Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of November 17-23, 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 HIGHLIGHTS

World merchandise trade is expected to remain below trend into the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the WTO’s latest Goods Trade Barometer. Read more here. The WTO’s new Trade Monitoring Report issued on 21 November shows that G20 economies from mid-May to mid-October 2019 introduced import-restrictive measures covering an estimated USD 460.4 billion worth of traded merchandise, a 37% increase: Read more.

At the 38th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held November 17-21 in Kigali, Rwanda, parliamentarians from the European and ACP parliaments agreed on several resolutions. Read more here.

CARICOM trade ministers met in Georgetown, Guyana, 18-19 November, for the 49th Regular Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED). Read more here. A delegation from CARICOM also held a roundtable discussion with the US Congress on the issue of de-risking on November 19.

REGIONAL NEWS

US Congress Roundtable on de-risking in the Caribbean hailed a success

CARICOM: Representatives of the governments of the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) had a fully-attended Roundtable meeting on Tuesday November 19 with members of the U.S. Congress and senior representatives of major U.S. banks, concerning the effects of de-risking and the withdrawal of correspondent banking relations (CBRs). Read more

UWI hosts Caribbean-China trade, investment symposium

Guyana Chronicle: The University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus held a symposium titled “Exploring New Horizons in Caribbean-China Trade and Investment Relations” on Tuesday at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI). Read more

T&T manufacturers say seeking to tap all opportunities here

Stabroek News: The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) led a Trade Mission to Guyana, from Wednesday to today, to engage in mutual trade with Guyanese companies. Read more

Decisiveness, alacrity needed to confront challenges – COTED Chair

CARICOM: Ministers with responsibility for Trade and Foreign Relations, in the Region began a two-day Meeting in Georgetown, Guyana, on Monday, against the background of difficult circumstances – trade, economic and environmental – facing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Read more

Cops to receive training on trade-based money laundering

LoopTT: Police Commissioner Gary Griffith met with Programme Officer of the Cybercrime and Anti-Money Laundering Section of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yevheniy Umanets. Read more

JAMPRO pledges $1m in support of Kingston Creative

Jamaica Observer: The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) on Wednesday pledged $1million in support of Kingston Creative, a movement aimed at promoting culture and the regeneration of downtown Kingston. Read more

Jamaica Customs updates items not requiring trade licenses

Jamaica Observer: The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has published a list of items which no longer require import or export licences from the Trade Board. Read more

Minerals Sector Contributes 2.7 Per Cent To GDP

JIS: Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, says in 2018, the minerals sector contributed some 2.7 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while earning some US$1.3 billion. Read more

Jamaica And China To Focus On Increasing Trade

JIS: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says Jamaica and China will focus on increasing trade, particularly in getting more Jamaican goods into the Chinese market. Read more

Process to support CARICOM use of Jamaica’s new skills certificate completed — Johnson Smith

Jamaica Observer: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson-Smith says Jamaica, during the 49th meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana, completed the process to support the use of the country’s new higher-security skill certificate. Read more

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) joins GGGI as its 34th Member and 1st Regional Integration Member

OECS: The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) became the 34th Member of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) after formally submitting its Instrument of Accession. The OECS is also the first regional integration organisation to become a member of GGGI. Read more

Securing Economic Integration: The importance of intraregional trade

OECS: Intraregional trade is a critical component of the OECS integration process. Significant strides have been made over the years to secure the foundation for a thriving common market – resulting in the successful establishment of the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union in January, 2011. Read more

Barbados commercial expo in Belize

LoveFM: Barbados Investment and Development Corporation and Belize’s Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce brought the Barbados Commercial Mission to Belize Expo. Today ten companies from Barbados were represented at the expo. Read more

Some CARICOM countries want amendment to Common External Tariff for certain products

Kaiteur News: The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) has been receiving a concerning number of requests for the suspension of the region’s common external tariff (CET) for certain products. This is according to the Chair of the 49th meeting of the Council, Francine Baron. Read more

CARICOM delegation discussing corresponding banking in the US

Jamaica Observer: Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne is leading a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) delegation to the United States to participate in a roundtable discussion on de-risking and correspondent banking. Read more

After trade deal, unhealthy foods flowed into Central America, Dominican Republic, study finds

Buffalo University: The research highlights the importance of studying ties between trade and diet. Read more

Icecream making to return to Bim

Barbados Today: Iconic ice cream brand BICO will once again be made in Barbados come February after a decade of overseas production in several countries, BICO Ltd’s executive director Edwin Thirlwell, announced Tuesday. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

The WTO Faces a New Threat From Trump, This Time Over Its Budget

Bloomberg: The Trump administration on Friday criticized the World Trade Organization’s compensation structure for appellate body members, laying out a case for potentially blocking the institution’s budget and effectively halting its work starting next year. Read more

Twenty-second UNCTAD-OECD Report on G20 Investment Measures

UNCTAD: The joint UNCTAD-OECD Report reveals that investment policy making in G20 members has slowed down further during the reporting period (mid-May to mid-October 2019). Only a few G20 Members took investment policy action, and the number of measures was low. Read more

Beijing signs 197 Cooperation documents on Belt & Road Construction

Belt and Road News: China has Signed 197 Cooperation documents on Belt & Road Construction with 137 Countries and 30 International organisations by the end of October 2019, Meng Wei, the Spokeswoman for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at a Press Conference in Beijing. Read more

