Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of October 27-November 2, 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.

THE WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

ASEAN held its 35th Summit in Thailand on November 2-3. The chair’s statement may be read here. Any hopes of a RCEP deal before the end of this year appear to have been dashed. Read more

On the Brexit front, the EU has given the UK an extension until January 31st. The UK will also hold a general election on December 12.

CARICOM representatives will meet in Barbados on Monday, November 4 to discuss the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). There will also be a Public Town Hall on the CSME that evening.

REGIONAL NEWS

Regional consultation on CSME

BarbadosToday: As Barbados leads efforts to ensure that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is implemented in the region, a special stakeholders’ conference on the subject will take place on Monday, November 4. Read more

CCJ to give CSME ruling within ‘reasonable time’

Jamaica Observer: The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) says it will give an opinion “within a reasonable time” as it concluded hearing arguments in the request for an advisory opinion by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that could have implications for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the region. Read more

Bahamas’ $75 Million Spiny Lobster Fishery Has Been Set Back Years In The Wake Of Hurricane Dorian

Forbes: Hurricane Dorian, which battered the Bahamas between September 1st and 3rd 2019, has devastated the islands’ $75 million Caribbean spiny lobster fishery. Read more

CCJ grappling with advisory opinion on whether CARICOM states can opt out of free movement categories

Stabroek News: The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) yesterday held the first of two hearings, its first ever advisory opinion proceedings, which concern whether a member state of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), may opt out of a decision of the Conference of Heads of Government to extend the class of workers allowed to move work freely across CARICOM, and the legal effect of such opting out. Read more

Central Bank exploring ‘early introduction’ of digital currency on Abaco post-Dorian

EyeWitnessNews: The Central Bank is exploring whether to bring about an early introduction of digital Bahamian currency on Abaco to enable rapid financial service recovery Central Bank Governor John Rolle said yesterday. Read more

Barbados exploring ways to widen trade with CARICOM countries

RJRNews: Barbados is exploring opportunities for development in a wide range of areas in Guyana and Suriname as it responds to a call to deepen trade between member countries of CARICOM. Read more

Bartlett calls for investment beyond hotel rooms

Jamaica Observer: Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has made a call for investment in the tourism industry to go beyond the development of hotel rooms and other infrastructure. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Global trade: for the people, by the people – Why the world still needs a rules-based trading system

Medium: For those of us interested in trade issues and global trade sustainability, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum , held yearly at the WTO Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland is THE place to be in early October. Read more of this article by trade lawyer Magda Theodate here.

Angela Merkel calls for ‘fresh attempt’ at EU-India trade deal

Deutsche Welle: German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrapped up her trip to India with the announcement of a billion-euro investment into green projects in the country. Merkel placed climate change at the center of her talks in India. Read more

Trade between Iran, EU at nearly €3.5b in 8 months

Tehran News: According to the latest data provided by the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat, the trade between Iran and the EU nations has decreased by 75 percent compared to last year’s same period in which the figure stood at €14.292 billion. Read more

Indonesia reviewing terms of EU trade deal as WTO palm oil spat brews: vice foreign minister

Reuters: Indonesia’s vice foreign minister Mahendra Siregar said Jakarta is reviewing a draft trade deal with the European Union in the run-up to filing a complaint against the trading bloc with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over use of palm oil in biofuels. Read more

World’s biggest trade deal to be delayed to 2020: Draft ASEAN statement

Channel News Asia: The signing of the world’s largest trade pact will likely be kicked back to 2020, according to a draft statement by Southeast Asian leaders, delaying a deal craved by China to offset a painful tariff war with the US. Read more

Brexit: Johnson agrees to Brexit extension – but urges election

BBC: Labour has “run out of excuses” to oppose an early election, Boris Johnson has said, as MPs vote on whether to back his call for a December poll. Read more

Pelosi Calls USMCA ‘Easiest Trade Deal,’ Could Get Vote in 2020

Bloomberg: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said President Donald Trump’s new Nafta agreement is the “easiest trade deal that we’ve ever done.” Read more

Trump ends trade benefits for Cameroon over ‘persistent human rights violations’

Washington Post: President Trump said he will soon ax Cameroon from a trade program that allows African countries to sell goods to the United States on a duty-free basis, citing “persistent human rights violations” in a letter to Congress on Thursday. Read more

UK set for 12 December general election after MPs’ vote

BBC: The UK is set to go to the polls on 12 December after MPs backed Boris Johnson’s call for an election following months of Brexit deadlock. Read more

ASEAN summit grapples with US-China trade war

Deutsche Welle: Southeast Asian leaders have gathered in Bangkok for a three-day summit expected to be dominated by trade. ASEAN members are trying to finalize a China-backed plan to create the world’s biggest free trade area. Read more

RCEP ministers fail to reach agreement

Bangkok Post: Ministers from 16 Asia-Pacific nations failed to reach an agreement on creating the world’s largest free trade area at their meeting on Friday, a Thai negotiator suggested, but some are optimistic about the chances of a deal by year-end. Read more

China may impose $3.58 billion in annual trade sanctions on U.S.: WTO panel

Reuters: A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel said on Friday that China was entitled to slap compensatory sanctions on U.S. imports worth $3.579 billion annually for the U.S. failure to remove anti-dumping duties – roughly half the amount China had sought. Read more

WTO panel rejects India’s arguments

Business Standard: Exporters can rest assured that there is no threat to the Advance Authorisation Scheme, Duty Drawback Scheme and four specified entries under DFIS. Read more

STRAIGHT FROM THE WTO

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The Caribbean Trade & Development Digest is a weekly trade news digest produced and 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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