Trade Update – 3rd March 2022: NEW ZEALAND & UK SIGN FTA, AUSTRALIA CAUTIONS EU ON GI PROTECTION, RADE MINISTERS LOOK TO JUNE MEETING and many more…
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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.
NEW ZEALAND & UK SIGN FTA: Trade Minister O’Connor and Trade Secretary Trevelyan met in London on Monday and signed a bilateral FTA between the two economies. The NZ-UK FTA was agreed in principle in October 2021. While travelling O’Connor will also seek to progress NZ-EU FTA negotiations.
AUSTRALIA CAUTIONS EU ON GI PROTECTION: Australia used a 12th round of FTA talks to remind the EU that Australia would only protect EU geographical indications if the overall deal was in Australia’s interests. The 12th negotiating round was the first for seven months and was held virtually over 14 days in February.
TRADE MINISTERS LOOK TO JUNE MEETING: Trade ministers will now convene in Geneva in June for a WTO Ministerial Conference, two years since the conference was originally scheduled to be held in Kazakhstan. A bid to hold the conference in Geneva in December 2021 was also postponed due to the COVID pandemic.
CHINA GETS A WTO PANEL IN AUSTRALIAN CASE: The WTO Dispute Settlement Body agreed on Monday to establish a WTO Dispute Panel to review China’s complaint against dumping duties imposed by Australia on stainless steel sinks, wind towers and railway wheels. China launched its case at the WTO in June 2021.
INDIAN MINISTER CALLS FOR SPICE ACTION: Commerce Minister Goyal has urged spice producers to double exports to $US10 billion in five years. India’s spice exports reached $US4.2 billion in 2020-21. Goyal said the Government was keen to boost exports through resilient and efficient programs and interventions.
SINGAPORE & UK SIGN DIGITAL AGREEMENT: Singapore and the United Kingdom signed a new digital trade agreement during the week. The agreement, described by the UK as the most innovative agreement every signed, was signed in Singapore by Trade Secretary Trevelyan and Trade Relations Minister S Iswaran.
NEW ZEALANDER TO LEAD RUSSIAN INQUIRY: Leading New Zealand trade diplomat David Walker has been appointed chair of a WTO Dispute Panel to review an EU complaint against Russian import substitution programs enjoyed by state entities. The panel also includes members from Costa Rica and Singapore.
US OPPOSES CANDIAN DIGITAL TAX: The US has called on Canada to abandon a unilateral plan to introduce a digital services tax querying measures that single out US firms for taxation while effectively excluding Canadian firms engaged in similar business. The US said it will review all its options if the tax proceeds.
TAIWAN CEASES FTA: Taiwan will stop honouring its FTA with Nicaragua on July 1. This follows Nicaragua’s withdrawal from the fourteen-year-old agreement in December 2021 following its switch in diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. Trade between the two economies was worth $US180m in 2020.
INDONESIA AND KOREA LINK ON MINERALS: Indonesia and South Korea have signed an MOU to work closely on the development and supply of raw materials and critical minerals like nickel and rare earth elements. It was among a number of MOUs signed in Jakarta during a visit by Trade Minister Moon.