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Trade Update – 13 Aug 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 MINISTER LAUNCHES ASIAN STUDY
Trade Minister Birmingham has launched a major new research report “Winning in Asia.” The report by the Melbourne-based Asialink was 2 years in the making and seeks to provide a blueprint of what it takes to succeed in highly competitive Asian markets.

INDIAN ALUMINIUM HIT WITH ANTI-SUBSIDY TARIFF
The US Commerce Department has announced a preliminary anti-subsidy finding of up to 35% on common alloy aluminium sheet imported from India. It made similar findings on imports from Bahrain, Brazil and Turkey. A final ruling is due in December.

SINGAPORE TALKS OF CHANGE
Trade Minister Chan spoke of permanent change this week where there would not be a return to a pre-COVID world. Recovery would take time and was unlikely to be smooth. Singapore has narrowed its growth forecast from -7 to -4 per cent to a revised forecast of -7 to -5 per cent.

VIETNAM BOOSTS EXPORTS IN 2020
Vietnam has continued to hold its export values despite the impact of COVID-19 in global trade. Its exports in the first seven months of 2020 were worth $145.8 billion, up by 0.2% on a year earlier. The US and China remain the biggest buyers of Vietnamese goods.

CANADA TO RETALIATE AGAINST US TARIFFS
Canada is planning $2.7 billion of retaliatory tariffs on US goods following President Trump’s imposing of a 10% tariff on Canadian aluminium. Deputy Prime Minister Freeland said the US had taken an absurd decision that would hurt US consumers and workers.

AUSTRALIAN FARMERS CALL FOR FLOWER ACTION
The National Farmers Federation has called for tougher action against cut flower suppliers who sent contaminated product to Australia. It said pests and diseases from flowers breaching biosecurity rules could devastate Australian agriculture.

TAIWAN PURSUES MACHINE TOOL LEADERSHIP
Taiwan has introduced a new phase of its Smart Machinery Development Program to help industries upgrade to smart machinery. Its goal is to transform Taiwan, the world’s 4 th largest machine tool exporter, into a high-end manufacturing centre for Asia.

INDIAN TRADE MINISTER CALLS FOR INDUSTRY T0 STAND-UP
Commerce Minister Goyal has called on Indian industry to stand-up and ensure they get equal, fair and reciprocal trade with overseas markets. India had chosen not to join the mega RCEP FTA because it was “a completely inequitable arrangement.”

AUSTRALIA LOOKS TO DIGITAL TO HELP RECOVERY
Trade Minister Birmingham believes a new digital agreement with Singapore will reduce barriers and boost opportunities as Australia begins its recovery from COVID-19. It includes some of the most ambitious digital trade rules Australia has negotiated.

US BEGINS FRUIT & VEGE INQUIRY
The USTR and Department of Agriculture has begun a series of public hearings to discuss foreign trade practices that may be harming US growers of seasonal and perishable produce. Growers from Florida are heavily represented among the produce growers giving evidence.

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