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Trade Update – 1 Oct 2020

Trade Update – 1 Oct 2020

Weekly trade review provided by Chatto Creek Advisory Pty.

Chatto Creek Advisory Pty Ltd is a Melbourne-based strategic consultancy specializing in trade policy advice and government engagement strategy. It is headed by Russell Scoular, an executive with rich government relations, trade policy and business experience throughout Asia Pacific.

AUSTRALIA REVIEWS BIOSECURITY FOR PRAWNS
The Agriculture Department has published a review of biosecurity risks associated with the importing of prawns. It proposes prawns should continue to be an allowable import subject to biosecurity measures. The department is currently seeking public comment.

THAILAND LAUNCHES SAFEGUARD INQUIRY
Thailand has advised the WTO it has launched a safeguard inquiry into imports of aluminium foil. This follows a complaint by Thai industry. A safeguard inquiry can lead to temporary import restrictions including tariffs and quotas being placed on goods.

AUSTRALIA WARNS AGAINST PROTECTIONISM
Prime Minister Morrison has told the UN General Assembly Australia was leading efforts to reform the WTO and will not retreat into a downward spiral of protectionism. It was advocating for trade rules that are predictable, transparent and non-discriminatory.

US CHALLENGES GAS BLENDING IN INDIA
The US Commerce Department ruled this week the importing of hydrofluorocarbon blends from India with HFC components from China was circumventing existing anti-dumping duties on HFC blends from China. These blends will now attract anti-dumping duties.

PHILIPPINES CHALLENGES EU MOTION
Trade Secretary Lopez says the Philippines does not see any reason why EU tariff preferences should be suspended. The tariffs were addressing poverty and attendant social and economic issues. The EU Parliament has called for a suspension due to human rights concerns.

WTO ESTABLISHES CHINA PANEL
The WTO Dispute Settlement Body this week accepted a request by China to establish a dispute panel to determine whether China had complied with an earlier ruling regarding subsidies for wheat and rice producers. A similar request by China in August was blocked.

AUSTRALIA CHALLENGES WTO DELAYS
Australia has expressed concern about delays in WTO dispute proceedings due to COVID-19. On behalf of 14 economies including China, NZ and Singapore, it has urged dispute panels to consider flexible, alternative arrangements to progress proceedings in a timely manner.

BRUNEI JOINS HONG KONG-ASEAN FTA
The Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA and Investment Agreement will enter into force for Brunei Darussalam on October 20. This follows ratification by Brunei Darussalam and will mean the agreement will be in force for all ASEAN economies with the exception of Cambodia.

CANADIAN EXPORTERS TAKE AIM AT EU
The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance has written to ministers complaining the 3-year-old Canada-EU FTA has failed to deliver on its promises to exporters due to the EU’s maintenance of a wide range of trade barriers and a failure to respect the spirit of FTA commitments.

INDONESIA IMPOSES SAFEGUARD TARIFF
Indonesia is imposing a safeguard tariff on fructose syrup. Fructose syrup is used as a non-sugar sweetener in soft drinks. The tariff will be for 3 years beginning at 24% and follows a complaint by local industry of rising imports from China and the Philippines.

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