back to article US Trade Rep criticises tech trade barriers in Oz, NZ

Australia and New Zealand have come under criticism from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) over a raft of tech issues. In its latest 420-page National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, the USTR expresses concerns at Australia’s National Broadband Network, and government concerns at …


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  1. tkioz

    US Trade Reps...

    Can suck on lemons.

    Firstly the United States is the very last nation that has any cause to complain about other nations behaving in a protectionist manner; the way they behave when it comes to agriculture is disgusting, for a place that prides itself on the "free market" they sure don't act like it when it's not in their interests...

    Secondly... They are complaining that we want to keep medical records located in Australia so they are subject solely to our laws? Seriously? And bitching because we want to keep control of vital infrastructure? Seriously?


    I repeat my earlier statement, they can suck on lemons... rancid overripe lemons... it might improve their disposition.

  2. Cpt Blue Bear

    I'll take what you say seriously Mr USTR when the America Inc doesn't have to be dragged through the courts to pay for other peoples IP and you start allowing Aussie agricultural products into the US market.

    Seriously, hypocritical arsehole or lying cocksucker (thank you Mojo Nixon) - you chose.

    1. Eddy Ito

      But, but

      Can't the US Tirade Rectum be both? I just mean if he isn't it would put him at a serious disadvantage with the rest of the crowd in the Dick-trick of Colon-aperture.

  3. stuartnz
    Black Helicopters

    For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost, and now it seems for want of $25NZ a time, the financially near-destitute content oligarchies are prevented from chasing down the evil K1W1 pirate hoards? What a heartbreaking tale of woe!

  4. Stu 18


    Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of nonsense that will get our nz politicians on there knees looking for the nearest US counterpart to kiss arse or worse.

    Remember all politicians only care about what gets them the most ego points and maybe a vote in election year, they live for the instant and have little to no understanding of anything technical. Actually little to no understanding of anything at all beyond the very high level 'blue sky' board table thinking.

    Practical, clear thinking, leave that to (quality) trades people. Get my picture with the US president, sure you can do anything you fancy. You will still respect me in the morning though, won't you?

  5. Twilight

    Hopefully New Zealand does pass the laws eliminating software patents and requiring IP owners to pay a nominal fee to help cover ISP costs.

    Software patents are a blight on innovation (which is odd since that's exactly what patents are supposed to promote). I am a software developer and emphatically agree with eliminating software patents - they serve no useful purpose (the only purpose is to pad the pockets of the big corps that have tons of them).

  6. Mark 65 Silver badge


    "In particular, the USTR dislikes Australia’s proposed implementation of e-health, saying that legislation requiring onshore storage of citizens’ personally-controlled electronic health records (PCEHRs) “would pose a significant trade barrier for US information technology companies with data centers located in the United States or anywhere else outside of Australia”."

    How about they play a quick game of "hide-and-go-f*ck-yourself"? Seriously, I am no proponent of the Australian Government but I absolutely back the logic of requiring onshore storage of any information requiring privacy controls. Should they just be storing it in a Google data centre instead? Christ the Americans get on my tits at times.

  7. kiwimuso

    There is just SO much wrong with this outburst it's hard to know where to begin!!!!

    {it remains critical of foreign investment limits on the incumbent carrier, Telstra.}

    Oh yeah, and how much foreign investment is permitted in U.S. companies. I'm thinking of airlines in particular here, but there are numerous others that can not be bought into or are severely curtailed as to percentage of foreign ownership.

    {The offshore hosting debate in Australia centers on two concerns: that cloud providers in other jurisdictions may accept lesser privacy and security controls than would be required in Australia; and that the data may become subject to laws in other jurisdictions. The USTR says the notion that data may be “scrutinized by foreign governments” appears “based on misinterpretation of … the Patriot Act and regulatory requirements”.}

    So the U.S. wants to control ALL data? Come on, if you think this is not a concern to Australia, how's about the U.S. complete their outsourcing of all their industries and putting a few cloud database server farms in other countries. Oh, you wouldn't? For security and privacy issues?

    Dearie me, that is a concern, then. Oh, and misinterpretation of the Patriot's Act? No, just past experience of U.S. agencies wanting to gobble up all the information that it can force out of other countries. The day they brought in fingerprinting and photographing visitors was the day I swore I would never visit the U.S again, and I have lived and worked there (legitimately) in the past . I fail to see why if I have no criminal record I should be treated by a criminal, and to say that it's to stop terrorism, I ask the question. When did any of this techno babble ever foil a terrorist plot? They've either been found by on the ground intelligence or purely by accident.

