Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – April 2-8, 2017

Source: Pixabay

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of April 2-8, 2017!  I am pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World. 

 

REGIONAL NEWS

EPA Plan to be reset

Nation News: Barbados is resetting its implementation strategy of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union as Britain prepares to exit the EU. Read more

Trinidad pushes for shift to cleaner fuel

Caribbean360: The Trinidad and Tobago government has invested about $74 million in the first phase of a $295-million project to encourage more drivers to use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), described by experts here as a preliminary step in the country’s transition to using more sustainable forms of energy. Read more

T&T Recession slows rum sales

Sunday Express: The ongoing recession is affecting local rum sales, the country’s largest legal rum manufacturer said in its results released yesterday on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE). Read more

Trinidad & Tobago trade mission to Guyana

T&T Newsday: Come June 12 and 13 of this year, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, in collaboration with the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) will embark upon a Trade Mission to Guyana, one of the most significant emerging economies in the region. Read more

CARICOM considers how to keep market access in tact after Brexit

Caribbean360: CARICOM has reportedly narrowed down the options it intends to pursue to prevent a break in market access in the United Kingdom due to the UK’s planned exit from the European Union (EU). Read more

Bahamas Trade Information Service Portal Launched
Eleutheran: The initiative is the first of its kind in The Bahamas and one of only a few Trade Information Portals in the Caribbean Region. Read more

Dominican Republic signs trade agreement with Cuba

Jamaica Observer: The Dominican Republic has signed a Partial Scope agreement with Cuba in an effort to boost economic, trade and cooperation between both countries. Read more

OECS needs a unified approach to development, says economist

Antigua Observer: The biggest impediment to growth of the economies of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is their small size and scale of production, and the lack of a unified regional approach to development. That’s the view of Dr Vanus James, economist, statistician and regional academic. Read more

Trump reinforces bond between Jamaica and the US

Jamaica Gleaner: United States President Donald Trump says he looks forward to working with the Jamaican Government on bilateral and regional issues. Read more

Jamaica saves $30 billion on oil imports

Jamaica Gleaner: Jamaica reduced its oil import bill by US$242 million ($30 billion) last year, which helped to slash the trade deficit by nearly nine per cent, according to new data from Statin. Read more

PM Launches 7th Biennial Diaspora Conference

JIS: The ‘Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference’, which is organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, under the theme ‘Partnering for Growth’. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

WTO creates panel to decide on China, EU flap

The Star: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) set up on Monday a panel to examine the so-called “surrogate country” approach used by the European Union to calculate anti-dumping measures applied to Chinese exports, following a request from Beijing.
Read more
Rwanda: AfDB unveils US $450 million fund to promote export trade
AllAfrica: The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $450 million about (Rwf372 billion) trade finance facility for the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank). Read more

NAFTA Trade Growth Continues in January

American Shipper: Total cross-border trade between the US, Mexico and Canada jumped 6.7 percent in January 2017, the third straight month of year-over-year increases, according to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Read more

Malaysian PM Najib Razak pushes for conclusion of free trade deal

Livemint: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday called for the speedy conclusion of a free trade pact between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and six other countries including India, saying the regional partnership becomes all the more relevant after the US pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Read more

European Parliament backs red lines resolution for Brexit negotiations

TheGuardian: The European parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of a tough negotiating stance towards the British government in the Brexit negotiations. Read more

Pacific looks to improve links with Asian economies

RNZ: Pacific economic ministers meeting in Suva have been looking at how the region can better engage with the growing Asian economies. Read more

South African Court allows domestic rhino horn trade

Environment News Service: South Africa’s Constitutional Court has overturned the current ban on domestic trade in rhino horn. As a result, the sale of rhino horn will be allowed to resume within the country’s borders, but not internationally. Read more

Trump’s NAFTA plans are more than a tweak, Mulroney says

TheGlobeandMail: Brian Mulroney says U.S. plans to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement are shaping up to be more than a tweak.The former Progressive Conservative prime minister made the comments after briefing the Liberal cabinet committee on Canada-U.S. relations on Parliament Hill. Read more

Canadian Free Trade Agreement Finalised

CNW: Ministers representing the federal, provincial and territorial governments have concluded negotiations on a new Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) that will help to expand Canadian businesses and increase economic growth across the country.  Read more

US Labor chief wants mores drastic changes to NAFTA from Trump

Reuters: Top U.S. labor leader Richard Trumka on Tuesday blasted the Trump administration’s initial plan to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), calling it “very timid.” Read more

Australia moves closer to free trade talks with EU

ABC (Australia): The Federal Government hopes to begin negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union in the second half of this year, after finalising a key step needed to begin talks. Read more

Brussels mulls excluding UK from trade talks updates

Politico: The EU is considering shutting the U.K. out of sensitive briefings on its trade policy, following warnings that Britain will become a competitor for striking trade deals post-Brexit.  Read more

At US-China Summit, Trump pressed Xi on trade

President Donald Trump pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more to curb North Korea’s nuclear program and help reduce the gaping U.S. trade deficit with Beijing in talks on Friday, even as he toned down the strident anti-China rhetoric of his election campaign. Read more

WTO members discuss trade facilitation provisions in RTAs

WTO: WTO members discussed the relationship between trade facilitation provisions in regional trade agreements (RTAs) and the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) at the 3-4 April meeting of the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements. Read more

UK eyes trade agreement with Asean after it leaves European Union

Business Insider: Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that the United Kingdom (UK) has expressed interest to pursue a regional trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), weeks after the European Union (EU) expressed intent to do the same. Read more

Panels established to review EU dumping methodologies, Indian steel safeguard

WTO: At its special meeting on 3 April, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed to the establishment of two new dispute panels: one to review a complaint filed by China against the European Union’s measures related to price comparison methodologies in anti-dumping investigations; and the second to review a complaint from Japan regarding India’s safeguard measure on imports of iron and steel products. Read more

Trade Policy Review: Mexico

WTO: The sixth review of the trade policies and practices of Mexico took place on 5 and 7 April 2017. The basis for the review was a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Mexico. Read more

BONUS – Bloomberg Interview with Mexico Economy Minister

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker, Mexico Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo discusses President Donald Trump’s stance on NAFTA, among other things. Have a watch here.

CTLD NEWS

One of my Brexit articles was republished in the leading business magazine in Barbados, the Barbados Business Authority. Have a read here: Seize the Brexit Moment.

For more CTLD News see News & Announcements

NEW ON CTLD BLOG

Will US Financial Deregulation help mitigate the de-risking phenomenon?

Trump’s Trade Executive Orders target deficit and uncollected AD/CV Duties

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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