Tag Archive: US Politics

Bernie Sanders shows why the Zero Carbon bill was so important

US presidential candidate and democratic nominee Bernie Sanders has praised New Zealand for our Zero Carbon bill, and has promised to do something similar if he wins the presidency.

This is the power of New Zealand’s action on climate change. This is why the Zero Carbon bill is so important.

Throughout the past few years, people have been questioning why NZ should take action on climate change when NZ produces so little emissions compared to the rest of the world.

While those that say that have a point, yes, NZ introducing measures alone won’t do anything, it’s the setting of an example that matters. New Zealand has just shown to the world that something like this is possible, and other countries can follow our lead.

To have the US, one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, even consider following our lead is a gigantic achievement. Hopefully more nations, and their actual governments will also follow our lead in the near future.

The fine line of international politics

National and the Greens have called for the government to condemn US president Donald Trump’s policy of family separation.

Acting PM Winston Peters, however, has said that while he and all of the cabinet are “concerned” about the policy, they have refused to condemn it.

It shows what a tricky thing international politics is.

There’s always a certain amount of sucking up you have to do to people you might not like. We saw it with Trump and Kim at the Singapore Summit. We see it in pretty much any interaction with China.

And New Zealand remains an ally of the US and within their zone of influence.

Peters and the government can’t risk a backlash from the US which has already imposed tariffs on us.

So, they are forced to remain silent.

We don’t get to complain about the tariffs

US President Donald Trump has given exemptions to his steel and aluminium tariffs to US allies like Mexico, Canada, Australia and the EU, but New Zealand was not on that list.

Trade Minster David Parker said it “belies our strong positive relationship.”

There were also people on Radio New Zealand this morning complaining about it.

And, when I hear these complaints about the tariffs, I just don’t think we have a right to complain about them.

They’re the USA. We’re New Zealand. They’re a world super power. We are a few islands in the south pacific.

The US owes us nothing.

And don’t get me wrong, we should absolutely push to get an exemption from the tariffs.

But, we don’t really have a lot to offer them, and I think it’s unlikely we will get an exemption.