Caribbean Trade and Development Digest – January 30-February 4, 2017

Source: Pixabay

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of January 30-February 4, 2017!  I am pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World. 

For past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here.

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REGIONAL

Turkey, Dominican Republic agree to boost trade ties 

Hurriyet Daily News: Turkey and the Dominican Republic have agreed to boost cooperation on tourism, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said during a visit to the Caribbean state on Feb. 2. Read more 

Donald Trump ‘reviewing’ Cuba Policy, says White House

Independent: Donald Trump is to conduct a “full review” of America’s foreign policy towards Cuba, White House press secretary Sean Spicer has announced. Read more 

Governor Scott puts provision in proposed budget to block trade with Cuba

Miami Herald: Following on the heels of last’s week threatened retaliation against Florida ports that sign agreements with Cuba, Gov. Rick Scott has tucked another anti-Cuba provision into his proposed state budget that is even more far-reaching. Read more

CBI Bank Accounts under Scrutiny in Dominica 

WinnFM: There is no official word either from foreign banks in Dominica or the Skerrit administration, that government Citizenship by Investment accounts have been closed.  Read more 

Dominican Republic could become logistics hub

Dominican Today: The Dominican Republic could become a Regional Logistics Centre or Hub for maritime trade in the Caribbean, according to government representatives and national shipping and maritime business owners. Read more 

Dominican Republic to establish a diplomatic presence in Antigua 

Antigua Observer: President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina has agreed to establish diplomatic presence in Antigua and Barbuda. Read more

Falkland lawmaker visiting Caribbean to promote trade links

Mercopress: Falkland Islands lawmaker MLA Ian Hansen is on a Caribbean mission to improve trade and industry links with the region, and seeking political support for the Islands. The tour includes Barbados, Dominica and Guyana, according to Barbados TODAY news agency. Read more 

St. Kitts and Nevis Ranks Number One in Trading Across Borders 

SKN Observer: St. Kitts and Nevis has ranked number one in the CARICOM in trading across borders according to the “2016 Doing Business Report”, says Kennedy DeSilva, Deputy Comptroller of Customs in the Office of the Comptroller, appearing on today’s radio-television show “Working for You” on January 25. Read more 

CARICOM and Switzerland deepen relations

Jamaica Observer: The 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) says it is looking forward to a concrete programme of cooperation with Switzerland after the European country’s diplomat presented his credentials to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque on Thursday. Read more 

Jamaican Tourism Interests Optimistic Following Trade Talks with Tour Operators

Jamaica Gleaner: Jamaican tourism stakeholders are expressing optimism after a series of successful meetings with tour operators at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace now under way at the Atlantis, Paradise Island, in The Bahamas. Read more 

Puerto Rico Launches new Push for Statehood

TelesurTV: Puerto Rico Friday approved a measure to hold another referendum to vote on becoming a state, set for June 11. It comes as the U.S. territory continues to struggle with the ongoing effects of colonialism and a major debt crisis. Read more 

Caribbean Tourism Requires Stronger Partnerships

Caribbean360: The Caribbean region’s tourism growth potential in 2017 and beyond is enormous, but not without continued collaborative partnerships between the region’s public and private sectors. Read more 

OECS Supports Geothermal Energy Production

St Lucia Times: Financing and government policy have been identified as the major challenges to the development of geothermal energy in the Eastern Caribbean. Read more 

INTERNATIONAL

Mexico pushes for trade deal with New Zealand

New Zealand Herald: Trade Minister Todd McClay will request that talks on a Mexican free trade deal be placed on the agenda when he meets his counterpart in Mexico in 10 days time. Read more

Brexit Plan Published in Government White Paper

BBC: The government has published an official policy document setting out its Brexit plans. Read more

Homeland Security Suspends Travel Ban

CNN: President Donald Trump’s government moved swiftly Saturday to comply with a federal judge’s order halting his travel ban — even as Trump himself denounced the judge — but readied its legal defense of the controversial executive action. Read more

Trump, Abe to discuss Potential Bilateral Deal and TPP at Washington Summit

ICTSD Bridges: US President Donald Trump has announced plans to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington to discuss trade and security matters in what will be the first face-to-face talks between the leaders since Trump took office last month. Read more

