Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of July 19-26, 2020! 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

Outgoing Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Azevedo delivered his farewell speech to the General Council last week. Read the full speech here.

According to the WTO DG’s latest mid-year report on trade-related developments released this week, import-restrictive measures introduced by WTO members continued to affect a growing share of global trade, but there has also been a shift towards import-facilitating measures, including products related to the COVID-19 crisis. Read more

After a marathon summit, EU leaders reached a landmark €1.82 trillion COVID-19 recovery deal and budget. Read more here.

REGIONAL NEWS

Duke: ‘I will reopen Caricom jetty’

Newsday: If he becomes Prime Minister after the August 10 general election, Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke says he will re-establish the Caricom jetty in Tobago within his first month in office. Read more

Caribbean countries selling discount citizenship due to COVID hit

LoopTT: Among the countries to recently slash prices or make their CBI programmes more compelling are St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica. Read more

Cuba opens exports & imports to private businesses

Prensa Latina: The Cuban Government is facilitating exports and imports to non-state businesses in order to boost the country’s trade and economy, official sources said on Wednesday. Read more

ECLAC calls for urgent regional cooperation beyond the pandemic to foster more integration and avert a food crisis

Dominican Today: The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, urged the region’s countries to implement urgent cooperation beyond the pandemic and foster greater productive, trade and social integration, during a virtual conference held today under the organization of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the regional office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for Latin America and the Caribbean. Read more

Importers Must Apply For Permits Through JSWIFT

JIS: Effective Monday, July 20, importers applying for permits from the Trade Board Limited (TBL), must do so through the Jamaica Single Window for Trade (JSWIFT) facility, in keeping with the thrust to improve trade efficiency. Read more

Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton of Jamaica – Executive Director, International Trade Centre

UN: United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Pamela Coke-Hamilton of Jamaica as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), the joint agency of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), for trade and international business development. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

European Commission appoints its first Chief Trade Enforcement Officer

EU: The European Commission has appointed Mr Denis Redonnet to the function of Deputy Director-General in the Directorate-General for Trade (DG TRADE) which encompasses the new role of Chief Trade Enforcement Officer (CTEO). Read more

EU calls on US to lift tariffs ‘immediately’ in Airbus dispute

Al Jazeera: The European Commission threatens to retaliate with sanctions if the US does not lift ‘unjustified’ tariffs. Read more

EU and Airbus Member States take action to ensure full compliance in the WTO aircraft dispute

EU: Today, the governments of France and Spain agreed with Airbus SE to modify the terms of the Repayable Launch Investment granted by them for development of the A350 aircraft to reflect market conditions. Read more

EU-UK trade pact ‘unlikely’ this year, warns Barnier

Euractiv: A trade agreement between the EU and the Uk is increasingly unlikely to be reached this year, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned on Thursday (23 July) following the last round of formal negotiations before a three-week summer break. Read more

UK and Norway to open trade pact talks amid warnings of new trade barriers

Euractiv: The UK and Norway will begin trade talks within the coming weeks in a bid to minimise disruption and lost business after the UK leaves the EU single market at the end of 2020. Read more

EU leaders agree on a massive, €750bn covid-19 recovery deal

The Economist: The European Council, composed of the leaders of the EU’s 27 member states, agreed on a €750bn ($858bn) package to help countries’ economies recover from covid-19, part of a €1.8trn EU budget for the next seven years. Read more

Can Mexico lure investment from Asia, as USMCA North American trade deal takes effect?

SCMP: As global trade is shaken by the coronavirus pandemic and US-China trade war, Mexico has expressed its desire to lure investment from international companies based in Asia. Read more

Japan, Britain to protect encryption keys in trade pact, Nikkei says

Reuters: Japan and Britain have agreed not to force their companies to disclose algorithms or set up local data servers, as part of talks aimed at a bilateral trade deal, the Nikkei said on Saturday. Read more

Vietnam bans wildlife trade to curb risk of pandemics

Reuters: Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued a directive to ban the Southeast Asian country’s wildlife trade with immediate effect in order to reduce the risk of new pandemics, a government statement said. Read more

China’s soybean imports from Brazil rise to record in June

Reuters: China’s soybean imports in June from top supplier Brazil soared to a record high, according to customs data released on Sunday, driven by growing demand for soybeans as China’s pig herd recovers after deadly outbreaks of African swine fever. Read more

India, U.S. closing in on trade deal: Piyush Goyal

Reuters: India and the United States are closing in on a trade deal, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday, after two years of negotiations. Read more

Airbus offers subsidy concession to end U.S. tariffs

Reuters: Europe’s Airbus said on Friday it would increase loan repayments to France and Spain in a “final” bid to reverse U.S. tariffs and jog the United States into settling a 16-year-old dispute over billions of dollars of aircraft subsidies. Read more

Most Canadians think Trudeau should rely less on trade with China: Ipsos poll

Global News: A majority of Canadians believe the Trudeau government should rely less on trade with China and diversify to other countries, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News. Read more

Urgency mounts on Africa to fast-track AfCFTA to counter tough times

XinhuaNet: The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could catalyze development and growth of Africa, and help the continent recover from the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

AfCFTA: Nigeria To Corner 10% Of $650bn Annual Intra-African Trade ― Presidency

Tribune: African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) provides Nigeria with preferential access to Africa market worth over $650bn in mostly manufactured goods and services according to Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Sector, Mr Francis Anatogu. Read more

Post-Brexit deal: What’s happening in the UK-EU talks?

BBC: Negotiations on the post-Brexit relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union are looking a lot like the negotiations on the Brexit withdrawal agreement last year. Read more

EU approach to Brexit trade deal talks has resulted in ‘paralysis’, Government sources say

The Telegraph: Bloc’s negotiators accused of slowing down discussions on less contentious issues in order to focus on most difficult areas. 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: