Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development Digest for the week of March 24-30, 2019! We are happy to bring you the major trade and development headlines and analysis from across the Caribbean Region and the world from the past week.

REGIONAL

UK signs trade continuity agreement with Caribbean countries

UK Government: UK businesses and consumers will benefit from a trade continuity agreement maintaining current arrangements with countries in the Caribbean soon after Britain leaves the EU. Read more 

Ring the alarm: Diversification of Caribbean Export must take priority

Barbados Today: According to International Trade Attorney Magda Theodate, there are four major economic storm clouds keeping the Caribbean sun from shining over the heads of CARICOM’s 15-member state governments, and their even more vulnerable neighbours. Swift action is needed to ensure better times ahead for the people of the region. Read more 

Bahamas delegation to attend 4th WTO accession meeting

Eye Witness News: The Government of The Bahamas wishes to advise that a delegation is attending the 4th Meeting of the Working Party on the accession of The Bahamas to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on April 5, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more 

Poultry Producers In Push For Quotas

Tribune 242: A Bahamian poultry producer yesterday revealed it is “pushing” for chicken imports to be regulated by quotas rather than the current tariff system as The Bahamas’ march to WTO accession continues. Read more 

Caribbean Countries urged to take more advantage of EPA

TV6 T&T: Former Barbados prime minister, Owen Arthur, says Caribbean Community regional countries have failed to take full advantage of the 10-year-old Economic partnership Agreement (EPA) signed between the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) and the European Union. Read more 

Belize’s bananas safe from Brexit fallout

Breaking Belize News: The newly signed EPA is good news for Belize’s banana industry because the UK is the major importer of Belize’s bananas, importing as much as 69 percent of Belizean bananas in 2017. Regional media outlets noted that producers of rum are also glad that trade will continue uninterrupted. Read more 

No big deal

Barbados Today: Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur is warning Caribbean leaders not to expect a major trade deal with the UK when it leaves the European Union (EU). Read more 

INTERNATIONAL

U.S. to push for comprehensive free trade agreement as it looks to open up Japan’s agriculture market

Japan Times: U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday his administration will push for a comprehensive free trade agreement with Japan and signaled his eagerness to seek a further opening of the country’s agriculture market. Read more 

Solomon Islands eyes more trade with Indonesia

Radio New Zealand: It came after trade talks held between Indonesia and several Pacific Island nations last week in Jakarta. Colin Beck, a permanent secretary with the Solomon Islands Foreign Ministry, said his government wanted to open port-to-port trade in Indonesia. Read more

Australia to sign free trade deal with Hong Kong

The Sydney Morning Herald: Australia will sign a new agreement covering $18.8 billion in free trade with Hong Kong on Tuesday, as Labor prepares to officially back the Australia-Indonesia free trade deal if it wins government. Read more 

Is Brexit an opportunity to revive the EU-India trade deal?

The Conversation: The European Union and India have been negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) since 2007. Despite growing trade between the EU and India, talks stalled in 2013 after 16 rounds, only resuming in 2018. Read more 

China Touts Progress With U.S. as Both Focus on a Final Deal

Bloomberg: Chinese and U.S. negotiators made “new progress” in trade negotiations as both sides discussed the wording of an agreement that’s designed to resolve a bilateral trade dispute, according to Beijing’s official news agency Xinhua. Read more

Bipartisan Support Seen for a US-Taiwan Free-trade Deal

VoA: Influential figures in Washington are calling for the establishment of a bilateral free-trade agreement with Taiwan, even as U.S. and Chinese officials move toward a resolution of their long-running trade dispute.  Read more

USMCA is Not a Done Deal. It Must Still Clear Three Legislative Hurdles

Atlantic Council: On November 30, the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), modernizing the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and “rebalancing” trade relations between the three countries, according to the US administration. Before the new pact officially takes effect, however, the legislatures of all three countries need to approve the agreement. Read more 

ECOWAS urges member states to sign AfCFTA

Journal du Cameroun: The Director of Trade, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr. Gbenga Obideyi, has called on member states to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to ensure the preservation of the ECOWAS acquis.Obideyi made the call in Abuja on Thursday during a national validation workshop on the study conducted by the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) on Articulating Nigeria’s Agricultural Trade Strategies for the AfCFTA Negotiation. Read more 

AfCFTA: One year down the road, there’s reason for celebration

The New Times: Stephen Karingi, ECA’s Director for Regional Integration and Trade spoke to The New Times’ James Karuhanga, shedding light on what is expected between now and the next African leaders’ summit in Niamey, Niger in July. Read more 

Is AfCFTA Good for Africa? Experts Shared Their Views at the 2019 Oxford Business Forum Africa

African Exponent: Hosted by the School’s Oxford Africa Business Alliance, the event explored the implications of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on the development and ease of doing business on the continent. Read more 

UK exports to India grow at fastest rate among non-EU trading partners

Business Standard: UK’s exports to India increased at the fastest rate among the country’s top trading partners outside the European Union (EU), with a 19.3 per cent hike in goods and services trade in 2018, according to official figures. Read more 

Report on EU Trade Defence

European Commission: The Juncker Commission has strengthened Europe’s trade defence toolbox through two major reforms. Since 2014, it has also applied 95 measures to ensure that European companies and workers can compete on fair terms. Two-thirds of all the 135 measures in place concern imports from China. Read more 

ACP’s efforts post-Cotonou must be economically sustainable – Tweya

New Era Live: Namibia has reaffirmed its commitment to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and European Union (EU) partnership and says it will do all it can to honour and work toward the commitments embodied in the Cotonou Agreement and post-Cotonou when it expires in 2020. This was the message by Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Tjekero Tweya, when he spoke on Wednesday at the 37TH session of ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly that took place in the Bucharest, Romania. Read more 

WTO NEWS

Appellate Body issues report on US compliance in the Boeing dispute

On 28 March the WTO’s Appellate Body issued its report on US compliance in the dispute brought by the European Union in “United States — Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft — Second complaint” (DS353). Read more

Guatemala initiates WTO dispute complaint against Indian sugar subsidies

Guatemala has requested WTO dispute consultations with India regarding domestic support measures and alleged export subsidies provided by India to producers of sugarcane and sugar. The request was circulated to WTO members on 25 March. Read more 

The Caribbean Trade & Development Digest is a weekly trade news digest published by the Caribbean Trade Law & Development Blog. Liked this issue? To read past issues, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.