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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 WINS WTO TOBACCO APPEAL
Australia’s plain-packaging tobacco laws have survived a final global trade rule challenge. The WTO Appellate Body ruled this week against an appeal by Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Australia introduced the plain-packaging laws in 2012.

THREE GRAMS VERSUS A KILO – NZ LAMBASTS CHEESE OFFER
Trade Minister Parker has called EU Trade Commissioner Hogan to complain at an EU farm produce offer. He compared cheese where NZ imported 1 kg per capita of EU cheese in 2019 versus an EU FTA offer of just over 3 grams of NZ cheese per capita.

AUSTRLIAN FARMERS PLEAD FOR NO APPEAL
The National Farmers’ Federation is pleading with the Government not to appeal a Federal Court ruling that found a live cattle export ban to Indonesia in 2011 was legally invalid. It says the farm sector wants closure after nine years of pain.

INDONESIA GETS READY FOR BUSY WEEKEND
Indonesia will begin July with a busy trade weekend. On July 4, the Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA will enter into force for Indonesia. This leaves only Brunei and Cambodia to activate the Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA. On July 5, the Indonesia-Australia FTA will enter into force.

THAI CABINET BACKS NEW SUBSIDY RATES
The Thai Cabinet has this week approved rates for a new sugar subsidy programme. The Bangkok Post reported the program will provide assistance for 300,000 cane growers and cost 10 billion baht. Thailand’s sugar production will fall by 25% this year due to drought.

MEXICO LEADS WITH WTO NOMINATION
Mexico has made the first formal nomination for the WTO director-general position nominating Jesus Seade for global trade’s leadership role. The nomination has been followed by nominations for Abel-Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt) and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria).

VIETNAM & EU PREPARE TO LAUNCH FTA
The National Assembly in Hanoi has voted overwhelmingly to ratify the EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA). It is expected the FTA will enter into force in August. The FTA will be the EU’s second in ASEAN after Singapore.

NZ ANNOUNCES TRADE RECOVERY PLAN
New Zealand has launched a new post-COVID-19 trade strategy with a focus on supporting its exporters, reinvigorating international trade architecture, including shoring up the WTO and boosting FTA networks, and refreshing key trade relationships.

KOREA TO PUSH FOR RCEP PROGRESS
Korea, according to Yonhap news agency, plans to use a inter-sessional video meeting of RCEP participants (ASEAN + Australia, China, Japan, Korea & NZ) this week to push for an early conclusion of the trade agreement in 2020 as part of a COVID-19 trade recovery initiative.

JAPAN & UK START FTA NEGOTIATIONS
Japan and the UK this week launched FTA negotiations via a video conference call between Foreign Minister Motegi and Trade Secretary Truss. The UK has assembled more than 100 negotiators who will negotiate by video conference across six working groups.

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