Tag Archives: trade news

Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – June 3-9, 2018

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development Digest for the week of June 3-9, 2018! What a difference a week makes in the world of trade policy, it seems! From the CARICOM High Level Stakeholders’ Consultation on the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market to the tumultuous G7 Leaders’ Meeting, we are happy to bring the trade and development headlines from across the Caribbean Region and the world from last week:

REGIONAL

(Belize) Trade Minister Responds to CARICOM Sugar Call

Channel 5 Belize: On Tuesday, Briceño said G.O.B. should be doing more to export all Belizean sugar to CARICOM. According to Panton, Belize’s sugar has market access at duty free rates but what is lacking is market penetration. Read more

CSME implementation deficit not Secretariat’s fault – Golding

InewsGuyana: To blame the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat for the gaps in implementation of the CARCIOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) was unfair, a former Prime Minister of Jamaica has said. Read more

St Vincent PM says T&T extracts most from CARICOM

Stabroek News: Stating that outstanding issues such as free movement of people and a co-ordinated foreign policy have to be resolved before CARICOM can move to a Single Economy, St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves also cited Trinidad for drawing the most from the integration movement in an uneven relationship. Read more

Regional leaders have lost faith in CSME realisation

St. Lucia Times Online: CARICOM members have to become more practical in their approach to the concepts of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME), St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said Friday. Read more

Statement at the Conclusion of an IMF Staff Visit to Barbados

IMF: At the request of the newly elected Government of Barbados, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Bert van Selm visited Bridgetown on June 5-7, to have discussions on economic policies and possible IMF financial support of the government’s economic plan. Read more

Price hike expected due to trade tariffs

The Reporter: The cost of living in Belize could be taking another hit, as the price of various imported goods are in danger of going up due to an ongoing trade war among the United States, Mexico and Canada. Read more

Barbados pledges to play greater role in regional integration

CMC (via Jamaica Observer): Barbados on Tuesday said it would seek to play a greater role in the revitalisation of the regional integration movement, as the new government of Prime Minister Mia Mottley outlined its priorities for the next 12 months.  Read more

INTERNATIONAL 

Malaysia’s Mahathir calls for review of Trans-Pacific trade pact

CNBC: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called for a review of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, saying smaller economies like Malaysia were at a disadvantage under the current terms. Read more

Trump against Rwanda in trade war over used clothes

Deutsche Welle: When East African countries announced a ban on the import of secondhand clothes to help their own textile industries, this irked US President Donald Trump. All but Rwanda have now backtracked. What’s at stake? Read more

Trump Wants Bilateral Nafta Talks But He Won’t Quit Accord

Bloomberg: President Donald Trump is seriously considering separate trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico but he doesn’t plan to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said. Read more

EU trade defence: stronger and more effective rules enter into force

European Commission: The changes which came into force last week are aimed at modernising the EU’s trade defence toolbox. Read more

EU-US Trade: European Commission endorses rebalancing duties on US products

European Commission: The College of Commissioners endorsed today the decision to impose additional duties on the full list of US products notified to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as part of the EU’s response to the US tariffs on steel and aluminium products. Read more

EU and Chile complete third round of negotiations

European Commission: Negotiators met in Brussels from 28 May to 1 June for the 3rd round of negotiations for a new, modernised trade agreement between the EU and Chile. Read more

Azevêdo highlights ‘significant progress’ on trade finance, outlines further actions

WTO: Speaking at a meeting of the WTO Working Group on Trade, Debt and Finance on 8 June, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo highlighted the significant progress made in improving access to trade finance, in response to the persistent gaps in provision which affect small businesses and poorer countries in particular. Read more

Mexico initiates WTO dispute complaint against US steel, aluminium duties

WTO: Mexico has requested WTO dispute consultations with the United States regarding US duties on certain imported steel and aluminium products. The request was circulated to WTO members on 7 June. Read more

EU, Canada initiate WTO dispute complaints against US steel, aluminium duties

WTO: The European Union and Canada have requested WTO dispute consultations with the United States regarding US duties on certain imported steel and aluminium products. The requests were circulated to WTO members on 6 June. Read more

European Union files WTO complaint against China’s protection of intellectual property rights

WTO: The European Union has requested WTO consultations with China concerning certain Chinese measures which the EU alleges are inconsistent with China’s obligations under the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). The request was circulated to WTO members on 6 June. Read more

EU initiates new WTO compliance proceedings over Airbus subsidies

WTO: The European Union has requested WTO dispute consultations with the United States to address the EU’s claim that the EU and its member states have complied with the WTO ruling on subsidies to Airbus which was adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body on 28 May. The request was circulated to WTO members on 06 June. Read more

South Africa Looks to Deepen Trade Ties with Canada Following G7 Summit

Footprint to Africa: South Africa is looking to deepen its trade relations with Canada following discussions at the G7 Summit, an annual high profile event that brings together seven of the wealthiest nations in the world. Read more

