Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of June 2 – 8, 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

After threatening to impose tariffs on Mexico if that country does not stem illegal migration to the US, the Trump Administration this week announced that US and Mexico have reached a deal. Read the Joint Declaration here.

The WTO issued its Annual Report 2018, as well as its updated one page dispute settlement case summaries (1995-2018) accessible here.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines was elected to the UN Security Council, becoming the smallest nation ever to hold a Security Council seat. Read the press release here.

On June 6 and 7, 2019, the United States and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) held the eighth meeting of the United States-CARICOM Trade and Investment Council (TIC). Read release here.

The Thirty-Sixth Meeting of the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) was Thursday and Friday (June 6-7, 2019) to discuss matters in relation to Culture within CARICOM. Read here.

REGIONAL NEWS

Expanding China-Caribbean trade

Barbados Today: Economic and political ties between the People’s Republic of China (China) and the Caribbean as a whole have undergone a substantial deepening in recent years. Read more

Grenada nutmeg gets FDA approval

Nation News: Chairman of the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA), Leo Cato says Grenada now has the opportunity to exploit the market in the United States, having recently passed inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Read more

Trump admin imposes new travel restrictions on Cuba, banning cruise ships

CNN: The US announced major new restrictions on US citizens traveling to Cuba on Tuesday, blocking the most common way Americans are able to visit the island — through organized tour groups that license US citizens to travel automatically — and banning US cruise ships from stopping in the country. Read more

Government Pursuing Programme to Facilitate Trade

JIS: Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government has commenced a programme of trade facilitation to increase Jamaica’s chances of global competitiveness. Read more

Trade Information Portal to be Promoted Heavily at Diaspora Conference

JIS: Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, says the Jamaica Trade Information Portal (JTIP) will be promoted heavily to members of the diaspora at the upcoming Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference. Read more

BP Payments to Government more than doubled last year

Saturday Express: Though still far below 2013 levels, the country’s largest natural gas producer more than doubled its contribution to the Government coffers last year to US$360.5 million from US$148.7 million the year before, London-listed BP plc’s Payment to Governments declaration showed last week. Read more

GRDB rejects Suriname envoy’s reported rice plague statement

Stabroek News: The Guyana Rice Development Board today “categorically” rejected statements in Suriname’s De Ware Tijd’s, dwtonline quoting Suriname’s Ambassador to Guyana Ebu Jones as saying that an insect plague has broken out in the rice sector. Read more

Post COTED 48: Highlights of the Agenda

Directorate General for Foreign Trade (Belize): The 48th Regular Ministerial Meeting of the Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED) was recently held in Georgetown, Guyana from 29th to 30th April, 2019. COTED, a collection of Trade Ministers designated by member states, is the organ of the Caribbean Community tasked with the responsibility of promoting trade and economic development in the Community. Read more

CARICOM, Indonesia strengthen ties

CARICOM Today: A new chapter in the growing friendship between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Indonesia was opened on Friday 31 May 2019, as CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque accredited a new envoy of the Southeast Asian country. Read more

Antigua and Barbuda signs CARIFORUM-UK EPA with UK

Antigua News Room: Antigua and Barbuda has today signed the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the trade continuity agreement signed between the UK and a series of countries in the Caribbean on 22 March, and in the UK in April. Read more

Gopee-Scoon pushes US investment in T&T

The Guardian: Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter, Paula Gopee-Scoon is pro­mot­ing T&T’s in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to US firms in­ter­est­ed in ex­pand­ing their busi­ness­es in the Caribbean. Read more

Duck virus triggers poultry ban from Guyana

Trinidad Express: Trinidad & Tobago Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat has announced an immediate ban on raw and cooked poultry originating from Guyana. Read more

CDB support for regional trade facilitation initiative

Nation News: Making regional trade easier is the goal of a recent grant which the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Read more

Regional Ministers of Culture, Officials to meet in Guyana for COHSOD this week

CARICOM today: The Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), will gathehr for its Thirty-Sixth Meeting on Thursday and Friday (June 6-7, 2019) to discuss matters in relation to Culture within CARICOM. Read more

CARICOM-US Relations: What Of CBI?

