Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ports and trade

Just back from a CEDA dinner at which the Deputy PM and Minister for Trade Mark Vaile spoke. In a speech covering trade negotiations, infrastructure and the economy in general it struck me that he was pleased with the improvement in crane rates at our container ports.

Makes you think though - our exports mostly go through bulk terminals. Our container ports handle more imports than exports - so increasing the crane rates just makes the trade balance worse - not better.

Bit like how unfair dismissal laws will stuff small business. Why? Because prospective employees can't tell the difference between a good and bad small business so you have to expect that you will be sacked for no reason by a small business so you will require a "risk premium" in your pay. Good one small business lobby - you just reduced your competitiveness.

But as Peter Hendy at the ACCI used to work for Peter Reith bad reasoning is to be expected.

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