Trade Update – 10 June 2021: APEC call for WTO rejuvenation, ASEAN & EU reach World-First Agreement, Hong Kong-Mexican Agreement to begin and many 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.
APEC CALL FOR WTO REJUVENATION
APEC Trade Ministers, hosted by New Zealand, have reaffirmed their commitment to rules-based global trade by calling for a rejuvenation of the WTO. They also called for a conclusion of current negotiations and a speeding-up of the cross-border flow of COVID-19 vaccines.
ASEAN & EU REACH WORLD-FIRST AGREEMENT
ASEAN and the EU have concluded the world’s first bloc-to-bloc air transport agreement. The agreement will boost connectivity and trade among 37 member states. Airlines of ASEAN and the EU will be able to provide unlimited services between both regions.
UK-AUSTRALIA FTA IN SIGHT
UK Trade Secretary Truss believes a “gold standard” FTA with Australia is in sight. This follows regular calls between Truss and Trade Minister Tehan. Prime Ministers Johnson and Morrison are to meet following this week’s G7 Leaders’ Summit where Australia is attending as a guest.
SOUTH KOREA RESUMES MERCOSUR TALKS
South Korean trade negotiators began this month with a 6th round of FTA negotiations with the Mercosur economies of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. It is the first negotiating round in fourteen months. Negotiations for an FTA first began in 2018.
UK GETS A PACIFIC LOOK
The Comprehensive & Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) FTA met virtually during the week. It agreed to begin an accession process for the United Kingdom and to establish a working group which will be chaired by Japan with Australia and Singapore as vice-chairs.
G7 MINISTERS REACH TAX DEAL
Finance Ministers from the G7 have reached a major tax agreement which may have a major impact on companies like Google and Facebook. They agreed to reforms where companies will pay tax in the countries where they do business with an in-principle minimum rate of 15%.
HONG KONG-MEXICAN AGREEMENT TO BEGIN
An investment promotion and protection agreement between Hong Kong and Mexico will enter into force on June 16. This comes 18 months after the agreement was signed in Geneva. Hong Kong has investment agreements with 31 foreign economies.
NEW ZEALAND MINISTER LEADS MISSION
Trade Minister O’Connor led a virtual trade mission to Japan during the week. He was joined by leaders from NZ’s food and beverage, health technology, consumer technology and renewable energy sectors. The mission was part of NZ’s Trade Recovery Strategy.
AUSTRALIAN WINE ACTION EXPECTED IN LATE JUNE
Australia’s expected pursuit of a WTO Panel over China’s dumping duties on Australian wine may come at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body’s next meeting on June 28. Trade Minister Tehan told CNBC an announcement could be made in the coming weeks.
US CONTINUES HONEY INQUIRY
The US Commerce Department is continuing an anti-dumping inquiry into raw honey from India, Vietnam, Argentina, Brazil and Ukraine. This follows a US International Trade Commission ruling there is a reasonable indication US industry is materially injured by the honey imports.