US Tax Plan would break tax rules, lawyers say

CNBC: A proposed U.S. corporate tax reform would almost certainly contravene international trade rules if implemented, lawyers told Reuters, risking the biggest dispute in the history of the World Trade Organization. Read more 

Least developed countries propose caps on trade distorting farm subsidies at WTO

ICTSD Bridges: WTO members must agree to cuts and new ceilings for trade-distorting farm subsidies, says a proposal from a group of dozens of the world’s poorest countries at the global trade body. Read more

 

African Union wants its members to pull out of ICC

Daily Nation (Kenya): The African Union (AU) wants its member states to pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Read more 

UK plans to adopt EU’s agreements with third countries

Reuters UK: Britain expects to be able to adopt the European Union’s free trade agreements (FTA) with around 40 countries after it leaves the bloc rather than negotiate new deals, trade minister Liam Fox said on Wednesday. Read more 

Mexico, Turkey to speed up talks to sign trade deal 

Reuters: Mexico and Turkey will speed up negotiations to sign a bilateral trade agreement, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Friday at an event in Mexico City with his Turkish counterpart. Read more

India to host key RCEP Meeting at Hyderabad in July

Economic Times (India): India will hold RCEP negotiations meeting this coming July in Hyderabad. Read more 

Nebraska farmers, ranchers wary of Trump ending NAFTA

Omaha World Herald: Like a lot of Midlands farmers, Randy Uhrmacher gets a little nervous when he hears in the news about President Donald Trump looking to shake up free trade agreements. Read more 

Mexican government initiates NAFTA review with private sector

Yucatan Times: The federal government will begin a process of consultation with the private sector, prior to the negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the US, which will continue on a permanent basis. Read more

Brexit: MPs overwhelmingly back Brexit bill

BBC: MPs have voted by a majority of 384 to allow Prime Minister Theresa May to get Brexit negotiations under way. They backed the government’s European Union Bill, supported by the Labour leadership, by 498 votes to 114. Read more

US Ranchers Look for some action on Country of Origin Labelling

FSN:  Two states known for their cowboys, Wyoming and South Dakota, have seen early introduction of COOL bills in their legislatures, respectively, in Cheyenne and Pierre. Cattlemen headquartered in neighboring Montana have not given up on a national bill. Read more 

US withdrawal from TPPA will hasten negotiations on RCEP

The Star (Malaysia): The withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will help hasten the process of concluding negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Read more 

Brexit: Angela Merkel warns UK PM Theresa May over slashing taxes

Independent (UK): Angela Merkel has hit back at Theresa May’s threat to slash taxes to undercut the EU if it blocks a Brexit deal, warning taxes are the price paid for a just society. Read more 

Trade Ministers on TPP Rescue Mission

RNZ:  (New Zealand’s) Trade Minister Todd McClay will meet his Australian counterpart in Sydney today in a bid to salvage the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Read more

Canadian Ambassador reassures Mexico on NAFTA

Toronto Star: In an interview with Mexican newspaper Reforma, Pierre Alarie sought to quell fears that Canada would abandon its trading partner during negotiations. Read more 

BONUS

WTO Video on TRIPS Amendment by Mexico’s Perez Motta

In this video statement on the WTO’s Youtube Channel, Mexico’s Eduardo Pérez Motta, a former TRIPS Council chair, says that the impact of the TRIPS amendment should be judged by the prices and supply of critical medicines.

Watch here (English)

Watch here (Spanish)

OECD Releases new brochure “Towards Better Trade Policies” 

The OECD’s new brochure “Towards Better Trade Policies” provides an executive overview of OECD work on trade, and contains comprehensive lists of references to all evidence we have developed over the past five years. Read more 

NEW ON CARIBBEAN TRADE LAW & DEVELOPMENT BLOG

TPP: Acting USTR Submits Withdrawal Letter

Brexit White Paper Released by UK Government

UK-US Trade Inquiry launched by UK Parliament’s International Trade Committee

Brexit Bill Clears First Parliamentary Hurdle

Climate Change, the Caribbean and US-Caribbean Strategic Re-engagement (HR4939)

Liked this issue? Read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

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