Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the weeks of September 1-7, 2019! We do apologise again for the delay in last week’s digest and are happy to bring you the major trade and development headlines and analysis from across the Caribbean Region and the world from the past two weeks.

I will be a panelist at the upcoming 3rd annual BITT “Central Bank meets Blockchain” Conference. Learn more here!

Statement on Hurricane Dorian

To our readers in The Bahamas, the CTLD Blog would like to extend our extreme sadness about suffering and devastration wrought by Hurricane Dorian on the northern Bahamas, particularly the Abaco Islands and the island of Grand Bahama.

We stand in support of our Bahamian brothers and sisters, and urge our readers to please support a reputable charity of your choice currently providing relief supplies and/or monetary donation to assist the many persons who are displaced, and to aid in the massive rebuilding effort ahead.

We have every confidence that like the mystical phoenix, The Bahamas will rise again.

HIGHLIGHTS

China has requested WTO dispute consultations with the United States concerning additional duties imposed by the United States on imports of Chinese goods that took effect on 1 September.

The Brexit chaos continues. The UK parliament has passed a bill seeking to prevent the UK Government from leaving the EU on October 31, 2019 without a deal. However, Prime Minister Johnson has indicated his intention to still seek a suspension of Parliament for 5 weeks. There is also speculation that he intends to ignore the No deal bill.

The Caribbean has rallied around The Bahamas. A CARICOM delegation has gone to The Bahamas, please see here. Cuba has also sent doctors and teachers to The Bahamas in the aftermath.

REGIONAL NEWS

T&T Braces for Brexit

Jamaica Observer: Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon says the Dr Keith Rowley-led Administration is looking at bringing legislation to Parliament to enact a treaty signed between Cariforum and the United Kingdom to prevent any sudden imposition of tariffs if the UK leaves the European Union (EU). Read more

Caribbean countries ramp up oil production

Amsterdam News: Some Caribbean Community countries are rushing to ramp up oil and gas exploration, motivated by the runaway success Guyana has had since first discovering commercial quantities back in mid 2015. Read more

IMF says Barbados making good progress on economic reform programme

Barbados Today: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform programme. Read more

Horror stories’ of migrant workers

Royal Gazette: Migrant workers have shared “horror stories” claiming abuse, xenophobia, unfair discrepancies in working contracts and having their travel documents seized, according to a union leader. Read more

Minister signs World Intellectual Property Organisation instruments

LoopTT: Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister Dennis Moses signed Instruments of Accession to a Convention and three Treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization on behalf of the country. Read more

Cuba and South Africa strengthen bilateral relations

Radio Havana: The 15th meeting of the Joint Consultative Mechanism South Africa-Cuba met Thursday with delegations led by Vice Ministers Alvin Botes and Marcelino Medina, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Read more

Deputy PM Outlines Impact Events Like CARIFESTA Have on Federation’s Artists

St Kitts & Nevis Observer: Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister of Culture, the Honourable Shawn Richards, said while appearing on the “Working for You” programme Wednesday, events such as the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) have a great impact on the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis’ artists. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Brexit: MPs willing to go to court to enforce delay

BBC: MPs, including Tories expelled from the party, are preparing legal action in case the PM refuses to seek a delay to Brexit. Read more

RCEP Ministerial: Trade experts, economists warn that pact would hit vulnerable sectors

Hindu Business Line: As Trade Ministers from sixteen member countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) prepare to meet in Bangkok on Sunday to give a final shape to the ambitious trade and investment pact, a number of economists, trade experts and industry and farm bodies have underlined the need for India to opt out as they fear that it would hit sensitive industrial and farm sectors. Read more

Prayut urges Asean to back micro-sized businesses

Bangkok Post: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged Asean countries to support “micro-SMEs” by keeping their owners abreast of digital technological know-how and to ensure they have access to financial resources. Read more

U.S. Democrats concerned about enforcement of new NAFTA, Pelosi tells Trudeau

Financial Post: U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday that Democrats are especially concerned about enforcement of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) free trade agreement and Mexico’s implementation of labour standards, a spokesman for Pelosi said. Read more

US-China trade war: Supply chains affected in Thailand

Al jazeera: For countries like Thailand, its largest export market is China. The economy here relies heavily on its big neighbour to the north. So businesses could be forced to recalibrate their supply chains. Read more

The US-China trade war is helping drive the massive fires burning the Amazon rainforest

Business Insider: The Amazon rainforest is burning, and it’s sparking outrage around the world. One reason for this growing ecological tragedy may be the escalating US-China trade war. Read more

Exclusive: New Study Says U.S. Can’t Win the Trade War and Neither Can China

TIME: The escalating U.S.-China trade war is unwinnable by either side, according to new research shown exclusively to TIME. Read more

WTO NEWS

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