Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of March 26-April 1! I am pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World.
The biggest trade news this week was that the United Kingdom has officially submitted its notification of intention to withdraw from the European Union, and has published its Great Repeal White Paper. United States President Trump signed on Friday two executive orders on trade, one calling for improving the collection of anti-dumping/countervailing measure duties and the other mandating a study on the reasons for the US trade deficit. Turning to the Caribbean, the Golding Commission in Jamaica has turned over its CARICOM Review Report to the Jamaican Prime Minister.
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Golding Commission Submits CARICOM Review Report To PM
Jamaica Gleaner: The Bruce Golding-led CARICOM Review Commission has submitted its final report, eight months after it started its work. Read more
Guyana cleared for paddy exports to Mexico
Stabroek: According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Guyana will now be able to bid on three quotas, totalling 30,000 metric tonnes of paddy for export to Mexico, following the Government of Mexico’s decision to allow the tax free importation of 150,000 metric tonnes of paddy and rice products from outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) member states. Read more
Belize economy declines by 1.2% in 4th quarter
Breaking Belize News: For the first time in five years, Belize has seen a decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fourth quarter of the year. Read more
CARICOM launches new energy efficiency code
Antigua Observer: Jamaica has launched a new initiative aimed at develop a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (REEBC). The project is being undertaken by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). Read more
Leveraging opportunities from the EU
Barbados Advocate: Andrea King, Director, Barbados Cultural Industries Development Authority has revealed the recent project that the Barbados Cultural Industries Development Authority is managing on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth has gained critical market research intelligence to conduct business in the European market. Read more
Tourism will still be king
Nation News: Tourism will continue to be golden egg in Barbados’ economic basket even as the island pursues diversification via other sectors including renewable energy. Read more
Local experts to inspect Brazil’s meat processing plants
Jamaica Gleaner: A Jamaican technical team, which leaves this week for Brazil, will undertake a fact-finding mission to determine the validity of reports of tainted meat being processed into corned beef. Read more
Regional sugar production for 2017 off to steady start
Jamaica Observer: The Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) has reported an increase in sugar production in the region for the month of February when compared to the same period last year. Read more
10th EDF Technical Barriers Of Trade Programme Is A Resounding Success
ZIZ Online: Media representatives and members of national bureaus of standards in CARIFORUM member countries participated in a close-out regional press conference on Thursday, March 23, which was geared at highlighting the numerous successes of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Technical Barriers of Trade (TBT) Programme. Read more
Guyana’s Coast Guard boosts capacity amidst oil production
Demerara Waves: The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard is beefing up its capacity to provide security for offshore oil exploration and production as well as clamp down on illegal activities some of which “distort our economy,” President David Granger said. Read more
Ministers finalise Caricom strategy for education, human resource development
Stabroek News: Caribbean Ministers of Education and other educational officials yesterday met to finalise a regional strategy for education and human resource development. Read more
No turning back on ‘Brexit’ as Article 50 triggered
BBC: Britain’s departure from the EU is “an historic moment from which there can be no turning back”, Theresa May has said. Read more
‘We are ready’: Canada-Europe trade deal set to kick in, mostly, by July 1
CBC News: Canada is preparing to provisionally apply the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) by July 1. Read more
COMESA 53m Euros trade facilitation programme almost complete
CTA: The formulation of projects under the COMESA trade facilitation programme to be financed under the 11 European Development Fund has entered the home stretch. Read more
EU, Mercosur Negotiators Report Progress, Schedule Future Meetings
ICSTD: Negotiators meeting to advance a planned EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, including a free trade deal, finished their 27th round of talks last Friday in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Read more
OAS, US Denounce Venezuelan High Court’s Takeover of Legislature
VOA: The Venezuelan Supreme Court’s decision late Wednesday to take control of the opposition-controlled legislature has set off a wave of outrage, with some hemispheric neighbors, including the United States, Mexico, Peru and Argentina, denouncing the measure as a threat to democracy. Read more
Canada’s ambassador: All Romanian citizens can travel to Canada without visas starting December 1
Business Review: Romanians who own a valid visa for USA or received a visa for Canada in the last 10 years will travel to Canada without visa from May 1 and from December 1 all citizens will travel to Canada without visa, said on Thursday Kevin Hamilton, the ambassador of Canada to Romania, according to Agerpres. Read more
Brexit: UK publishes ‘Great Repeal Bill’ plan to replace EU laws
CNN: The scale of the task facing UK legislators as they try to extricate Britain from the European Union was revealed on Thursday when the British government set out how the process would work. Read more
Nicola Sturgeon threatens to try and obstruct Great Repeal Bill
Telegraph: Nicola Sturgeon has signalled she will try and derail the Great Repeal Bill by withholding her government’s consent for its plans to give Scotland powers repatriated from Brussels. Read more
Trump executive orders will target trade ‘cheaters’
USAToday: President Trump promised to crack down on “foreign importers that cheat” Friday, signing two executive orders that he said would lead to a historic reversal of the nation’s trade deficit. Read more
On ‘Brexit,’ It’s Divorce First, Trade Talks Later, E.U. Tells U.K.
