Trade Update – 23rd June 2022: WTO TRADE BOSS PRAISES MINISTERS, WTO FISH AGREEMENT LEADS PACKAGE, WTO EXTENDS E-COMMERCE BAN 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.
WTO TRADE BOSS PRAISES MINISTERS: It took trade ministers an extra 24 hours of backroom bargaining and setbacks during the week, but WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was able to able to describe the outcomes of the 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva as an unprecedented package of deliverables.
WTO FISH AGREEMENT LEADS PACKAGE: A fisheries deal led the outcomes of the WTO Conference. The agreement, particularly important in Asia Pacific, prohibits support for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and overfished stocks. It also takes an initial step to end subsidies for unregulated high sea fishing.
WTO EXTENDS E-COMMERCE BAN: A moratorium of not imposing duties on electronic transmissions was extended. The Ministerial Conference also sought to boost global food security, agreed on a waiver of some IP rules to ease access to COVID-19 vaccines and will launch a wide-ranging reform process for the WTO.
BUT AGRICULTURE GETS PUSHED DOWN THE ROAD: The WTO Conference failed to deliver significant agriculture reform and will now look to a 13th WTO Conference for outcomes. Despite strong advocacy from some economies, significant differences remained on issues like domestic support and public stockholding.
INDIA & EUROPEAN UNION CONFIRM TRADE TALKS: India and the EU confirmed during the week they would begin a new round of FTA negotiations in New Delhi on June 27. The announcement was made in Brussels during the week. The FTA negotiations began in 2007 but have been suspended for nine years.
AUSTRALIAN MINISTER PUSHES FORWARD ON FTA NEGOTIATIONS: Trade Minister Farrell is looking to further advance FTA talks with India and the EU. He met with Indian Commerce Minister Goyal and EU Trade Commissioner Dombrovskis for the first time while in Geneva for the WTO Ministerial Conference.
TAIWAN PURSUES NEW FISH MARKETS: Taiwan has responded to China’s import ban on its groper by providing marketing funds to help its fishing industry find alternative markets in the Asia Pacific and Middle East. The Taipei Times reported the Council of Agriculture would provide funding of $US26.92 million.
NEW ZEALAND PM HEADS TO EUROPE: Prime Minister Ardern is jetting to Europe this week where she and Trade Minister O’Connor will seek to boost EU-NZ FTA negotiations. She will also attend a NATO Summit, visit Boris Johnson and return home via Australia where she will be joined by a large business delegation.
PHILIPPINES & THAILAND LOOK TO RESOLVE TOBACCO FEUD: The Philippines and Thailand have agreed to work toward the settlement of a decade-long tobacco trade dispute by establishing a bilateral consultative mechanism. It follows extensive work by Australian WTO Ambassador George Mina as a facilitator.
SOUTH KOREA & SINGAPORE REVIEW FTA: South Korea and Singapore held a 5th FTA review meeting during the week. The FTA began in 2006. It represented South Korea’s second FTA following an earlier agreement with Chile. Trade between South Korea and Singapore has nearly doubled since the FTA began.