NZ trade officials must believe that their future Free Trade Agreement with China will have weak rules of origin, or maybe none. That’s the only sense I can make of this claim about the significance of NZ’s “agreement”:http://www.inquit.com/article/338/asean-free-trade-adventures last weekend to start Free Trade talks with ASEAN. bq. The move with China boosted New Zealand’s profile with potential trade partners, he said. “It’s by far the biggest potential development and it leads people on to want to join up the dots.” ASEAN had its own agreement with China and seeing NZ working with the people’s republic probably had an impact on the way the others dealt with us, Falconer said. (“NZ Herald”:http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/businessstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3589554&thesection=business&thesubsection=trade&thesecondsubsection=exports emphasis added) ‘Joining the dots’ means making a pattern appear from a puzzle. But Crawford Faulkner’s metaphor (the newspaper gets his name wrong) doesn’t make much sense if the lines between the dots are just imaginary links—as they must be under the normally exclusive rules of origin in bilateral, preferential trade agreements.
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