.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yongle_Emperor

 

 

 

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A lot of the problems we are having now are due to our handling of affairs in the past. When we rode on the sheeps back all was good, but then wool prices dropped, partly because we produced so much. We then declared a floor price for wool, which ended up with us having millions of bales of wool , unsold in storage. That was even after some growers told the powers that be, that their price was too high.

We have worked ourselves into the position that we depend upon exporting raw materials. We no longer produce steel, nor do we build cars or ships and become more reliant on others producing what we need. Most of our petroleum is refined offshore.

All we need is for one of our big trading partners to say no more and we are in strife. Don't ask when because it is already happening. China is refusing our coal. That is what Scott Morrison has hung his hat and everything else on. So what now.

Do we have anything that Canada, New Zealand or Britain want and can't supply for themselves, or get cheaper elsewhere. It does really look as if India will be where we look to trade in the future.

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2 hours ago, onetrack said:

We must curry favour with India and develop our trade with the country as a very viable alternative to relying on China as our primary customer.

That idea is bad korma.

 

Why should we exchange one manufacturing country for another and let our supposedly First World society remain a simply a source of raw materials? We are an educated people who are quite capable of adding value our own raw materials by converting them into manufactured goods. We used to make shoes, clothing, machinery, steel etc etc until our politicians sold the country out from underneath us at a loss.

 

2 hours ago, onetrack said:

will soon realise we have a huge nation in the Asian region that is much friendlier towards us

Ah, Onetrack! What a lotus land you live in. India considers Australians to be the equivalent of the British who exploited their country for centuries. They have no respect for anyone with British ancestry. They might have a legal system developed from English Common Law and Parliamentary Law, but there culture in now way mimics the Christianity-based one of Europe. An Indian will rob you blind and then offer to sell you a white cane at an inflated price. 

 

Why do I say this? Am I racist? No. This comes from experience living in a part of Sydney that has gone from WASP to WOG in the past five years. Indians are arrogant, conniving so-and-so's. There system seems to work like an bee hive. There's a Queen Bee who is in charge and throngs of workers whose lives are spent serving the needs of the hive in various roles. That's what the Indians do. Someone works out how to manipulate the system, then engages others to do the dirty work and pay for the privilege. 

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India is hamstrung by one of the worst bureaucracies in the world. A guy who was going to be posted there for 2 years tried to get to join a local gliding club. He gave up after 6 months and a big file full of correspondence, but no approval. Maybe they really don't like us as OME says.

The other thing is that India is the worst country for global warming. They also have a serious resource depletion in that much of their agriculture is based on used-up groundwater.

Already there are deaths because working in 40 degree microclimates causes illness which is made worse from the loss of wages and loss of nutrition during sickness.

  

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I think we have to frame CANZUK slightly more succinctly. What is being proposed is, effectively extensing the TTTA to the UK and Canada and extend that to a free trade agreement and close foreign policy cooperation. Therer is a CANZUC institute - CI  which has a frequenty asked questions page: https://www.canzukinternational.com/frequently-asked-questions

 

This "institute" seems to be the self-proclaimed protaginist organisation cavassing CANZUK. Its "Our Team" page has quite a few members on the advisory baord that are MPs or previous MPs. I have no idea form what shade of politics they come from. 

 

It is claiming it is not a European union and cites the operation of the TTTA as being the differentiator. For a freedom of movement, setting the rules to restrict such freedom is pretty easy to administer, and even if, for example, an Aussie felt that their previous theit criminal conviction was not really serious that they shouldn't be allowed entry, well, it is really up to NZ about which undesirables it wants to let in. Also, that is the easiest facet to provide more detailed information in, because the rules can be very simnple. E.,g. Criminal record (other that speedign and parking offences) and it is the discrretion of the receiving country, as long as they are published and applied universally (i.e. don't discriminate against coutnry of origin or ancestoral race, as examples).

