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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.

RCEP TALKS BY VIDEO: The ASEAN + 6 economies have been meeting by video this week for a 29th negotiating round. Earlier, China’s Commerce Ministry said Trade Minister Zhong had told Trade Minister Tran China expected Vietnam to use its ASEAN chairmanship to push for an RCEP FTA signing this year.

G20 MINISTERS TO WATCH FOOD PRICES: Farm Ministers from the G20 economies met by video this week and agreed to guard against restrictive measures that could lead to excessive global price volatility and threaten food security. Emergency COVID-19 measures must be targeted, transparent and temporary.

AUSTRALIA PUBLISHES NEW LIVESTOCK STANDARDS: The Department of Agriculture has published new standards (ASEL 3.0) for the export of livestock. The new standards will commence on November 1 and set the minimum animal health and welfare requirements for the livestock export industry.

PHILIPPINE EXPORTERS URGED TO HURRY: The Philippines is urging its exporters to Europe to register for the EU Registered Exporter System by June 30. This will ensure continued access to the EU’s tariff preferences for developing economies. Some 6,274 products can be tariff-free under the GSP Scheme.

AUSTRALIAN LOBSTER & LAMB TAKE-OFF: Lobster from Western Australia and lamb from Victoria are among the first exports supported by Australia’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism. This will involve 500 tonnes of lobster and 18 flights to China and 3 flights of chilled lamb to the Middle East.

US IMPORTERS SEEK THAI TARIFF DELAY: Seventeen trade groups want President Trump to delay an April 25 withdrawal of $1.3 billion of Thai tariff preferences. They say tariffs will hike US industry costs while it is battling COVID-19. The US announced the tariffs saying Thailand did not provide adequate worker rights.

TRUMP POSTPONES CUSTOMS DUTY BILLS: President Trump has signed an executive order allowing for a 90-day deferment of duties and fees for some importers facing significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 virus. The deferment applies to a limited range of goods imported in March and April.

APEC CONFRONTED BY $2.0 TRILLION LOSS: A policy brief by the APEC Policy Unit this week suggests growth by the APEC economies will fall by 2.7% this year compared to 3.6% growth in 2019. The decline translates to an estimated economic output loss of $2.1 trillion. An economic rebound is forecast for 2021.

NZ LOOKS TO TRADE FOR ECONOMIC REBOUND: Trade Minister Parker is looking to trade to help New Zealand rebound, rebuild and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Trade was crucial to New Zealand’s economy with one in four jobs dependent on trade.

AUSTRALIA BEGINS PAPER REVIEW: The Anti-Dumping Commission is reviewing dumping duties on A4 copy paper from Brazil, China, Indonesia and Thailand. It follows an application by Paper Australia suggesting factors such as pulp and energy costs have changed since the duties were applied in 2017.

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