Trade Update – 14th December 2022: INDO-PACIFIC NEGOTIATIONS UNDERWAY, US REJECTS WTO DISPUTE FINDING, AUSTRALIA PURSUES MID-YEAR FTA 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.
INDO-PACIFIC NEGOTIATIONS UNDERWAY: The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework’s first negotiating round has begun in Brisbane. It involves 14 founding members of the initiative including Australia, Japan, South Korea, NZ and the US. Negotiations began on Saturday and are scheduled to conclude on December 15.
US REJECTS WTO DISPUTE FINDING: The US has rejected WTO Dispute Panel findings that steel and aluminium tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration violated global trade rules. It said the WTO could not second-guess threats to a member’s security and it did not intend to remove the tariff measures.
AUSTRALIA PURSUES MID-YEAR FTA: Australian Trade Minister Farrell wants to conclude an FTA with the EU by mid-2023. Following meetings in Brussels he told The Australian Financial Review that concluding the bilateral FTA would be more difficult if it was not finished well ahead of the 2024 EU election.
UK READIES FOR NEW KOREAN FTA: The UK Department of International Trade has begun preparations to negotiate an enhanced free trade agreement with South Korea by inviting public submissions. The current FTA entered into force in January 2021. Meanwhile the EU and Chile have concluded an enhanced FTA.
INDIA EXTENDS EXPORT REBATE PROGRAM: India will this week extend its RoDTEP program where duties and taxes are rebated on exported goods to include a range of exported goods from the pharmaceutical, chemical and iron and steel sectors. This will expand the program’s eligible items from 8,731 to 10,342.
AUSTRALIAN STEVEDORING PROFITS JUMP: A report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission shows the operating profit margin of Australia’s container stevedoring industry has jumped since the start of the COVID pandemic. It shows a margin of 24% in 2021-22 compared to 10% in 2019-20.
EU SEEKS WTO DISPUTE PANELS AGAINST CHINA: The EU will next week seek the establishment of two WTO Dispute Panels. The first complaint deals with China’s restrictions on Lithuanian exports and the second with the legality of China’s restrictions of EU patent holders in China from accessing EU Courts.
US CLAIMS SOLAR DUTY CIRCUMVENTING BY CHINA: The US has made a preliminary ruling that some Chinese exporters of solar cells and modules have been avoiding dumping and subsidy duties by shipping goods to Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam for minor processing before onward export to the US.
NZ PM FOCUSES ON CHINA MISSION: Prime Minister Ardern remains hopeful of leading a trade mission to China early in the new year. Speaking at a function to recognize the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, she said two-way trade between New Zealand and China was worth $38 billion in the past year.
MALAYSIA APPOINTS NEW TRADE MINISTER: Tengku Zafrul Aziz has been appointed as Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry in the Anwar Ibrahim-led Government. A former banker, he served as Minister of Finance in the previous government.