Africa bids to unlock trade finance potential

Africa Business Magazine: Efforts to create a free trade grouping date back to the establishment of the African Economic Community under the Abuja treaty in 1991. In this context, therefore, the CFTA should be celebrated. Nonetheless, it remains more of a beginning than an end to overcoming intra-African trade barriers. Read more

UNCTAD launches World Investment Report 2018 

UNCTAD: Global flows of foreign direct investment fell by 23 per cent in 2017. Cross-border investment in developed and transition economies dropped sharply, while growth was near zero in developing economies and with only a very modest recovery predicted for 2018. Read more

COMESA, IOM sign cross border trade agreement

Africa Business Communities: COMESA and International Organization for Migration (IOM) have signed a co-delegation Agreement on the implementation of the small scale cross border trade initiative in five border posts within the region. Read more

BONUS – Trade Tensions Escalate 

The leaders of the Group of 7 (G-7) wealthiest countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) met in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada on June 8-9 against a backdrop of escalating trade tensions between the US and major allies, Mexico, Canada and the EU over the former’s imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs and threats of retaliation by the latter.

The official communique was signed by six countries, the US excepted. Specifically, the six signatories to the communique expressed their support for free trade and the rules-based multilateral trading system and denounced protectionism as follows:

“We acknowledge that free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation. We recommit to the conclusions on trade of the Hamburg G20 Summit, in particular, we underline the crucial role of a rules-based international trading system and continue to fight protectionism. We note the importance of bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements being open, transparent, inclusive and WTO-consistent, and commit to working to ensure they complement the multilateral trade agreements. We commit to modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible. We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies.”

The full text of the communique may be accessed here.

Liked this issue? To read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

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Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – March 18-24, 2018

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of March 18-24, 2018! We are pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World. We hope you enjoy this edition.

REGIONAL

CDB programme to support increased trade among CARICOM states

St. Kitts & Nevis Observer: The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved USD$750,000 in funding for a programme that will assist the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with strengthening intra-regional trade. Read more 

Is Guyana ready for an oil boom?

Eurasia Review: Guyana’s story shares many similarities with the story of the ugly duckling. One of the poorest countries in South America, it has historically been entirely dependent on oil imports. Read more 

Catfish exports

Stabroek (Guyana): It is incomprehensible that the government here was given notification by the US government in November, 2015 of new regulations for Siluriformes (catfish) and failed to take all of the required steps to enable continued exports from Guyana. Read more 

North America continues to dominate imports into the TCI -Gov’t makes moves to improve trade with Caribbean neighbours

Turks & Caicos Weekly News: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continues to dominate imports into the Turks and Caicos Islands, accounting for $394.1 million or 91.1 percent of the total import bill for 2017. Read more 

What is the value of CARICOM to Curacao and Sint Maarten (and to ALL Caribbean nations)?

St. Lucia Star: Earlier in March news broke that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was officially assessing the application of Curacao and Sint Maarten for associate membership. These two islands are separated by 900 km of water but they share a cultural heritage, central bank, and a view that within CARICOM a brighter future awaits them. Read more 

Lessons from EPA must inform Post-Cotonou Agreement – Trade Expert

Business Ghana: Mr Tetteh Hormeku, Head of Programmes at the Third World Network, has advised governments in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to use lessons from the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for the post-Cotonou possible framework. Read more 

INTERNATIONAL

Forty-four countries sign historic African Union free trade agreement

Africa News: Forty-four African countries have signed up to a historic trade agreement aimed at paving the way for a liberalized market for goods and services across the continent. Read more

Fiji-PNG discuss trade relations with UK post-Brexit 

Fiji Times: The United Kingdom has begun the process of exiting the European Union (EU) and in this endeavour, it is working with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries to avoid any trade disruptions, during and post-withdrawal. Read more 

Brexit: Government still planning for no deal scenario

The Independent: David Davis has said the Government will continue to plan for a no-deal scenario despite reaching an agreement with Brussels on the transition period last week.  Read more 

Mercosur “blocks” talks on auto exports and government procurement contracts, claims EU

Mercopress: European officials said this week that significant obstacles remain to a long-delayed trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur, even as South American officials expressed optimism a deal would be finalized soon. Read more

Heatwaves, hurricanes, floods: 2017 costliest year ever for extreme weather and climate events, says UN

Mercopress: Hurricanes, monsoon floods and continuing severe drought made 2017 the costliest year ever for severe weather and climate events, according to a new report by the United Nations weather agency launched on the eve of World Meteorological Day. Read more 

India Hosting Mini-Ministerial meet to break WTO impasse 

Economic Times: Taking a lead to break the impasse, India is hosting a two-day informal meeting of 50 WTO members here which would deliberate upon ways to create a positive atmosphere for carrying forward the mandate of the global trade organisation.  Read more