 

Trade, on the other hand, is a lot more difficult. For example, is it a free trade agreement.  What is in and whatis out for each country - to each other country.. The mesh can create all sorts of logitiscs  loopholes. For example, Because Canada is a strong paper producer, we may not agree to a tarrif free imports of Canadian paper, but because NZ is not so strong with paper, we can import tarrif free paper from NZ. Because NZ's has a tiny paper industry that is not strategic, it allows tarrif free importation of paper from anywhere within CANZUK. So, Canda starts shipping quanities of paper to NZ; this is then sold onto Aus tarriff free. Shipping costs are little more, and Aussie paper mills suddenly come under threat. Of course, the rule can be no following on with imports to other countries, or a declaration of original source, but what happens if Canada exports it to NZ in biig rolls and they cut into reams of A4... Not to mention that companies always obey rules where they are hard to enforce, right?

 

The other option is, or course, an open market similar to the EU. At least, with an open slather, there is no requirement to manage all sorts of loopholes that could exist; nor would there be the strain of two countries within the block agreeing to something not liked by the other two and retaliations start, etc. At least an open market would not allow favorutism, right? Well, not really.. Firstly, what about the regulatory differences? Yes, that could almost be beaten by insisting that if a country wants to sell to another country, then it has to meet that other country's local regulations in terms of product standards. The problem is, running multiple production lines for the same product where the bulk of the orders come from a country with lower standards than the other. So, the obvious is, just make it to the higher standard, and the whole alliance gets a better product. Of course, what happens if it is NZ that has the higher standard? Well, they miss out.. hardly an alliance. Also what happens if he product meets the standards, but the environmental impact exceeds the buying conuntry's normal environmental regulation and, of course, the sellign country can make the products cheaper as a result? Just getting rid of tarrifs does not make a level playing field, nor common market.

 

Then they talk about free foreign policy in the same context as free trade.. What the gubbins does that even mean? There's virtually nothing on the CI site about it... From Wilipedia  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CANZUK_International#Foreign_policy):

"The organization has also advocated foreign policy cooperation between the CANZUK countries due to similar cultural and historical ties, specifically working together regarding constitutional matters such as human rights and educational developments.[24] In February 2017, Skinner interviewed for TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin where it was emphasised that despite closer diplomatic cooperation, CANZUK International would not advocate closer political union between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom as seen within the EU, but that it would continue as a campaign "for free movement between four, independent, sovereign countries, and it will remain that way, to work together towards free trade and foreign policy"

 

I had no idea human rights, nor educational development were areas of foreign policy. Well, maybe the former a bit, especially where the country has oil (or soon, rare earth minerals), but the latter? But, let's assume there is some sort of foreign policy cooperation. does that not imply a common foreign policy. And while the EU mandates control over EU nations' trade deals and centralises them, it does so in the name of the common market; for virutally every other foreign policy initiaitve, the nations are on their own. Of course, there are some practical restrictions - invading other countries of the EU will probably get the perpetrator in hot water. Taking offensive military action against a non-EU state without justification may result in a sanction, but it probably would if one was outside the EU as well.

 

Either way, with the grittiness of trade and foreign policy, it is hard to see how at least some supranational oversight in the form of at least arbitration would not be required. But to make a complete level playing field, there would probably have to be universal laws and standards... which is what most of the EU regulation actually is about.. harmonising laws/regulations about the market and things that impact it (like environmental law). How well it achieves it, is up to debate, but that is its prime purpose.

 

There are many other things to think about... what happens if someone travels to another country for work and finds themselves unemployed after 10 years with a family, etc. But because of the TTTA, they never bothered to get permie residence or citizenship.. do they get the dole payed by the government they are living in, or by the government they are citizens of? What happens if the dole they are able to get from their home government is based on unemployment insurance and they haven't been in a job that pays it (which Aussie probably wouldn't)? What happens, in a tru fee movement of people, they simply rock up and don't even find work? These are some of the real issues that have to be dealt with.

 

@old man emu - I work with many Indians in my job and I have found them to be nothing other than upstanding and hard working... I think different socio-economic levels has a lot to do with it...

