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Trade Update – 10 Sep 2020

Trade Update – 10 Sep 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.

AUSTRALIAN NEGOTIATORS TO BEGIN 8TH ROUND
Trade negotiators will soon be back before their video screens for an 8th round of FTA negotiations with the EU. The talks are scheduled to be held from September 14-25. A 2nd round of Australia-UK FTA negotiations is scheduled to begin on September 21.

EU CONFIRMS NEW TRADE BOSS
European Commission president von der Leyen has confirmed that former Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis will be Europe’s new Trade Commissioner. He has been acting in the key role since the sudden resignation of Trade Commissioner Hogan over a golf dinner fiasco.

NEW SAFEGUARD INQUIRY BY PHILIPPINES
The Philippines has started a safeguard investigation into imported materials used in the manufacture of plastics. It follows a complaint by a local producer claiming harm by imports of high-density polyethylene and linear low-density polyethylene pellets and granules.

INDIAN MINISTER CALLS FOR GLOBAL INDUSTRY
Commerce Minister Goyal told Indian auto parts makers this week they are capable of expanding their global engagement from a position of strength and confidence. “We will expand our global engagement. We see huge opportunities to expand businesses….”

AUSTRALIA & SINGAPORE REACH PIG MEAT AGREEMENT
Australia and Singapore have reached a pre-emptive zoning arrangement to facilitate the continued export of Australian pig meat in the event of an outbreak of African swine flu. It will allow for continued exports from non-affected states and territories
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AUSTRALIAN MP CALLS FOR FTA WITH TAIWAN
Government MP Ted O’Brien has called for the pursuit of an FTA with Taiwan. Writing in The Quadrant, he said Australia would need to reassure a sensitive PRC that an FTA was not motivated by geopolitical ambition but was about greater market access for business.

SRI LANKA TO ABOLISH GOLD IMPORT TAX
Sri Lanka sought this week to boost the trade competitiveness of its jewellery industry by ending a 15% import duty on gold and 14% tax on gem and jewellery manufacturer profits. State-owned banks were also ordered to provide concessional loans to the industry.

ASEAN SECRETARIAT TO SCOPE REVIEW
Trade Ministers have asked the ASEAN Secretariat to identify common ground among their economies and to begin work on a scoping exercise with India with a view to upgrading the ASEAN-India FTA to be more user-friendly, simple and trade facilitative for business.

AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES NEW ROUND OF GI CONSULTATIONS
The Government has launched a 2nd round of public consultations, expected to take 3 months, on how a Geographical Indications framework may work in a future Australia-EU FTA. The issue is particularly sensitive in the agriculture sector.

THAILAND & INDONESIA FACE TRADE POLICY REVIEWS
The WTO will be undertaking trade policy reviews for Thailand and Indonesia in November and December respectively. However COVID-19 has forced the postponement of reviews for key economies including the US, China, India, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.

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