Trade Update – 17 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.
US LASHES WTO
USTR Lighthizer has hit out at a WTO Dispute Panel ruling that US tariffs on Chinese goods breached global trade rules saying it showed the WTO was inadequate to stop China’s harmful technology practices. A US appeal will stall the ruling as the WTO currently has no working appeal system.
NEW ZEALAND LAUNCHES LIVESTOCK INQUIRY
The Ministry of Primary Industries has begun an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. This follows a suspension of exports after the Gulf Livestock 1 recently sank with 43 crew and 5800 cattle on board.
JAPAN & UNITED KINGDOM CONCLUDE FTA
Japan and the United Kingdom have concluded FTA negotiations with an in-principle agreement. This followed a video call between Foreign Minister Motegi and Trade Secretary Truss. It represents the UK’s first major trade agreement outside the EU bloc.
AUSTRALIA REFORMS EXPORT PROGRAM
Trade Minister Birmingham has announced reforms to Australia’s Export Market Development Grant Program. It will shift from a reimbursement to a grant focus. Businesses will also need to be export ready and have a turnover of less than $20 million to be eligible.
CHIINA CALLS ON US TO AVOID TAIWAN
China has called on the US to abide by the one-China principle and avoid serious damage to bilateral relations. The call by Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang followed news US Under Secretary of State Krach could visit Taiwan this week for economic and trade talks.
EU CALLS ON CHINA TO ENGAGE
The European Union used a video Leaders’ Summit with China this week to call on China to fully engage in future negotiations on industrial subsidies at the WTO. The EU said more needed to be done to improve market access for key sectors and reduce industrial over-capacity in China.
UNITED KINGDOM SWINGS TOWARD ASIA PACIFIC
The UK has stepped up its bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) by opening discussions between UK officials and negotiators from the Asia Pacific members of the trade bloc. The talks will determine whether the UK formally seeks to join the CPTPP.
MALAYSIA LAUNCHES TILE INQUIRY
Malaysia has launched a safeguard inquiry into imports of ceramic floor and wall tiles. This follows a complaint by local producers that rising imports have caused serious injury to the domestic industry.
SINGAPORE & JAPAN REACH BUSINESS TRAVEL AGREEMENT
Singapore and Japan have concluded an agreement allowing for the resumption of essential business travel. The Business Track will be launched on September 18 and will allow for departure and arrival COVID-19 testing and controlled itineraries.
US CUSTOMS BANS CHINESE GOODS
US Customs has this week banned goods produced by what it describes as state-sponsored forced labour in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The import ban involves five companies and includes apparel, cotton, computer parts and hair products.