Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of May 19-25, 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.

THIS WEEK’S TRADE HIGHLIGHTS

On the Brexit front, the biggest, but not entirely shocking news for the week was the announcement by UK Prime Minister Theresa May that she will be stepping down from office on June 7, 2019. Her full resignation speech may be viewed here.

The OECD in its latest Economic Outlook noted the impact of the global trade tensions on the global economy. Access the press release and the report here.

Looking regionally, Trinidad & Tobago this week underwent its 4th WTO Trade Policy Review. Read more here.

REGIONAL TRADE NEWS

Barbados approves importation of medical cannabis

Caribbean News Now: The ministry of health and wellness has approved five medicinal marijuana drugs submitted by the drug formulary committee to be placed on the National Drug Formulary. The drugs will be imported by the Barbados Drug Service. Read more

Grenada real estate resale changes spur CBI market freehold, leasehold, trust certificates qualify for resale

Caribbean News Now: The government of Grenada’s re-alignment of the minimum investment requirement for the real estate option (for certain developments) of the country’s citizenship by investment (CBI) program from US$350,000 to US$220,000 has spurred the market, say experts. Read more

Caribbean leaders will lead on climate resilience – PM Mitchell in CNN opinion

CARICOM Today: Grenada and other Small Island Developing States are on the front line in the war against climate change. Although hurricanes are no stranger to the Caribbean, the overwhelming scientific evidence of how extreme weather conditions are worsening due to global warming shows that we need to take the signals that our Earth is sending us seriously. Read more

BELTRAIDE hosts 1st SHEMentors Networking Event

Breaking Belize News: The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) through support from the Regional Center of Promotion for MSME (CENPROMYPE) is hosting a women’s mentorship networking event today in Belize city. Read more

Minister of Trade speaks on expansion of Freezone

LoveFM: The Corozal Freezone has not really been the “talk of the town,” and, in fact, is in dire need of some TLC. The Freezone has not been forgotten, however, as there are big plans in the making to not only expand but also to revamp it. Minister of Trade, Tracy Taegar-Panton, met with the Freezone’s board of director last Friday, and today, she told us more about what was discussed. Read more

EU Statement at the 4th Trade Policy Review of Trinidad and Tobago, 22 May 2019

EU: On behalf of the European Union I would like to welcome Trinidad and Tobago’s Delegation, led by H.E. Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry and the Discussant, H.E. Mr. Michael Gaffey (Ireland), for his introductory words. Read more

Trade and Industry advocates for small economies at the WTO

MTI: Minister of Trade and Industry, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon expressed a need for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to adopt a pragmatic approach that takes due cognizance of the unique issues of Small and Vulnerable Economies (SVEs). Read more

Stop The Wto ‘Scare Tactics’

Tribune242: Carey Leonard, the former Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) in-house counsel, told Tribune Business there was plentiful evidence from elsewhere in the Caribbean to prove that small businesses and ‘Mom and Pop’ stores “will not be wiped out” upon this country becoming a World Trade Organisation (WTO). Read more

Exporting Caribbean fashion

Newsday: Young fashion designers from TT, Grenada, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St Lucia and Tortola – to name a few – have been brought together for the Fashion and Contemporary Design Accelerator, which participants said left them feeling empowered and ready to contribute to building a stronger regional fashion industry. Read more

UNCTAD holds training in Belize

LoveFM: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, is in the country holding a one-week workshop to assist with the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. The Trade Facilitation Agreement will provide for a smoother and more efficient movement of goods. Read more

Jamaica representing the Caribbean in global food fraud fight

Loop Jamaica: Jamaica is the only Caribbean country to be included in an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) five-year research project that is geared at assisting countries in combatting fraud in high-value food products, such as premium honey, coffee and speciality rice varieties. Read more

Over 42,000 Caribbean nationals overstayed their non-immigrant US visas

Caribbean News Now: Acting Homeland Secretary, Kevin Mc Aleenan revealed that over 42,000 Caribbean nationals from across the region overstayed their non-immigrant visas and stayed in the US between October 2017 and September 2018. This figure is contained in the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DSH) fiscal year 2018 entry/exit overstay report. Read more

US Senators submit act to facilitate agricultural exports to Cuba

Caribbean News Now: US Senators John Boozman and Michael Bennet submitted a draft bill to remove restrictions to private financing for US agricultural exports to Cuba. Read more

Building Bonds

Barbados Advocate: The Association of Barbados-China Friendship (ABCF) has been launched in an effort to create and strengthen the bond between Chinese and Barbadians. During the launch, which took place at the Hilton Resort Barbados on Thursday night, President of the ABCF Dr. Delisle Worrell noted that it is a “people-centred organisation with an emphasis on facilitating personal contacts between Barbadians and Chinese”. Read more

Region lags global shipping trends

Barbados Today: Barbados and the Caribbean appear to be lagging behind most of the world in using the global postal system’s Express Mail Service (EMS) to boost exports through e-commerce and small package deliveries, experts said here today. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Rare Earths, the U.S.-China Trade War and Your Phone

Washington Post: U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to cut off the supply of chips and processors to Huawei Technologies Co. is hitting China’s biggest tech company where it hurts – its dependence on other nations for the semiconductors and software in smartphones and networking gear. So when Chinese President Xi Jinping showed up days later at a rare earths processing plant, many observers saw a message in the visit: the U.S. has its own tech vulnerabilities, too. Read more