Jamaica Gleaner: You will recall from previous articles that the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) comprises the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBPTA). CBERA’s duration is indefinite, but CBPTA, which amends provisions of CBERA, will expire on September 30, 2020 and would need to be extended. Read more

Guyana Livestock Authority Says Trinidad’s Poultry Ban ‘Ill-Advised’

Jamaica Gleaner: A recent ban on poultry from Guyana by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has been described as “ill-advised and premature”. Read more

Mobile number portability for ECTEL Member States

CARICOM Today: All member states of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), will have access to Mobile Number Portability (MNP), as of Monday. Read more

Duty-free concessions for entertainers

Nation News: Local entertainers have been granted duty-free concessions. Days before the official launch of Crop Over 2019, Minister of Culture, Sports and the Creative Economy, John King made the announcement at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) this afternoon. Read more

Guyana Agreement remembered on ACP day

CARICOM Today: Friday, June 7, 2019 is celebrated as ACP Day. The Georgetown Agreement establishing the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States was signed on Friday, June 6, 1975 in Georgetown, Guyana. Read more

BIDC Buyers’ Programme opens doors, facilitates new opportunities for local manufacturers

Barbados Advocate: The fourth Buyers’ Programme now in its fourth year, is being hosted by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation in collaboration with the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association and the Caribbean Export Development Agency. It is intended to be a supporting activity for BMEX which takes place over the weekend. Read more

ACP-EU Partnership – Group of 79 Insists On Long-Term Trade Relations

AllAfrica: The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of states has recognised the importance of maintaining long-term trade relations with the European Union (EU) on the one hand, and with the United Kingdom (UK) on the other hand, which are beneficial to all stakeholders. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Rare Earths Battle Looms as U.S. Aims to Counter China Export Threat

Bloomberg: The U.S. and China are heading for a stand-off over critical minerals used in everything from washing machines to military hardware. Read more

US sanctions on Cuba could hurt Spanish hotel operators

Deutsche Welle: The Trump administration is imposing tougher sanctions on Cuba, a move that could have serious consequences for Spanish hotel chains operating on the island. How will it affect locals who work in the tourism industry? Read more

African free trade – ready for the next steps?

Deutsche Welle: Africa’s new free trade zone only exists on paper. Ministers from the 23 signatory countries are now discussing its implementation. Africa’s biggest economies are not at the table. Read more

Canada appeals WTO ruling on U.S. lumber duties: official

Reuters: Canada has appealed against a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel ruling in a case it lost in April that would allow the United States to use “zeroing” to calculate anti-dumping tariffs on lumber, a WTO official said on Wednesday. Read more

Trump sees possible U.S.-UK trade deal once UK removes ‘shackles’

Reuters: U.S. President Donald Trump said during his visit to London on Monday that the United States and Britain could soon negotiate a trade deal. Read more

Nigel Farage to send own team to US for Brexit trade deal talks as UK ‘inferior’
Express: Farage will pull together his own delegation and send it to Washington to strike a trade deal with the US after it “dawned on” him that the Americans have done their homework and have the upper hand in negotiations. Read more

Argentina, Brazil say free trade accord with EU at hand

Yahoo News: The presidents of Argentina and Brazil said Thursday that an agreement is imminent on a free trade agreement between the European Union and the South American trading bloc Mercosur. Read more

Bill Morneau’s hasty bill to protect the steel industry carries risks

CBC (Canada): The broad political support greasing the wheels of C-101, Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s new legislation to change Canada’s trade safeguard rules, may obscure the calculated risk the Liberal government is taking with its strategy to protect the steel industry. Read more

U.S. tightens Venezuela oil sanctions, indicates more actions to come

Reuters: The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday tightened its pressure on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company by making clear that exports of diluents by international shippers could be subject to U.S. sanctions. Read more

In Full: China’s White Paper on U.S. Economic and Trade Talks

Bloomberg: On Sunday June 2, China released a government white paper of more than 5,000 words on its trade talks with the U.S. and Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen held a press conference to discuss the matter that day. What follows is an English translation of the paper. Read more

U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Treasury respond to the “White Paper” issued by China on June 2, 2019

USTR: The United States is disappointed that the Chinese have chosen in the “White Paper” issued yesterday and recent public statements to pursue a blame game misrepresenting the nature and history of trade negotiations between the two countries. To understand where the parties are and where they can go, it is necessary to understand the history that has led to the current impasse. Read more

Trade tensions have hit cargo demand in Asia, but there’s a silver lining for regional airlines, experts say

CNBC: The ongoing trade war between the United States and China is negatively affecting air cargo demand for Asian airlines, according to the director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, a regional trade body. Read more

There’s only a ‘very small’ chance of a no-deal Brexit, says UK’s Hammond

CNBC: The probability of the U.K. leaving the European Union without a deal is “very small,” according to Philip Hammond, Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer. Read more

