Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – March 19-25, 2017

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of March 19-25,2017!  I am pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World.

It is “Brexit Week”! This Wednesday United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50, beginning the formal process of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU). I trust you will enjoy this week’s edition of our Caribbean Trade and Development Digest!

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

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REGIONAL NEWS

Grenada joins list of CARICOM countries to ban corned beef from Brazil 

Jamaica Observer: Grenada has join the list of countries within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to place a ban on the importation and consumption of corned beef from Brazil. Read more 

Dominican Republic: Plantain contribution vital to GDP

Fresh Plaza: The Dominican Republic’s plantain sector contributes more than RD $14.000 million per year to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and it is one of the products that promotes the economy’s development the most, stated the chief executive of the Dominican Agribusiness Board, Osmar Benitez. Read more 

CARICOM to introduce secure, harmonised skills certificate

Antigua Observer: The Caribbean Community (Caricom) said it will be implementing a harmonised skills certificate with a range of security features under the Caricom Single Market & Economy (CSME) regime. Read more 

EU wants to advance common agenda with CARICOM in global fora

Nation News: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Wednesday accredited a new Ambassador of the European Union (EU), with the new envoy advocating for the relationship to more effectively advance a common agenda in global and multilateral fora. Read more 

Jamaica, Brazil face off over “bully beef”

Jamaica Observer: Jamaica and Brazil appear to be heading towards a trade row over the island’s ban on corned beef imported from that South American country as both sides yesterday took hard positions on the measure. Read more 

Finland expresses interest in CARICOM’s bioenergy potential

Jamaica Gleaner: Finland has expressed an interest in exploring the bioenergy potential in mainland territories of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries. Read more 

EUR 24m in support to the Caribbean’s private sector

St Lucia Times: The European Union (EU) have signed the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) agreement worth EUR 24 Million to support regional private sector development. Read more 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Trump to review all 14 US FTAs

Fortune: The Trump administration is preparing new executive orders to re-examine all 14 U.S. free trade agreements and review government procurement policies to aid American companies, two administration officials said. Read more 

EU, Mercosur Countries Work to Speed up trade talks 

ICTSD Bridges: Talks on a potential trade deal between the EU and Mercosur have reportedly been gaining renewed traction, with diplomats from both trading partners affirming their commitment to bringing the long-running negotiations closer to a successful conclusion. Read more 

Pacific countries to sign deal next month

Radio New Zealand: Pacific Island countries are expected to sign the proposed regional trade deal called PACER Plus next month. Read more 

Anti-Brexit protesters march in London 

The Australian: Tens of thousands of protesters marched in London against plans for Britain to withdraw from the European Union. Read more 

China, Australia work together to develop Asia-Pacific Trade

Global Times: At a time of uncertainty, where protectionist economic policy poses some threats to the broader global market, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang‘s visit to Australia has highlighted the importance of the two nation’s responsibility to work together and develop trade in the Asia-Pacific. Read more 

Africa Trade Meeting Has no Africans after Visa denials

VOA: Each year, the University of Southern California brings delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Read more 

Outcomes from FATF annual Private Sector Consultative Forum

FATF: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held its annual Private Sector Consultative Forum on 20-22 March 2017 in Vienna, Austria, hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).Read more 

Japanese, European leaders push for swift conclusion to trade talks

ICTSD Bridges: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday 20 March in Hanover, renewing calls to finalise negotiations on a EU-Japan free trade accord and defending open and fair trade. Read more 

Wildlife Trade: China Reports drop in demand for ivory

ICTSD Bridges: The past month has seen a series of domestic efforts aimed at addressing different aspects of wildlife trade, from the implementation of measures to further regulate or curb ivory sales in various countries and a debate in South Africa over domestic trade in rhino horn. Read more 

MacAuley Looks to tap Asia-Pacific trade for Canada

The Guardian: MacAulay held talks with his counterparts in both countries to promote Canadian products like lobster, livestock genetics, blueberries, grains and oilseeds. Read more 

Algeria ready to strengthen trade with South Africa

Brand South Africa: Algerian ambassador to South Africa Abd-El-Naceur Belaid called for stronger economic partnerships between Algeria and South Africa at an Algeria-South Africa trade and investment summit held in Johannesburg. Read more 

Canada aims to avoid Brexit cliff-edge with trade talks 

Toronto Star: The government is pushing for its trade deal with Europe to be ratified by Britain before it leaves the European Union to secure the crucial agreement. It also has its eye on deeper relations with the U.K. once Brexit is complete. Read more

RCEP “another important path” for trade liberalisation

Channel News Asia: Even as the United States has pulled out from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), both Singapore and Vietnam are “watching how things will develop” on the trade pact, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the end of his visit to Vietnam on Friday (Mar 24). Read more 

Panels established to review US renewable energy measures and Russian transit restrictions

WTO News: The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed on 21 March to the establishment of two new dispute panels: one to review a complaint filed by India regarding certain measures at the state level in the United States to promote renewable energy; and the second to review Ukraine’s complaint regarding restrictions on goods in transit through the Russian Federation. Read more 

UK Food Lobby Calls for Tariff-Free Post Brexit Trade with EU

Bloomberg: Industry bodies representing the U.K. food supply chain have called on the government to seek a tariff-free trade agreement with the European Union during coming Brexit negotiations. Read more 

Malaysia remains open on TPP

The Borneo Post: Malaysia is still keeping its options open on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as 10 of its signatories met in Chile last week, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. Read more 

US Chamber urges quick vote on USTR pick: Lighthizer

The Hill: The nation’s largest business lobby on Wednesday threw its support behind President Trump’s pick to lead U.S. trade policy. Read more 

Mexico prepared to “step away” from NAFTA if negotiations don’t benefit the country

Mercopress: Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said that if North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations don’t benefit all parties involved, the country is willing to “step away” from it. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said pulling out of NAFTA would be a last resort. Read more 

Trumps pipeline permit to TransCanada

USA Today: The company responsible for the Keystone XL oil pipeline said Friday that President Trump’s administration signed off on the project, clearing a hurdle for a polarizing endeavor that has rankled environmentalists and inspired hope for jobs among supporters. Read more 

Trump trade negotiator wants stronger ties with Taiwan 

China Post: U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee for trade representative has urged stronger bilateral ties with Taiwan, according to a report released Tuesday. Read more 

CTLD NEWS 

Read my latest commentary Sport, Entrepreneurship and Development

Caribbean Trade Law & Development (CTLD) and the Africa Caribbean & Pacific Young Professionals Network (ACP YPN)  have submitted joint written evidence to the United Kingdom (UK) House of Commons’ International Trade Committee’s on-going UK-US Trade Relations Inquiry . The inquiry  is examining the potential for a trade agreement between a post-BREXIT UK and the United States  of America (US).Our joint submission has been published on the UK House of Commons’ ITC’s website and may be viewed here.

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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