New York Times: Britain must agree to pay its bills and to protect millions of Europeans living in Britain before reaching a new trading relationship with the European Union, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said on Friday. Read more
Trump administration seeks mainly modest changes to NAFTA
CNBC: The Trump administration is seeking mainly limited changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Read more
Germany urges EU to file WTO complaint against U.S. in steel row
Reuters: Germany urged the European Union on Friday to consider filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the United States over its plan to impose duties on imports of steel plate from five EU member states. Read more
China says U.S. trade orders should respect international rules
Reuters: China called on the United States to respect international trade rules and improve cooperation and dialogue in reaction to two new orders by U.S. President Donald Trump calling for an investigation into trade abuses. Read more
WTO issues panel report regarding EU tariff rate quotas on poultry imports
WTO: On 28 March 2017 the WTO issued the panel report in the case brought by China in “European Union – Measures Affecting Tariff Concessions on Certain Poultry Meat Products”. Read more
WTO members review new farm policies in Agriculture Committee
WTO: WTO members held discussions about each other’s farm trade policies at a meeting of the Committee on Agriculture on 27 March. The Committee considered 29 questions concerning subsidies and market access in agriculture, with 16 of these items being raised for the first time. They also reviewed notifications of members’ farm policies. Read more
US universities speak out against Trump travel ban
VOA: A group of 31 U.S. colleges and universities is supporting a legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s restrictions on travel to the United States by refugees and visitors from certain Muslim-majority countries, asserting the executive order would harm their efforts to provide quality education and promote the free exchange of ideas. Read more
Trump Administration appealing halt of revised travel ban
CNN: The Justice Department has filed a notice to appeal a Hawaii-based federal judge’s ruling that indefinitely halted core portions of the President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban. Read more
I was honoured to be a panellist representing FRANHENDY ATTORNEYS at the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) International Business Forum on March 31st in Barbados. The Panel was “The Trump Presidency – Implications and Opportunities for IFCs“. The discussion, which considered the potential implications and opportunities of the Trump Presidency for Caribbean International Financial Centres (IFCs) was ably moderated by Melanie Jones of LEX Caribbean Attorneys-at-Law. I was delighted to share the stage with a distinguished panel which comprised of noted economist Jeremy Stephen, attorney-at-law Cadian Drummond and Executive Director of the University of the West Indies Consulting (UWI Consulting), Lisa Cummins. I wish to thank BIBA, the moderator, my fellow panellists, as well as those from the two other panels for a very engaging and informative Business Forum as always.
NEW ON THE CTLD BLOG
Brexit begins; UK makes historic Article 50 notification of withdrawal from EU
New Trump Executive Order Reverses Obama-Era Climate Change Policies
Post-Brexit UK-Caribbean Trading Relations: What are the options?
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