 

@onetrack - Contrary to popular belief, the equities markets are not the largest in the world; the FX markets are... You are right though, as in most facets of life, wealthy people call the shots - after all welath is just a measure of how much control one has over resources. These days, though, the FX markets are diverse and open - even in the USA. Like Equities markets they are based on demand and supply; mainly driven by macro-socioeconomic factors. The last group of banks the collaborated to fix FX rates mainly in Cable (GBP/USD) were fined a total of about 17bnUSD and a similar amount in the EU. I know because I have worked on remediation of the issues that caused them for 2 of the banks... Market manipulation will always be there.. but it is rarely about fixing a rate for more than a short time while a bank (or other big player) can profit of large client orders they have.,  Exporters and importers can fix rates usuing forward rate agreements, swaps, options, etc. Yep, they have to know or employ experts, but it can be done.

 

@Bruce Tuncks- I have found Singapore has much more in common with Aus than it doesn't.. The only real difference is Australia's asian food is better, and Singapore is run by an effective benevolent dictatorship... But they do a pretty good job...

 

 

 

 

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What do they call it. As a ten pound pom I was brought up as English. Now England is never mentioned, I suppose because they are ashamed of it.

Then it can be The UK or Britain or Great Britain. God knows why it was ever "Great" Britain as it ceased to be great before the end of WW2.

If the Asian food in Singapore is poorer than in Australi, then Singapore has sunk to terrible depths. I worked their and considered it to be the best place in the world for food, both Asian and non Asian.

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I have a fondness for England, especially their airshows.  I've been to Shuttleworth and Goodwood, and both were better than anything I've seen in Australia.

 

Not saying I want to live there, just that I like a lot of things about England.

 

(I'll never understand what a "reception room" is though, and why elderly couples seem to want lots of them in their houses.  This is based on watching Escape to the Country.)

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51 minutes ago, Marty_d said:

(I'll never understand what a "reception room" is though, and why elderly couples seem to want lots of them in their houses.  This is based on watching Escape to the Country.)

A reception room is a formal living room.. where you "receive" your guests...

 

UK: Living Room = AU: Family Room

UK: Reception Room = AU: [Formal] Living Room...

 

We escaped to the country much to my son's chagrin - but he thinks it's a great idea now...

 

(also have a share int he village "community" pub)

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Jerry, there's one thing I've been meaning to ask you. I'm a regular watcher of Escape to the Country, so what's this Pommie fascination with kitchen sinks that look like laundry tubs? The house buyers seem overjoyed when they see one. I thought maybe they have really big plates.

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And colours / busy decorations!!  You get some godawful room decorated in eye-watering yellow or rose-printed wallpaper and the punters ooh and ahh over it!

 

Although I do like big kitchens with a wooden table in the middle and a big Aga along the wall.  Maybe it's a throwback to my childhood, we had the wood-burning oven and a table in the kitchen, although I think it was 1960's Laminex instead of natural wood.

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I laugh when I hear these escapees saying that they don't like ground floor bedrooms and want the bathroom and bedrooms upstairs. It's true that in a lot of these houses, the view from the upstairs rooms is better than downstairs, but most of these people are retirees. They never consider what will happen when their knees and hips start to give out. And what is the desire for a bathtub? Who wants to sit in a tub of dirty water, then have to use something to hose it off.  And as your hips and knees give up the ghost, how do you get in and out of a bathtub? Their shower recesses are claustrophobic. 

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1 hour ago, old man emu said:

I laugh when I hear these escapees saying that they don't like ground floor bedrooms and want the bathroom and bedrooms upstairs. It's true that in a lot of these houses, the view from the upstairs rooms is better than downstairs...

Who needs a view from the bedroom? We spend most of our daylight ours in the kitchen and living rooms; they should be upstairs with a view. Our bedrooms downstairs where it’s cooler, quieter and darker.

 

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That reminds me of the bloke who called at a friends house. He was told that his friend was up but not down yet. Meaning he was out of bed, but still upstairs.

Concerning the stairs, those old people who live in houses with stairs will probably be fitter later than those who live on the ground floor, so they can attack the stairs.

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