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 & INDIA TO TRY AGAIN ON TRADE
Prime Ministers Morrison and Modi have cautiously agreed to re-engage on a potential comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA) while “suitably considering” earlier bilateral discussions. Bilateral negotiations have been stalled since 2015.
WTO CALLS OUT FOR SMALL BUSINESS
The WTO has suggested small & medium businesses have better access to regulatory information, affordable trade finance and streamlined customs procedures. Such businesses provide 60% of employment and have been particularly exposed to the effects of COVID-19.
US INVESTIGATING DIGITAL TAXES
The US is to investigate digital services taxes that have been introduced or planned in a range of countries including India and Indonesia. US law allows it to respond to foreign country actions which may be unfair or discriminatory and negatively affect US commerce.
HONG KONG SERVICES GET CHINA BOOST
A range of liberalization measures for Hong Kong suppliers to China took effect on June 1. The measures come under the Mainland-Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Agreement and cover such services as legal, financial, construction and motion pictures.
AUSTRALIAN BAN ILLEGAL
A Federal Court has ruled a 2011 decision by the then Agriculture Minister to ban live cattle exports to Indonesia was invalid. The ban followed a TV program suggesting mistreatment of cattle in Indonesian abattoirs. The Australian Government is expected to pay significant damages.
US TO WITHDRAW HONG KONG EXEMPTIONS
US officials have been told to begin dismantling exemptions for Hong Kong. It follows China’s passage of new security laws and will involve a revoking of its preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory as well as dual-use technology rules.
KOREA TO RESUME WTO ACTION
South Korea announced this week it would resume WTO dispute action against Japan regarding export curbs the latter had placed on industrial inputs for the semiconductor industry. The curbs were introduced in July 2019. Talks in recent months have failed to resolve the dispute.
KIWI POTATO GROWERS SEEK HELP
Potatoes New Zealand is seeking short-term import restrictions for frozen chips to protect local growers from a flood of cheap imports. It claims the EU has 2.6 million tonnes of surplus frozen chips. Low-priced imports could force local growers to plant alternate crops.
NZ INVESTIGATES WIRE IMPORTS
NZ has launched an anti-dumping investigation into imports of galvanised wire from China and Indonesia. The two countries account for about half of NZ’s imports. The investigation follows an application by Pacific Steel, a local producer and subsidiary of Bluescope Steel.
ASEAN & AUSTRALIA LOOK TO RCEP
A 10th ASEAN-Australia Cooperation Committee meeting this week emphasized the need to support a rules-based trading system and to maintain vital supply chains through initiatives including the conclusion of RCEP, up-grading of the AANZ FTA and support for WTO reform.