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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 REMINDS CHINA IT CAN APPEAL
Commerce Minister Zhong’s claim Australia had launched 100-1 trade cases against China brought a calm response by Trade Minister Birmingham who said such cases were open to appeal at the WTO. “China’s not chosen to do that with any of our decisions to date….”

WTO FARM BOSS TO STEP DOWN
WTO Agriculture Committee chairman Ambassador Ford (Guyana) announced this week he would step down on June 30 saying a new chair should establish a work program ahead of the 2021 WTO Ministerial Conference. Ambassador Ford was appointed to the role in April 2018.

AUSTRALIA GIVES UP ON IMPORT LEVY
The Agriculture Department has announced Australia will not proceed with a contentious 2018-19 Budget plan for a new imported goods levy to help fund biosecurity programs. It said the levy could not be implemented without significant regulatory impacts on industry.

BRAZILIAN BEEF HEADING TO THAILAND
Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture announced this week Thailand had approved beef imports from five plants. Australia supplied half of Thailand’s $90m of beef imports in 2019. The latest beef news comes a week after Thailand approved imports of Brazilian dairy products.

THAILAND LOOKS FOR FURTHER CONSULTATION
The Thai Cabinet is to establish a Parliamentary House Panel to seek out further community views as to whether Thailand should join the mega CPTPP (TPP-11) FTA. The Bangkok Post reported this week the Cabinet wanted the process completed within 30 days.

US FORECASTS SUGAR HIKE
A May report by the US Department of Agriculture has forecast a jump in global sugar exports. It predicts production hikes by key producers including India and Thailand will drive a 22m tonne boost in global production in 2020/21 to 188m tonnes. Higher consumption is also forecast.

VIDEO NEGOTIATIONS IN OVERDRIVE
Australian and European Union trade negotiators managed more than 50 videoconferences during their 7th round of FTA negotiations. The round, held between May 4 and 20, saw wide-ranging negotiations as the two parties seek to further progress the talks.

INDONESIA LOOKS TO CHALLENGE DRINK SWEETENER
Indonesia is proposing safeguard tariffs of up to 24% on fructose syrup due to a sharp increase in imports of the drink sweetener. It told the WTO of its intention last week saying a hike in imports from China and the Philippines had hurt its domestic industry.

INDIAN & KOREAN STEEL FITTINGS FACE BIG US DUTY HIKE
The US Department of Commerce has made preliminary anti-dumping determinations on forged steel fittings imported from India and Korea. It has ruled for preliminary cash deposits of up to 293% on Indian fittings and up to 198% on Korean fittings.

ASIAN TYRES FACE US INQUIRY
The US Steelworkers Union has petitioned the US Department of Commerce seeking dumping and subsidy inquiries into car and light truck tyres from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. This comes five years after action was successfully taken against tyres from China.

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