Trade Update – 28 Jan 2021: New Zealand Signs FTA Upgrade With China, US Business Claims FTA Breach By Australia 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.
AUSTRALIAN EXPORTS DRIVE BIG SURPLUS
Australia’s goods trade surplus of $9 billion in December was the 4th highest on record. Iron ore, wheat and coal were key drivers. China – despite its trade disputes with Australia – accounted for $5.2 billion of the surplus according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
NEW ZEALAND SIGNS FTA UPGRADE WITH CHINA
New Zealand and China signed their upgraded FTA on January 26. It was signed in a video-link by Trade Minister O’Connor and Commerce Minister Wang. Negotiations for the upgrade were completed in October 2019. The NZ-China FTA began in 2008.
BIDEN SIGNS “BUY AMERICAN” ORDER
President Biden has signed an executive order seeking to boost US manufacturing by requiring the US Government to buy more locally made products. “We are going to use taxpayers’ money to rebuild America. We’ll buy American products and support American jobs.”
CANADA ACCELERATES DAIRY PAYMENTS
Canada has compressed a 10-year $1.75b dairy compensation package into four years. The package is to compensate dairy farmers for the impact of the Canada-EU and Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) FTAs. Farmers will receive $468m over each of the next three years.
US BUSINESS CLAIMS FTA BREACH BY AUSTRALIA
The US Chamber of Commerce has told an Australian Senate Committee legislation requiring search companies to pay for news article content violated the Australia-US FTA. Google has threatened to close its search engine in Australia if the legislation proceeds.
BIDEN NAMES TEMPORARY TRADE BOSS
President Biden has named Maria Pagan, deputy general counsel of the Office of the US Trade Representative, as acting head of the organization. She will lead the USTR until Katherine Tai’s confirmation as US Trade Representative is approved by the US Senate.
AUSTRALIAN MINISTER WRITES TO CHINESE MINISTER
Trade Minister Tehan has written to China’s Commerce Minister Wang in a bid to find a way for the two economies to begin talking through disputed trade issues. Tehan and Wang are both new to their portfolios having been appointed in December 2020.
MALAYSIA HIKES DUTIES ON VIETNAMESE STEEL
Malaysia has increased anti-dumping duties on imports from Vietnam of cold-rolled coils of alloy and non-alloy steel. It follows complaints by local industry. The anti-dumping duties will now range up to 33.70 per cent compared with up to 13.68 per cent previously.
NEW ZEALAND-UK TALKS BEGIN THIRD ROUND
Trade negotiators from NZ and the UK are meeting by a video this week for the 3rd round of FTA negotiations. This follows a 2nd round held last October. Following the 2nd round, negotiators agreed to exchange their initial goods offers ahead of this week’s round.
AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES PINEAPPLE INQUIRIES
Australia has launched inquiries into whether anti-dumping duties on pineapple from Thailand and the Philippines should continue. The duties, first introduced in 2006, are to expire in October. Australian industry is seeking a continuation of the duties.