Trade has played a major part in our country's economy for centuries. What we can't grow or make in this country can be imported and what we can produce here can be exported. The growth of international trade has been enabled by cheap oil, cheap transport, including shipping and air freight costs. In 2011 New Zealand spent over $7 billion importing oil, up 22% on the previous year. Our balance of payments or the difference between what we earn from our exports and what we pay for our imports is a matter of great concern. If we could replace at least some of our imports with goods manufactured in New Zealand it would greatly improve our balance of payments situation. Facing the reality that we have reached the end of cheap easy to extract oil and that life after peak oil is actually going to be more localised, we must plan policies to match. The Trans Pacific Partership Agreement (TPPA) The best description of this deal being secretly negotiated is at http://itsourfuture.org.nz. Do read this carefully. Jane Kelsey, editor of No Ordinary Deal - unmasking the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement is a leading world authority on it. Watch for when she is talking in your town. Round 15 is to be negotiated in Auckland New Zealand in early December. Who knows, this may be the last round and it may be signed. So let's get working to oppose it in whatever way we can. The New Economics Party will be working over the next few weeks, that is for sure. Will you join us?