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Trade Update

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.

TRADE MINISTERS HOLD TO 2020 RCEP SIGNING
Trade Ministers from RCEP (ASEAN + Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and NZ) met by video this week and reaffirmed their commitment to sign the trade agreement this year. They also emphasized RCEP remained open for India to return to the negotiations.

AUSTRALIA AIMS FOR BIG WINE BOOST
Australia’s wine industry has announced an aggressive Vision 2050 Strategy with an aim of boosting exports from $2.78b to $10b by 2050. The industry will also seek to be the number one valued wine product in key markets such as China, US, UK, Canada and Hong Kong.

SINGAPORE & KOREA LAUNCH DIGITAL TALKS
Singapore and South Korea this week launched negotiations for a digital partnership agreement. This follows a Singapore-Chile-New Zealand Digital Agreement signed earlier this month and the conclusion of Singapore-Australia negotiations in March.

PHILIPPINES BEGINS SAFEGUARD INQUIRIES
The Philippines has launched three safeguard investigations on a range of aluminium zinc and galvanized iron products. A safeguard investigation can lead to emergency tariffs when a hike in imports of a product cause serious injury to a domestic industry.

US-CHINA CONFUSION
Confusion surrounded the US-China trade agreement this week. A claim by White House advisor Peter Navarro that the agreement was “over” saw President Trump later tweeting “The China Trade Deal is fully intact. Hopefully, they will continue to live up to the terms of the agreement.”

PACER PLUS RATIFIED BY SOLOMON ISLANDS
The Solomon Islands has ratified the Pacer Plus FTA. This brings to six the economies to have ratified the trade agreement linking Australia and New Zealand with members of the Pacific Forum. The FTA will begin when it is ratified by 8 of the 11 signatories.

UK LAUNCHES “BOUNCE BACK” PLAN
The UK has this week launched a “bounce back” plan for its agriculture, food and drink industries. It described a key element of the plan as “unprecedented help” for SME businesses to capitalize on new FTAs being negotiated with Japan, US, Australia and New Zealand.

AUSTRALIAN MPs TO REVIEW TRADE PROCESS
A Parliamentary Committee has started a new inquiry into Australia’s treaty-making processes. Committee chairman Dave Sharma said the inquiry will examine consultation processes during trade negotiations and the effectiveness of independent economic analysis.

EU REPORT FOCUSES ON TRADE BARRIERS
A European Commission on 2019 trade and investment barriers saw Asia Pacific economies dominant. China led with 38 obstacles hindering EU trade opportunities. It was followed by Russia, Indonesia, US, India, Turkey, Brazil, Korea and Australia.

INDIA LOOKS TOWARD CROP EXPORT BOOST
India is forecasting a big increase in the production of key crops in 2020/21 with the sowing area for oil seeds, course cereals, pulses and cotton 40% higher than a year ago. Heavy rain has contributed to the boost as India seeks to expand its exports of key crops.

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