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Trade Update

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.

AUSTRALIA & CHINA LOOK TO WTO
Australia is expected to seek dispute intervention at the WTO following China’s imposition of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs of 80.5% on Australian-sourced barley. China imposed the five-year tariffs saying its domestic industry had suffered significant damage.

MINISTER QUERIES BARLEY TARIFF
Trade Minister Birmingham said Australia was “deeply disappointed” by China’s imposition of barley anti-dumping tariffs saying the decision was not based on a good analysis of the facts or law. The Minister was also critical of China refusing to schedule Minister-to-Minister talks.

AUSTRALIAN FARMERS CALL OUT BARLEY TARIFF
Farmers responded strongly to China’s tariff ruling saying the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs were likely to stop barley exports to China. National Farmers’ Federation chief Tony Mahar described China’s decision as a massive blow to grain growers.

INDIA LOOKS TO RECORD PRODUCTION
The Ministry of Agriculture forecast this week that high rainfall meant production of rice, wheat, maize and oilseeds would hit record levels in 2019-20. It followed a news report by Reuters that Malaysia was to import a record 100,000 tonnes of Indian rice.

WTO HUNTS FOR NEW BOSS
The WTO is looking for a new director-general following Roberto Azevedo’s decision to retire on August 31 – a year before his term expires. Nominations close on July 8. The retirement comes at a contentious time in global trade and at the WTO . Azevedo took up the role in 2013.

CANADA LOOKING AT WTO REFORM MEETING
Canada is looking to reconvene the Ottawa Group by video conference in June to further explore WTO reform. The Ottawa Group first met in 2018 and included Trade Ministers from Australia, Chile, Japan, Korea, Mexico, NZ, Singapore and the European Union.

INDIA’S RCEP STALL CONTINUES
Negotiators for RECEP (ASEAN + Australia, China, Japan, Korea & NZ) have been meeting by video conference over the past week in a 30th round of negotiations. India has yet to take up an invitation to return to the negotiating table for the mega trade agreement.

AUSTRALIA & JAPAN SEEK INDIA’S RETURN
Trade Ministers Birmingham and Hiroshi reaffirmed in video conference discussions this week their commitment to continue to work to resolve India’s outstanding issues with the RCEP trade agreement negotiations. They also want the mega agreement signed in 2020.

EU-VIETNAM FTA GETS CLOSER
The EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA) was presented to the National Assembly in Hanoi this week for ratification. This followed ratification by the European Parliament in March. The FTA, which could begin in July-August, is the EU’s second in ASEAN after Singapore.

AUSTRALIA & EU FTA BY VIDEO
Australian and EU trade negotiators met by video conference between May 4 and 15 for a 7th round of FTA negotiations. The 7th round negotiations focused on a range of topics including technical barriers to trade, goods access, services, geographical indications and rules of origin.

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