China’s Xi says world’s multilateral trade system must be protected

Reuters: Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Friday for world powers to protect the global multilateral trade system and said it was important to find a solution to trade disputes despite disagreements. Read more

World trade is projected to grow 2.6 per cent in 2019: WTO

Gulf Today: Mounting trade tensions, an increase in trade-restrictive measures and continuing economic uncertainty created real challenges for world trade in 2018, with trade projected to grow by just 2.6 per cent this year, according to the 2019 World Trade Organisation, WTO, report. Read more

UK calls for progress in reforming global trade rules at G20

Gov.uk: Dr Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary, is attending the G20 Ministerial meeting on Trade and Digital Economy in Tsukuba, Japan this weekend (Saturday 8 to Sunday 9 June). Read more

G20 finance chiefs to warn of trade risks, but differ on how ‘pressing’ they are

CBC (Canada): Global trade tensions threaten an expected pick-up in economic growth this year and in 2020, a draft communiqué by the world’s financial leaders showed on Saturday, but the policymakers were divided on whether the need to resolve them was “pressing.” Read more

G20 ministers agree on guiding principles for using artificial intelligence

Japan Times: Ministers from the Group of 20 major economies Saturday kicked off two days of meetings on trade and the digital economy, during which they agreed on guiding principles for using artificial intelligence. They also faced another round of discussions likely to highlight divisions over trade issues such as reform of the World Trade Organization. Read more

EU to propose workaround to avoid U.S. block on WTO judges: document

Reuters: The European Union is set to propose creating a shadow system to get around a U.S. block on appeals in disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to a draft proposal circulated to national lawmakers. Read more

Canada endorses plan to stop Trump administration from disrupting WTO: trade minister

Global News: Canada’s trade minister is endorsing a European Union plan to prevent the Trump administration from paralyzing the World Trade Organization’s dispute-settlement body later this year. Read more

India may oppose efforts to seal trade deal at G20 meet

Livemint: Attempts by the US, Japan and Australia to finalize a new trade deal, scrapping curbs on data flows, at the G20 trade ministers’ meeting in Japan this weekend, could prompt a push-back from India and other developing countries. Read more

Trump says U.S. and Mexico reach last-minute deal to avoid tariffs

CBS: Mexico has agreed to U.S. demands that it tighten its borders to stop the flow of illegal Central American immigrants from coming into the U.S. through mexico. The deal suspends steep tariffs on imported Mexican goods that were to go into effect on Monday. Read more

Trade Tensions Worry Ship Operators

Wall Street Journal: Global ship operators that normally begin the summer preparing for peak shipping season instead are bracing for a surge in tariffs. Read more

Trump: Britain’s NHS should be ‘on the table’ in trade deal talks

Al Jazeera: On the second day of his state visit to the United Kingdom, Trump also said the National Health Service (NHS) should be included in any post-Brexit trade deal with the US. Read more

WTO NEWS

  • by WTO
    At a meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on 15 August, WTO members agreed to a request from China for a dispute panel to review a US safeguard measure on imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic products. Members also agreed to establish panels requested by Brazil, Australia and Guatemala to review India’s support measures for […]
  • by WTO
    The growth of world merchandise trade volumes is likely to remain weak in the third quarter of 2019 according to the WTO’s Goods Trade Barometer, released on 15 August. The latest reading of 95.7 from the barometer, formerly the World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI), is lower than the previous release and signals that stronger trade […]
  • by WTO
    The United States filed an appeal on 15 August concerning the WTO panel report in the case brought by India in “United States — Certain Measures Relating to the Renewable Energy Sector” (DS510). The panel report was circulated to WTO members on 27 June 2019.

NEW ON CTLD BLOG

  • Alicia Nicholls Caribbean-African relations have become an exciting and refreshing trade space to watch in recent months. Over the past few weeks, two African leaders (Their Excellencies President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya) paid separate official visits to the Caribbean. Barbados’ Prime Minister, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley also paid […]
  • Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the weeks of July 28-August 10, 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. HIGHLIGHTS The World Trade Organization released its World Trade Statistical Review 2019 […]
  • Alicia Nicholls Festivals, inclusive of carnivals, are a defining feature of the Caribbean entertainment and cultural landscape. Be it music, food, arts, film or fashion, there is a Caribbean festival for everyone. In Barbados, for instance, we just concluded our Crop Over Festival – a three-month long summer festival with a variety of music competitions […]


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:

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