7 March 2018

What is the PACER Plus free trade agreement, and why does it matter for international relations in the Pacific? In the days following her presentation at the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs Conference, 2015 Foundation fellow Cleo Paskal was cited in several articles on the implications of New Zealand’s efforts to bind Pacific Island countries to Australasian economies through PACER Plus. Paskal warned that New Zealand’s “bullying and chequebook diplomacy” could backfire, making Pacific nations fall into the arms of China and other rivals while reducing New Zealand's value to the “Five Eyes” intelligence-gathering partnership. She concluded that with Pacer Plus, New Zealand risks being tagged a “strategic nincompoop, at best.”

Cleo Paskal is a 2015 Foundation fellow, adjunct faculty in the Department of Geopolitics at Manipal University, and an associate fellow at Chatham House. Read the articles here and here.

Cleo Paskal

Ms. Cléo Paskal's expertise lies in the bridging of global issues along geopolitical, geoeconomic and geophysical lines, particularly with regards to global environmental change and security.

2015 Fellows