Trade Update – 3 Dec 2020: Australian Wine Takes Big Hit, WTO Rules Against South Korea 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 WINE TAKES BIG CHINA HIT: China has effectively destroyed its Australian wine imports by imposing interim anti-dumping duties of between 107% and 212%. Trade Minister Birmingham said it was a falsehood to suggest Australia subsidised the industry to enable it to dump wine on global markets.
AUSTRALIAN EXPORTERS URGED TO REDUCE CHINA RISK: Trade Minister Birmingham has warned exporters the risk of trading with China has heightened markedly. He has called on exporters to look at different opportunities that may exist under Australia’s other FTAs to diversify and spread their risk.
AUSTRALIA’S WTO BARLEY CHALLENGE IMMINENT: Australia is in the final stages of consulting its grains industry before an expected WTO dispute action is launched against China’s anti-dumping duties on barley. Trade Minister Birmingham expects an appeal is a process Australia will go through with.
CHINA LOOKS TO EXPAND NETWORK: Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Zhong has called on new trade networks to boost China’s “circle of friends.” He has urged officials to accelerate new agreements with the EU and China-Japan-Korea and to upgrade a range of other FTAs. He made no mention of Australia.
WTO RULES AGAINST SOUTH KOREA: A WTO Dispute Panel has ruled South Korea broke global trade rules in 2017 when it renewed anti-dumping duties on steel bar imports from Japan. It is expected Seoul will appeal the ruling. This will stall proceedings as the WTO currently has no functioning appeal body.
THAILAND TOLD TO SPEED UP FARM SUBSIDY REPORTING: Thailand has been urged to update its farm subsidy reports at the WTO. A Thai Trade Policy Review at the WTO was told this week Thailand had last updated its filings in 2016. Thailand was also urged to further liberalize its agriculture sector.
NEW ZEALAND AND EU REACH SMALL BUSINESS AGREEMENT: FTA negotiators from New Zealand and the European Union reached provisional agreement on two additional chapters during last week’s 9th video round of talks. The chapters covered small and medium enterprises and capital movements.
MALAYSIA REPORTS TRADE SURPLUS RECORD: Malaysia has reported its highest-ever October trade surplus. The $US5.43 billion surplus was 26 per cent higher than a year earlier and was largely the result of stable exports and a significant fall in imports in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AUSTRALIA NAMES NEW TRADE AGENCY BOSS: Australia has named Xavier Simonet as the new CEO of Austrade. He was previously CEO of Kathmandu Holdings. Trade Minister Birmingham said Simonet would bring proven and strong leadership to the national trade and investment promotion agency.
INDIA LOOKS TO BOOST ORGANIC RICE EXPORTS: India’s Basmati Export Development Foundation is seeking to boost organic basmati rice exports with a new state-of-the-art laboratory. Basmati rice is India’s largest farm export product with exports in 2019-20 of 4.45 million tonnes worth $US4.33 billion.