March 8th 2017
Welcome to a very special episode of Kaizen. My name is Aaron Schere, your guide through the jump point to financial solvency.
Today’s show is entirely dedicated to Imperator Costigan’s recent announcement of the Human-Xi’an Trade Initiative, or HuXa as it has come to be called. If ratified by the Senate, HuXa would usher in an unprecedented era of trade and engagement by heavily deregulating restrictions on inter-Empire commerce, incentivizing Xi’an houses to do more businesses with Human companies, and much more. During his address to the Senate, Imperator Costigan called the deal “an important and necessary next step in the UEE’s relationship with the Xi’an.”
The announcement has been met with mixed reactions from across the Empire. Business leaders and trade associations rushed to get their hands on the legislation to understand how it affects each of their industries, only to discover that the proposed legislation surpasses 10,000 pages. Many have since complained that the agreement is so complex that it’s almost impossible to fully understand, let alone assess, how it will affect the UEE economy.
Early indications are that it will face a stiff battle in the Senate to garner the necessary votes to be ratified. If HuXa passes, it will be the most significant and expansive piece of legislation enacted by the Costigan administration. If it fails, it would be a considerable blow to his political capital.
Here to help us unpack exactly what’s in the deal and how it came together is Yanna Coso, the UEE’s Ambassador to the Xi’an Empire. She was part of the small UEE delegation that helped negotiate HuXa.
Welcome to Kaizen.
AMB Coso: Glad to be here.
So, we’re going to start with the tough question first. How do you pronounce this? My producers and I have been arguing all day.
AMB Coso: HuXa. First syllable’s like hue. Second’s like ‘sha’ in sharp.
Okay. You were right, Freddie. Moving on. Given Imperator Costigan’s history and his time as High Secretary, it was no secret that he was interested in pursuing a trade deal with the Xi’an, but no one thought it was this close to getting done. Give us a little background on how the deal came together.
AMB Coso: This deal was at the very top of Imperator Costigan’s agenda when he named me the Ambassador to the Xi’an Empire, and has been something I’ve worked on since my first day in office. Putting HuXa together was a slow, meticulous and extremely thorough process, and you can see that attention to detail in the final trade initiative.
HuXa is over 10,000 printed pages long. How do you expect the owner of, say, a small hauling concern in Horus to understand how such a deal will affect their economic future?
AMB Coso: If anything, the trade deal’s length only proves how dedicated Imperator Costigan is to ensuring this is the best arrangement possible for the UEE. The Empire has six systems, including Horus, with direct jumps into Xi’an territory. We had to carefully considered the economic impact on each system and negotiate protections so these systems could retain their economic identity while still benefiting from the deal. All of that’s reflected in the length of the legislation.
So this small business owner in Horus should just take the government’s word that this deal is in their best interest?
AMB Coso: This deal is about macroeconomic changes to our trading relationship with the Xi’an. How those trickle down to each individual business in Horus is incalculable since there are so many variables to consider, but our hope is that as the economy strengthens overall, most individuals will benefit as well. As economist Jarl Strun always said, “A strong Empire leads to a strong Citizen.”
Guess I’m wondering how you expect Senators and members of the business community, who don’t have a dual masters in economics and Xi’an studies, to educate themselves on this piece of legislation. If people don’t know exactly what’s in this bill, isn’t there a chance Senators will reject it simply because they don’t know what they’re voting for?
AMB Coso: That’s why Imperator Costigan called the Senate to a special assembly to unveil HuXa and highlight its defining features. It’s also why I’m here, and why you’ll see other administration voices on the spectrum discussing the deal.
But you don’t have to just take our word for it. Numerous universities, research institutions and think tanks are already hard at work analyzing the proposal. I’m sure it won’t be long before they start to share their opinions on the deal.
Why was there so much secrecy surrounding HuXa? Why weren’t experts outside of this small circle of government officials consulted to draft such a major piece of legislation?
AMB Coso: First, keeping leaks to a minimum was essential. We didn’t want details to reach the private sector, which could then lead to rampant speculation among investors.
The second reason was cultural considerations. The Xi’an diplomatic core adheres to a strict one-for-one negotiation policy, meaning that if they bring ten individuals to the bargaining table then that’s our limit. As much as we wanted to fill the room with experts to help craft this policy, it just wasn’t an option.
Finally, the Xi’an required that the negotiations only involve government officials. You’ve got to remember that Emperor Kr.ē and his house speak as one for all Xi’an, and they expect the same from the UEE government. From the Xi’an perspective, if a government can’t be trusted to speak for its people, what good is it in diplomatic negotiations?
On that note, we need to take a quick commercial break. When Kaizen returns we’ll roll up our sleeves with Ambassador Coso and get into some of the policy specifics about the new Human-Xi’an Trade Initiative, as well as talk to Scott Tang from MISC about how they see the enactment of this agreement affecting their bottom line, so don’t go anywhere