ACP-EU : Agreement on climate change, migration and post-Cotonou

European Parliament: MEPs and African, Caribbean and Pacific MPs agreed on climate change, migration, sustainable growth and the post-Cotonou agreement. Read more

ACP-EU : Agreement on climate change, migration and post-Cotonou

European Sting: During the 38th session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), which took place from 17 to 21 November in Kigali (Rwanda), Members of the European Parliament and their counterparts from 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries debated and adopted several resolutions. Read more

Need for a progressive EU-ACP partnership to address common global challenges

Euractiv: The international scenario is rapidly changing, but not necessarily in a positive way. That’s why there is a need for a progressive partnership between the European Union and the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific countries, writes MEP Carlos Zorrinho. Read more

Rwanda: Senate President Urges Lawmakers to Reflect Deeply on Global Issues

AllAfrica: Senate President Dr Augustin Iyamuremye on Tuesday told delegates at the ongoing 38th session of the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly in Kigali that they must seize the opportunity, to reflect deeply on regional and global issues. Read more

EU-Singapore trade agreement enters into force

EU: On 21 November 2019, the EU-Singapore trade agreement entered into force. This means, among other benefits, that Singapore will now remove all remaining tariffs on EU products, provide new opportunities for EU services’ providers, ensure legal protection for 138 iconic European food and drink products (known as Geographical Indications), as well as remove regulatory obstacles to trade in key sectors. Read more

WTO dispute settlement and the Appellate Body crisis: Insider perceptions and Members’ revealed preferences

Vox: The WTO dispute settlement system is in crisis, endangering the future of the organisation. The proximate reason for alarm is the dwindling number of Appellate Body (AB) members, the result of the US blocking new appointments as the terms of sitting members expire. Read more

Expert analysis: Africa’s free trade area – where are we now?

GTR: The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), launched in 2018 and now in its operational phase, is a landmark deal that aims to bring together 54 African countries with a combined population of more than 1 billion people and a combined GDP of over US$3tn. Read more

Global Goods Trade Hit by Tensions and Rising Tariffs, WTO Says

Bloomberg: Global trade in goods will likely remain below trend through the current quarter due to heightened tensions and rising tariffs in key sectors, according to a World Trade Organization report. Read more

Japan’s Lower House approves trade deal with U.S.

Japan Times: The Lower House signed off Tuesday on a trade deal with the United States that cuts tariffs on farm and industrial products, taking a step toward its entry into force next year. Read more

The US–Japan trade deal: small agreement, broad implications

East Asia Forum: The recent announcement of the US–Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA) must have come as a surprise to many in Japan given its unusual expeditiousness. The agreement was concluded just six months after negotiations began — a dramatic contrast to the EU–Japan Economic Partnership Agreement which took more than five years to achieve. Read more

Japan’s exports post worst fall in 3 years as shipments to U.S., China drop

Reuters: Japan’s exports tumbled at their quickest pace in three years in October, threatening to tip the trade-reliant economy into recession as weakening demand from United States and China darkened the outlook. Read more

Donald Trump’s block on WTO judges creates ‘doomsday scenario’ for world trade disputes

South China Morning Post: The world will not end on December 10, yet for many who have spent their careers within the global trading oversight system, the date has apocalyptic consequences. Read more

Germany’s Merkel urges more investment in Africa

RFI: Speaking at the third G20 Compact with Africa Summit in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged more businesses to invest in Africa. But two years after its launch, experts say the compact has failed to reassure investors. Read more

Global trade umpire: the next casualty of Trump’s tariff war?

Reuters: U.S. President Donald Trump has upended the global trade order with a slew of tariffs on economic rivals: now, Washington has redoubled its efforts to paralyze the very body designed to settle such disputes. Read more

Developing Global Free Trade: Linking China’s BRI with Mercosur, South America

China Daily Briefing: Chinese President Xi Jinping has just returned from Brazil where he attended the annual meeting of the BRICS nations in Brasilia. With the Presidents and Prime Ministers from India, Russia, and South Africa also all attending, the scene has been set for Russia’s stint as the BRICS Chair in 2020, which is just six weeks away. Read more

Beijing tariff demands may expand U.S.-China ‘phase one’ trade deal significantly

Reuters: A “phase one” trade deal between the United States and China was supposed to be a limited agreement that would allow leaders from both countries to claim an easy victory while soothing financial markets. Read more

EU defies Boris Johnson and declares UK will only get a ‘bare-bones’ trade deal or a no-deal Brexit next year

Business Insider: The European Union’s trade chief has declared that Boris Johnson will only get a “bare-bones” trade deal next year — or none at all. Read more

Eurobarometer survey: Majority of EU citizens positive about international trade

EU: The results of a special Eurobarometer survey published today by the European Commission show that 60% of Europeans feel that they personally benefit from international trade, 16 percentage points more than 10 years ago at the time of the previous poll. Read more

European Union launches WTO trade dispute against Colombia’s unfair duties on frozen fries

EU: The EU has today brought a dispute to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against unlawful anti-dumping measures imposed by Colombia on frozen fries from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Read more

EU-Singapore free trade agreement comes into force

Strait Times: The landmark trade agreement between the European Union and Singapore, which removes nearly all Customs duties between the two jurisdictions, comes into force today. 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: