Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest for the week of July 4-10, 2021! We are pleased to bring you the major trade and development news headlines and analysis from across the Caribbean Region and the world from the past week.
The Caribbean Trade Law & Development Blog expresses our profound sadness to hear of the assassination of the President of Haiti, Jovenel Moise. We pray for the swift recovery of First Lady Madame Martine Moise who is currently hospitalised. We also express our solidarity with all who have been affected by Hurricane Elsa, which first made landfall in Barbados on Friday, July 2 and continued to affect other countries in the region and parts of the US. I personally wish to thank those readers who reached out to enquire about my well-being following reports of the passage of Hurricane Elsa last Friday and to confirm that I am doing well.
Please see below some of the week’s highlights!
THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS
G20 finance ministers this week endorsed the proposal for a global minimum corporate income tax of at least 15%.
The UK disputes the Brexit ‘divorce’ bill estimated by the EU. Read more here.
The WTO appears to be on the ‘cusp’ of its first multilateral agreement since the Trade Facilitation Agreement. This week, July 15, ministers will meet virtually to advance negotiations on curbing harmful fisheries subsidies. Read more here.
CARICOM Heads of Government held their 42nd Regular Meeting. Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda Gaston Browne assumed chairmanship of CARICOM as of July 1. The communique emanating from the meeting may be read here.
On Thursday, July 2, I was a guest on the DeBrief TV Show interviewed by the host Kemar Stuart on the “G7 and the Global Minimum CIT”. The conversation also explored other current geopolitical and political economy issues germane to the Caribbean.
“The EPA has failed us,” says Prime Minister
Antigua News Room: Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Chairman of the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM) the Hon. Gaston Browne has spoken out against the constant targeting of the financial services sectors of the region by developed nations through blacklisting. Read more
Straughn: Small States need policy space
Nation News: If small states like Barbados are to achieve and meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they need to be given the appropriate policy space to operate globally. Read more
MSMEs to tap into grant funding
Barbados Today: Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Barbados and the rest of the region have just over a week to apply for grants of up to US$15,000 to be used on various technical projects to enhance their operation. Read more
Gopee-Scoon: $78m spent on luxury foods in three years
Newsday: Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has said Trinidad and Tobago spent approximately $78 million a year over the last three years on the importation of luxury food items. She was responding to a question in the Senate on Tuesday. Read more
Indian envoy aims for more trade with Trinidad and Tobago post-covid19
Newsday: High Commissioner of India to Trinidad and Tobago Arun Kumar Sahu said since his appointment,, he has pushed for Indian businesses to do more trade with Caribbean countries, especially TT. Read more
Minister wants more bilateral relationship between T&T, Dominican Republic
Guardian: Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has expressed keen interest to further develop the bilateral relationship between T&T and the Dominican Republic in the areas of trade and economic relations. Read more
TTMA calls for greater accountability in Free Trade Zones
Trinidad Express: The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA) Illicit Trade Desk is calling for greater accountability in Free Trade Zones to prevent illicit trade and money laundering. Read more
Trinidad and Tobago moves to improve investor confidence
Newsday: Applying rule of law is important in order to strengthen investor confidence and legitimate trade. And by the US Chamber of Commerce’s accounts, TT is making positive movements in that regard, advancing two points from a 2019 report, indicating an above-average performance within the hemisphere. Read more
Trade Ministry publishing monthly reports
Newsday: THE Ministry of Trade and Industry has started the publication of monthly reports on the operations of various border agencies as part of its trade facilitation agenda and to improve trade and customs border transparency. Read more
US to mount trade mission to the Caribbean
Jamaica Observer: The United States is planning a Caribbean Region Trade Mission and Business Conference for October, a senior US official has announced. Read more
Bahamas government signs $12M economic and technical agreement with China
EyeWitness: The government signed a $12 million economic and technical agreement with the People’s Republic of China during a signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. Read more
Investment Facilitation Negotiators Review Proposals, Share Views on Implementation
IISD: World Trade Organization (WTO) members participating in the discussions on investment facilitation for development (IFD) heard back from the facilitators of discussion groups, and considered implementation, technical assistance, and capacity building in a dedicated session. Read more
New study makes the case for more US free trade deals
The Hill: Do free trade deals work? A new study by the International Trade Commission (ITC) says the ones the U.S. has signed have had a small, positive effect on the economy. Protectionists will insist that this means free trade deals do little. That’s wrong. Read more
Fisheries Talks Chair Presents Revised Text Ahead of July Ministerial
IISD: The Chair of the World Trade Organization (WTO) fisheries subsidies negotiations, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, introduced a revised draft text that he said aims to serve as the basis for the July 2021 ministerial-level meeting. Ministers are expected to negotiate a final agreement on 15 July. Read more
USTR says WTO fisheries deal ‘within reach’ but improvements needed
Reuters: A fisheries deal at the World Trade Organization is “within reach”, although improvements to the draft agreement are required in order to change the status quo, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said on Friday. Read more
Liz Truss aims to tackle threats to free trade on five-day US visit
Independent: The International Trade Secretary will meet Katherine Tai, the US trade representative, during her visit from Sunday to Thursday. Read more
Trump is long gone, but trade
Washington Post: President Biden routinely praises his Canadian counterpart in the warmest manner, as American chief executives — with one recent exception — have done for decades. And U.S. officials go out of their way to stress the shared vision that unites the two trading partners. Read more
Canadian exporter confidence rebounds to 20-year high – EDC index
Reuters: Confidence among Canadian exporters has surged to its highest level in more than 20 years, amid mounting optimism that a sustained global economic recovery is underway, a survey by Export Development Canada (EDC) showed on Thursday. Read more
Shipping Turmoil Threatens Coffee From World’s Biggest Grower Brazil
Bloomberg: Getting food where it needs to be around the world is never easy, and it’s been made all the harder this year with the twin forces of pandemic disruptions and climate change. Read more
UK housing boom may derail post-Brexit trade dreams
Reuters: History suggests Britain’s house price surge could threaten hopes of post-Brexit export-powered growth, if finance minister Rishi Sunak uses the housing market to fuel the economy like his predecessors did. Read more
WTO report: Trade policy restraint prevented destructive acceleration of protectionism
Trade policy restraint by G20 economies, as well as WTO members more broadly, prevented a destructive acceleration of protectionist trade measures that would have further hurt the world economy, according to the WTO’s latest Trade Monitoring Report. Read more
Mexico to try former negotiator of USMCA trade pact
AP: A judge in Mexico ordered the country’s former economy secretary, who served as one of the lead negotiators of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement, to stand trial on illicit enrichment charge. Read more
STRAIGHT FROM THE WTO
NEW ON THE CTLD BLOG
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: