Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of March 18-24, 2018! We are pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World. We hope you enjoy this edition.
CDB programme to support increased trade among CARICOM states
St. Kitts & Nevis Observer: The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved USD$750,000 in funding for a programme that will assist the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with strengthening intra-regional trade. Read more
Is Guyana ready for an oil boom?
Eurasia Review: Guyana’s story shares many similarities with the story of the ugly duckling. One of the poorest countries in South America, it has historically been entirely dependent on oil imports. Read more
Stabroek (Guyana): It is incomprehensible that the government here was given notification by the US government in November, 2015 of new regulations for Siluriformes (catfish) and failed to take all of the required steps to enable continued exports from Guyana. Read more
North America continues to dominate imports into the TCI -Gov’t makes moves to improve trade with Caribbean neighbours
Turks & Caicos Weekly News: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continues to dominate imports into the Turks and Caicos Islands, accounting for $394.1 million or 91.1 percent of the total import bill for 2017. Read more
What is the value of CARICOM to Curacao and Sint Maarten (and to ALL Caribbean nations)?
St. Lucia Star: Earlier in March news broke that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was officially assessing the application of Curacao and Sint Maarten for associate membership. These two islands are separated by 900 km of water but they share a cultural heritage, central bank, and a view that within CARICOM a brighter future awaits them. Read more
Lessons from EPA must inform Post-Cotonou Agreement – Trade Expert
Business Ghana: Mr Tetteh Hormeku, Head of Programmes at the Third World Network, has advised governments in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to use lessons from the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for the post-Cotonou possible framework. Read more
Forty-four countries sign historic African Union free trade agreement
Africa News: Forty-four African countries have signed up to a historic trade agreement aimed at paving the way for a liberalized market for goods and services across the continent. Read more
Fiji-PNG discuss trade relations with UK post-Brexit
Fiji Times: The United Kingdom has begun the process of exiting the European Union (EU) and in this endeavour, it is working with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries to avoid any trade disruptions, during and post-withdrawal. Read more
Brexit: Government still planning for no deal scenario
The Independent: David Davis has said the Government will continue to plan for a no-deal scenario despite reaching an agreement with Brussels on the transition period last week. Read more
Mercosur “blocks” talks on auto exports and government procurement contracts, claims EU
Mercopress: European officials said this week that significant obstacles remain to a long-delayed trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur, even as South American officials expressed optimism a deal would be finalized soon. Read more
Heatwaves, hurricanes, floods: 2017 costliest year ever for extreme weather and climate events, says UN
Mercopress: Hurricanes, monsoon floods and continuing severe drought made 2017 the costliest year ever for severe weather and climate events, according to a new report by the United Nations weather agency launched on the eve of World Meteorological Day. Read more
India Hosting Mini-Ministerial meet to break WTO impasse
Economic Times: Taking a lead to break the impasse, India is hosting a two-day informal meeting of 50 WTO members here which would deliberate upon ways to create a positive atmosphere for carrying forward the mandate of the global trade organisation. Read more
G20 pushes for free trade as U.S. vows to defend national interest
Reuters: World financial leaders pleaded for an endorsement of free trade on Monday amid worries about U.S. metals tariffs and looming trade sanctions on China, but Trump administration officials said they would not sacrifice U.S. national interests. Read more
China threatens to raise tariffs on about $3 billion of U.S. imports
Washington Post: President Trump embarked Thursday on the sharpest trade confrontation with China in nearly a quarter-century, moving toward imposing tariffs on $60 billion in Chinese goods and limiting China’s freedom to invest in the U.S. technology industry. The Chinese government fired back hours later, threatening to hit $3 billion in U.S. goods with tariffs. Read more
US and South Korea Reach Agreement on Trade, Steel Tariffs
Bloomberg: The U.S. and South Korea reached an agreement on revising the allies’s six-year-old bilateral trade deal and President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. Read more
EU Commission welcomes adoption of negotiating directives for a multilateral investment court
EU: The Commission welcomes today’s adoption by the Council of the negotiating directives for a multilateral investment court, as well as the fact that for the first time the Council makes its negotiating mandate public right at the time it is adopted. Read more
WTO members raise concerns over US tariffs on steel and aluminium at Goods Council
WTO: WTO members expressed concern over the United States’ imposition of higher tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and the impact they may have on the global trading system at a meeting of the Council on Trade in Goods on 23 March, the same day the new US measure came into effect. The US responded by saying that the tariffs are necessary to address the threat these imports pose to national security. Read more
Appellate Body issues report regarding Russian duties on vehicle imports from Germany, Italy
WTO: On 22 March 2018, the WTO Appellate Body issued its report in the case “Russia — Anti-Dumping Duties on Light Commercial Vehicles from Germany and Italy” (DS479). Read more
WTO issues compliance panel report regarding US countervailing duties on Chinese imports
WTO: On 21 March a WTO panel issued its compliance report in the dispute “United States — Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Products from China — Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by China” (DS437). Read more
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