EU-ACP Pleased With Negotiations For Successor To Cotonou Agreement

Jamaica Gleaner: The European Union says a new accord to replace the Cotonou Agreement that currently governs its relationship with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group is “taking shape”. Read more

79-Nation Group’s Head Explains Vital Tasks Ahead Until ACP-EU Accord Expires

IndepthNews: As talks progress on future relations between 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union in the aftermath of historic Cotonou Agreement due to expire in February 2020, Secretary-General Dr. Patrick Ignatius Gomes has spelt out vital tasks ahead. Read more

Nigeria to Join Africa Free Trade Zone, Trade Minister Says

Bloomberg: Nigeria will sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari approves an impact-assessment report he asked for, the country’s trade minister said. Read more

The Impact of US-China Trade Tensions

IMF Blog: US-China trade tensions have negatively affected consumers as well as many producers in both countries. The tariffs have reduced trade between the US and China, but the bilateral trade deficit remains broadly unchanged. Read more

National Consultative Forum On the African Continental Free Trade Area – Experts to Discuss Corruption and the Challenge of Economic Transformation in Southern Africa

All Africa: The Economic Commission for Africa Office for Southern Africa (ECA-SA) in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, African Union Commission (AUC), are co-organising a National Consultative Forum; “National Consultative Forum on the African continental free trade area: Opportunities and Challenges for Zambia” from 23rd – 24th May 2019, at Mulungushi Conference in Lusaka, Zambia. Read more

EU WARNED: Brussels told to be READY for no deal Brexit – ‘Britain will do just fine!’

Express: THE European Union has been warned if it does not renegotiate the Brexit deal then Britain will instead “thrive and prosper” under a no deal scenario, political commentator Nile Gardiner has warned. Read more

The world’s biggest shipping company warns Trump’s China tariffs are hammering global trade

Business Insider: AP Moller-Maersk warned the recent escalation of the trade war could push growth in global container trade to the lower end of its forecast of 1% to 3% for 2019. Read more

What next for Brexit Britain as May announces resignation as PM?

Al Jazeera: The country’s future and whether or not it will leave the EU are thrown into further uncertainty after May resigns. Read more

One-third of EU firms hit hard by US-China trade war

Deutsche Welle: The ongoing trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies and tit-for-tat tariffs have adversely affected the fortunes of many European companies in China, a new survey reveals. The outlook remains gloomy. Read more

EU trade tsar on US: ‘We hope we don’t impose tariffs on each other’

Euronews: As EU-US trade ties remain shaky under the constant threat of tit-for-tat tariffs and rumblings of a trade war, Euronews sat down with EU trade tsar Cecilia Malmstrom to talk about the state of play. Read more

EU, China, Thailand seek to join WTO consultation over India’s ICT products tariff
Business Today: According to a communication of EU, China, and Thailand to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), these countries claimed that they have a substantial interest in the trade of information and communication technology (ICT) goods and in joining the consultation process. Read more

US-China trade war hurts workers with lower salaries the most, WTO director says

CNBC: An intensifying trade war between the U.S. and China is negatively impacting every country in the world, according to the director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), with workers earning lower salaries most likely to be hit the hardest. Read more

Dispute over WTO reforms could paralyse it, says Canada
Business Live: Absence of US and China at the latest round of talks to renew the world trade body dashes hopes of urgent action. Read more

India on US watch list for currency practices

Economic Times: The US has added India to its monitoring list for currency practices and macroeconomic policies, alleging undervaluation in its currency. Read more

China’s coming slowdown opens doors to expanding African trade with India

The Africa Report: Charles Robertson, chief economist at Renaissance Capital, argues that slower Chinese growth will not necessarily be detrimental for Africa, as Indian trade and investment is likely to increase. Indian demand for raw materials is likely to benefit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea and Zambia, he says. Read more

India reports trade deficit with 11 RCEP members in FY 2018-19

Business Standard: The trade gap with Brunei, Japan, and Malaysia has increased to $0.5 billion, $7.1 billion and $3.8 billion, respectively in the last fiscal. It was $0.4 billion, $6.2 billion and $3.3 billion in 2017. Read more

Malaysia to strengthen trade, investment ties with Brazil

Malay Mail: Malaysia and Brazil will continue to focus on expanding bilateral trade and investment ties.This is alongside the possibility of having a free trade agreement between Malaysia and Mercosur, an economic and political bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Read more

Canada, U.S. reach deal to continue pork trade if swine fever is detected

Global News: In the event of an outbreak of African swine fever in Canada or the U.S., pork products from disease-free areas will still be allowed to flow across the border.An agreement reached between the two countries is intended to limit the economic impact of a possible outbreak of ASF, an illness that has led to the deaths of a million pigs in China but has not been detected in Canada or the U.S. Read more

Mexico’s Lopez Obrador says confident USMCA will be ratified

Reuters: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday he was confident the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement would be ratified, increasing trade in the North American region. Read more

Turkey halves tariffs on 22 US imports to reciprocate Washington move

Daily Sabah: Turkey has decided to reduce additional duties on some U.S. imports in response to a similar United States move to halve tariffs on Turkish steel imports, the trade minister said on Wednesday. Read more

Chinese AI firms hunker down as reports indicate they are next on US export hit list

The Edge Markets: iFlytek executive Hu Yu may have spoken too soon, when he made a positive comparison of his company to Huawei Technologies during a new product launch in Shanghai earlier this week. Read more

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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 subscribe to our Blog below: