Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of April 23-29, 2017! We are pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World.
We do apologise for the lack of a Digest for the past two weeks due to my travelling. It has been an interesting two weeks in world trade, with the US imposing tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports and the EU releasing its Guidelines for the Brexit Negotiations with the UK pursuant to Article 50. On the home front, Belize has concluded its third World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Policy Review. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We hope you enjoy this edition.
Belize has concluded its third WTO trade policy review
WTO: The third review of the trade policies and practices of Belize takes place on 24 and 26 April 2017. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Belize. Read more
US and region deepen security ties
Nation News: The United States has pledged its commitment to deepening its cooperation with the Caribbean region to combat all threats. Read more
Barbados Hotel occupancies drop during the first quarter
BarbadosToday: Against the backdrop of a fall in hotel occupancies and weak returns on hotel room rates during the first quarter of this year, Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Roseanne Myers Wednesday disclosed that travel agents from source markets were reporting that some repeat visitors were opting not to travel in winter because they were waiting for “when the rates are a little better”. Read more
Hopes for Caribbean Trade Boost
Business Authority: Local exporters, and their Caribbean counterparts, stand to benefit now that a major international trade agreement has come into force. Read more
Barbados records significant rum trade with Europe
Jamaica Observer: Barbados has exported BDS$89.9 million (US$44.95 million) in rum products to the European Union over a four year period, Commerce Minister Donville Inniss has said. Read more
Barbadian Rum producers fear results of French election
BarbadosToday: Barbadian rum producers are keeping a close eye on the French presidential run-off election scheduled for May 7, fearing the results could hurt the local industry. Read more
Gopee-Scoon talks trade with local high commissioner and ambassador
Loop Trinidad: Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon met with the High Commissioner-designate to the United Kingdom Orville London and Ambassador-designate to Costa Rica Tracey Davidson –Celestine on Wednesday. Read more
Sector leader sees improved trade relations with Trinidad & Tobago
Jamaica Gleaner: President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) Metry Seaga says his organisation has received fewer complaints from local manufacturers about unfair trade practices by their Trinidadian counterparts. Read more
We will do everything to keep GuySuCo alive – says Granger
Stabroek: President David Granger said today that his government will do everything possible to keep the sugar industry alive. Read more
Guyana considers Suriname’s gold export model
Demerara Waves: Guyana’s recent foreign currency shortage appears to have caused government to consider adopting Suriname’s model to ensure that more earnings from gold sales goes directly to the national treasury. Read more
Granger names three sugar estates to be retained
Demerara Waves: President David Granger has named at least three sugar estates that will be retained as part of a restructured Guyana Sugar Corporation. Read more
European Council Releases (Article 50) Guidelines
EU: The European Council has released its guidelines for the upcoming Article 50 Brexit negotiations with the UK. Read more
Africa and China trade is booming
BusinessReport: China remained Africa’s biggest trading partner as bilateral economic relations boomed, said Jiang Zengwei, head of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. Read more
US imposing 20 percent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber
CNBC: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday his agency will impose new anti-subsidy tariffs averaging 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber imports, a move that escalates a long-running trade dispute between the two countries. Read more
US lumber tariffs hit B.C. manufacturers hard
CBC Canada: New softwood lumber tariffs being imposed by the U.S. are already cutting deep into B.C. businesses. Read more
DG Azevedo: Global trade challenges are best tackled through the multilateral system
WTO: The WTO should seek to bolster global economic cooperation in order to leave a strong and well-functioning trading system for future generations, said Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. Read more
Downgrades depress South African exports and trade
BusinessReport: Recent credit downgrades by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch have put more pressure on South African exports and international trade. Read more
WTO issues panel report on Chinese cellulose pulp duties
WTO: On 25 April 2017 the WTO issued the panel report in the case brought by Canada in “China – Anti-Dumping Measures on Imports of Cellulose Pulp from Canada” (DS483). Read more
Arbitrator issues decision in Mexico-US tuna dispute
WTO: On 25 April, a WTO arbitrator issued a decision on the level of retaliation that Mexico can request in its dispute with the United States over US “dolphin safe” labelling requirements for tuna products (DS381). Read more
ACP: One billion people to speak to Europe with one voice
The Southern Times: Seventy-nine countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which are home to around one billion people, will speak with one voice as they prepare to negotiate a major partnership agreement with the European Union (500 million inhabitants) in May. Read more
EU tells May: Give our citizens their rights or no trade talks
The Guardian: The EU has called on Theresa May to provide immediate “serious and real” guarantees to its citizens living in Britain. Read more
Some important clarifications on the EPA
The Guardian: All of the ECOWAS countries, apart from Nigeria and the Gambia, have to date signed the EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EPA may enter into force only if all ECOWAS member states sign and if at least two thirds ratify the agreement. Read more
Examining Trump’s record on trade
NPR: When the president speaks the world listens. Adam Behsudi of Politico talks with NPR’s Scott Simon about how Donald Trump’s outspoken commentary is affecting international trade with the U.S. Read more
Trump on trade: Scrutinise NAFTA, other deals for abuses
Politico: President Donald Trump’s latest executive order on trade calls for review of all U.S. free trade agreements — including NAFTA and the World Trade Organization pact — and possible renegotiation of any deal to eliminate “violations and abuses,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday. Read more
Difficult trade-offs necessary for RCEP to be worthwhile: PM Lee Hsien Loong
Strait Times: Asean is keen to conclude a region-wide trade agreement with its key partners, but the pact must have substance to be worthwhile, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (April 29). Read more
Southeast Asia prioritises trade pact including China
Channel News Asia: Southeast Asian countries will prioritise creating an Asia-focused trade pact this year that includes China, India and Japan, while trade issues with the United States will be put on the back burner, the Philippine trade minister said. Read more
Mwagiru: Durban forum expected to focus on intra-Africa trade
Daily Nation: Wary of the perils of depending on reluctant donors for its survival, Africa is on a quiet quest for self-reliance and intra-regional cooperation. These are among the themes that will feature at the three-day World Economic Forum that opens in Durban, South Africa, on Wednesday. Read more
Alicia Nicholls presented a paper at the 18th Annual SALISES Conference 2017, a major academic conference organised annually by the University of the West Indies (UWI). The Conference was hosted this year by the Trinidad (St. Augustine Campus) at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
Alicia’s paper is a work in progress and is entitled “Economic Citizenship and Freedom of Movement of the Caribbean Community National: An Irreconcilable Tension?”.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Small Nations, Dislocations, Transformations: Sustainable Development in SIDS” and was held over the period April 26-28, 2017.
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