Trade Update – 14 Jan 2021: Australia announces new Trade Minister, Singapore and NZ enters the DEP Agreement 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.
AUSTRALIA GETS RARE GOOD NEWS FROM CHINA
The China-Australia FTA is set to provide Australia with a five per cent boost to its China wool import quota in 2021. It first received an exclusive duty-free quota of 33,075 tonnes in 2018. The quota is to grow by five per cent annually to 44,324 tonnes in 2024.
JAPAN AND MEXICO LOOK TO BOOST MEGA FTA
Japan and Mexico have agreed to work together as the FTA’s two chair economies to expand the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). New member interest has been shown by China, South Korea – which recently signed an FTA with Indonesia – Taiwan and the UK.
PHILIPPINES LAUNCHES NEW AUTO DUTIES
The Philippines is seeking to protect the local industry from rising imports by imposing safeguard duties on imported cars and light trucks. The preliminary duties of approx. $US1455 for cars and $US2286 for trucks will apply while an inquiry is held by the Tariff Commission.
AUSTRALIAN PRODUCERS MISSING HARVEST
A serious labour shortage is contributing to domestic and export market losses for Australian produce growers. A Growcom industry register reports harvest losses of $38 million of fruit and vegetables including berries, tomatoes, carrots, citrus, bananas and pumpkins.
DIGITAL AGREEMENT BEGINS
A Digital Economy Partnership Agreement entered into force for New Zealand and Singapore on January 7. This followed the ratification of the NZ-Singapore-Chile Agreement by the two economies. Canada has recently indicated an interest in joining the agreement.
US DUTY HIT FOR DEVELOPING ECONOMIES
The US Congress failed to renew its GSP Program before its December 31 expiry meaning developing economies must now pay duty on US exports. Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are big users of the tariff concession. A retrospective renewal is expected.
AUSTRALIA BEGINS 2021 WITH NEW TRADE MINISTER
Australia’s busy trade agenda will be led by a new minister in 2021. Dan Tehan, previously Education Minister, was appointed Trade Minister in December. He takes over from Simon Birmingham who is now Finance Minister in the Morrison Government.
MALAYSIA LEVIES ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES ON STEEL
Malaysia has levied preliminary anti-dumping duties of up to 34.82 per cent on cold-rolled stainless steel imported from Indonesia and Vietnam. This follows an investigation which began in July 2020 following a complaint by a local producer.
AUSTRALIAN RECRUITED TO HELP SOLVE TOBACCO IMPASSE
The Philippines and Thailand ended 2020 by agreeing to Australia’s Ambassador to the WTO, George Mina, working as a facilitator to help find a solution to a long-running tobacco duty dispute. The Philippines first referred the case to the WTO in 2008.
ASIAN TYRES TAKE HIT ON US EXPORTS
The US has imposed preliminary anti-dumping duties of up to 98 per cent on car and light truck tyres from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Imports of the tyres were worth $US3.9 billion in 2019. A currency-related subsidy inquiry on Vietnamese tyres continues.