Trade Update – 10 Dec 2020: All Dispute Options on Australian Table, Chinese Twist-Ties Get A Second Hit and more
Weekly trade review provided by Chatto Creek Advisory Pty.
Chatto Creek Advisory Pty Ltd is a Melbourne-based strategic consultancy specialising 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 the Asia Pacific.
AUSTRALIAN WARNS OF CHINA CONCERN: Trade Minister Birmingham told The Senate on Wednesday the Government was “increasingly concerned” at trade measures imposed by China. The targeted nature raised concerns about China’s adherence to the “letter and spirit” of the China FTA and WTO obligations.
ALL DISPUTE OPTIONS ON AUSTRALIAN TABLE: Trade Minister Birmingham told also The Senate the Government was considering “all dispute settlement options” in order to support Australian exporters. He said China’s lack of engagement had prevented the use of structures in the Australia-China FTA.
CHINESE TWIST-TIES GET A SECOND HIT: The US Commerce Department has announced preliminary anti-dumping duties of 72.96% on twist ties from China. This is the second hit for twist-ties – plastic coated wire for tying bags – in a fortnight following the imposition of anti-subsidy duties of up to 122.5%.
NEW PACIFIC FTA BEGINS SUNDAY: The Pacer Plus Closer Economic Relations Agreement will begin on Sunday. The FTA covers goods services and investment and will play a key role in boosting trade between Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island economies. It will include development assistance.
AUSTRALIA EXTENDS RUSSIAN NITRATE INQUIRY: The Anti-Dumping Commission has extended an inquiry into whether to extend anti-dumping duties on ammonium nitrate from the Russian Federation. The duties were first levied in 2001 and are due to expire in May 2021. A report is now due in April 2021.
NEW ZEALAND LAUNCHES APEC 2021: New Zealand launched APEC 2021 this week with senior officials from the 21 member economies participating in a two-day virtual meeting to finalize a policy agenda focussing on reigniting regional growth. A high-level symposium was also held mid-week.
TAIWAN CONTINUES PURSUIT OF US TRADE AGREEMENT: Taiwan is continuing its pursuit of stronger economic and trade relationships. President Tsai spoke this week of the importance of Taiwan and the US being able to progress a bilateral trade agreement. The US is Taiwan’s second largest trading partner.
VANUATU GRADUATES TO NEW STATUS: Vanuatu has this week graduated from least developed to developing country status – a move which could see it lose access to some tariff preferences. It is the 6th economy to make the transition. It has signed the Pacer Plus FTA but has yet to complete its ratification.
US LAUNCHES STRAWBERRY INQUIRY: The US International Trade Commission has begun a fact-finding investigation into imports of fresh and chilled strawberries. An inquiry has also begun for bell peppers. The inquiries were requested by USTR Lighthizer following concern US producers faced rising imports.
INDIA WINS INVESTMENT AWARD: The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has this week named India as the winner of the 2020 UN Investment Promotion Award. It follows a review of work by 120 investment promotion agencies. South Korea and Singapore have been previous winners.