    I'm going to stop now before my blood pressure gets REALLY out of control, and yes, I know there's one or two generalisations in there, but the sheer hypocrisy of most things U.S. these days is unbelievable. Free trade? On yer bike, we've got to protect our manufacturers/producers from the dreaded Australian steel/beef & NZ sheep meat and no doubt there are other countries who have suffered at America's idea of "free trade".

    Let the down-voting begin!

  8. kiwimuso

    "I fail to see why if I have no criminal record I should be treated by a criminal"

    Whoops. A Freudian slip maybe. Of course it should read "treated AS a criminal"

    Oh, and the outburst to which I referred in the Title was of course the U.S. outburst, the subject of the article. Certainly not any of the exemplary comments of the preceding commentards.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Au contraire

    "based on misinterpretation of … the Patriot Act and regulatory requirements”. Ah no. I think everone understands the patriot act perfectly ... You just wish they didn't.

  10. P. Lee


    But I suspect that the comments were for internal US consumption.

    Legal jurisdictions are problems for all cloud purveyors. If you haven't solved it, you shouldn't be in the business.

    The point of a cloud is that the resource could be anywhere. If you can't manage resources anywhere, you should be out of the business.

    Lastly, Oz is so far away from everywhere that latency is a real problem. Non-local clouds probably wouldn't have the right performance characteristics anyway.

  11. Steven Roper

    And the USTR

    can FUCK RIGHT OFF out of our two countries. The very things it is complaining about are the few things our governments are actually doing right! Shows just how the "land of the free" is full of it. The whole USA government can take it's corporate dictatorship shite and piss off, thank you very much.

  12. mhenriday

    I'm betting on the Southern Pacific vassals (otherwise known as NZ and Oz)

    doing the right thing and heeding the complaints/orders of the USTR. It's only fair ; here in Sweden we do absolutely nothing to offend the sensibilities of that office - or, for that matter, of the MPAA or RIAA, in the event someone believes that a distinction exists....


    1. kiwimuso
      Big Brother

      Re: I'm betting on the Southern Pacific vassals (otherwise known as NZ and Oz)

      Yeah, well we certainly followed orders re Mr Dotcom. Well the police did. It would appear that some of our judiciary have a bit more common sense and have decided, in a back handed sort of way that just because the U.S. might be interested in a person, they are not necessarily guilty - yet!

      It will be interesting to see whether extradition goes ahead considering that what he has been accused of is apparently (so I have read) not illegal here, so the question arises that if it ain't illegal here why was he even arrested in the first place.

      But that's a whole different rant best left for another time.

  13. Graham Wilson

    Let's put it this way...

    It's simple. If my eHealth records were to be stored off-shore in the US then I'd instantly withdraw from any Australian eHealth initiative.

    I, like many, am fed up with American trade imperialism. These jackboot tactics are why the US is forever at war with one country or another. And the US has been at it for a damn long time too--at least 150 or so years and it still doesn't get the fact that others don't like these dictatorial tactics.

    'Thick hide' is the understatement of all time.

    Need a reminder? Then check Wiki's article on "Matthew C. Perry" and his gunboat diplomacy, also look at the photograph of the "Odaiba battery at the entrance of Tokyo, built in 1853-54 to prevent an American intrusion". Insular Japan had to protect itself with fortifications to repel the Americans--and this was about 7 or 8 years BEFORE the Civil War.

    And the US is damn well still at it now!

    No one dislikes Telstra more than me (read my many posts to that effect), but Australia being dictated to by American 'Trade and Industry' on how to fix the Telstra problem, is the last straw.

    Fuck 'em!

    Trouble is arse-licking Australian politicians have always been frightened to stand up to American imperialism. Not even worth a bet, everyone knows Oz'll eventually roll over and kowtow as usual.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trouble is...

    ... Aussies have a superiority complex and see themselves as the US of the southern hemisphere, so will of course behave like the big brother.

    Kiwis are more independently minded, but have an inferiority complex, and will (especially the current govt, which has no brains to speak of) do anything to get noticed. "Get my picture with the US president, sure you can do anything you fancy" is spot on.

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