G20 pushes for free trade as U.S. vows to defend national interest

Reuters: World financial leaders pleaded for an endorsement of free trade on Monday amid worries about U.S. metals tariffs and looming trade sanctions on China, but Trump administration officials said they would not sacrifice U.S. national interests. Read more

 

China threatens to raise tariffs on about $3 billion of U.S. imports

Washington Post:  President Trump embarked Thursday on the sharpest trade confrontation with China in nearly a quarter-century, moving toward imposing tariffs on $60 billion in Chinese goods and limiting China’s freedom to invest in the U.S. technology industry. The Chinese government fired back hours later, threatening to hit $3 billion in U.S. goods with tariffs. Read more 

US and South Korea Reach Agreement on Trade, Steel Tariffs

Bloomberg: The U.S. and South Korea reached an agreement on revising the allies’s six-year-old bilateral trade deal and President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. Read more 

EU Commission welcomes adoption of negotiating directives for a multilateral investment court

EU: The Commission welcomes today’s adoption by the Council of the negotiating directives for a multilateral investment court, as well as the fact that for the first time the Council makes its negotiating mandate public right at the time it is adopted. Read more 

WTO members raise concerns over US tariffs on steel and aluminium at Goods Council

WTO: WTO members expressed concern over the United States’ imposition of higher tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and the impact they may have on the global trading system at a meeting of the Council on Trade in Goods on 23 March, the same day the new US measure came into effect. The US responded by saying that the tariffs are necessary to address the threat these imports pose to national security. Read more 

Appellate Body issues report regarding Russian duties on vehicle imports from Germany, Italy

WTO: On 22 March 2018, the WTO Appellate Body issued its report in the case “Russia — Anti-Dumping Duties on Light Commercial Vehicles from Germany and Italy” (DS479). Read more 

WTO issues compliance panel report regarding US countervailing duties on Chinese imports

WTO: On 21 March a WTO panel issued its compliance report in the dispute “United States — Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Products from China — Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by China” (DS437). Read more

Liked this issue? To read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – March 11-17, 2018

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of March 11-17, 2018! We are pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World. We hope you enjoy this edition.

REGIONAL

Work to begin on new CARICOM Strategic Plan

Barbados Advocate: By year end the CARICOM Secretariat will be hard at work getting the framework in place for the new strategic plan for the Caribbean Community. Read more

CSME MER Framework Workshop 

Barbados Advocate: It is imperative that systems be put in place to more effectively monitor and evaluate the CARICOM integration journey. So says Dr. Richard Brown, Director, CARICOM Single Market and Sectoral Programmes. Read more 

CARICOM observer mission releases preliminary statement on Grenada elections

CARICOM: At the invitation of the Government of Grenada the CARICOM Secretariat constituted an eleven-member team to observe Grenada’s Parliamentary Election held March 13, 2018.The full statement may be read here.

Protecting consumers in the CSME

CARICOM: It is important to consider the protection of the consumer as many persons now engage suppliers in a different jurisdiction. This was posited by a senior official from the Caribbean Community (CARICOMSecretariat during the Barbados Fair Trading Commission’s (FTC) annual lecture series held in Barbados. Read more 

INTERNATIONAL

EU Lists US Exports it could hit 

CNNMoney: The EU has published a list of hundreds of American products that it could target if President Donald Trump moves forward with new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Read more 

EP wants to include gender equality in free-trade agreements

EURACTIV: The European Parliament has adopted a resolution to better account for gender equality in trade agreements. The commission could follow up on the resolution in its agreement with Chile, which would be the first to integrate such a chapter. Read more 

India-EU trade: India, EU to decide fate of trade agreement next month

Economic Times: New Delhi: India and the European Union will discuss next month resumption of the much-delayed Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) that hasn’t progressed much over the past five years. Read more 

Vietnamese farmers expect higher profits with CPTPP

Vietnam Net: At least $40 billion worth of export turnover from farm produce in 2018 is within reach, some experts believe. Read more 

Trade deals a priority at ASEAN-Australia summit 

Australian Financial Review: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is pushing for free trade deals with Indonesia and the wider region to be signed by the end of this year, as he insisted there were “no protectionists” around the table at the ASEAN-Australia summit in Sydney. Read more 

Buhari cancels Rwanda trip, reconsiders signing African trade agreement

Premium Times: President Muhammadu Buhari has cancelled his trip to Kigali, Rwanda scheduled for Monday. Mr. Buhari was expected to attend an Extraordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) on Tuesday, March 21, to sign the framework agreement for establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area. Read more 

Top five trade deals that changed history

World Finance: Today, the global trading network is well established, but it has taken multiple decades and various trade agreements to reach the current degree of complexity. Read more 

Jordan suspends free trade agreement with Turkey

Ahval: The Jordanian government suspended a free trade agreement with Turkey, citing unfair competition, the Jordan Times reported. Read more

Winners and Losers in an EU-UK agreement

Financial Times: Read the article here.

Indonesian President Widodo wants a free trade agreement with Australia

Sydney Morning Herald: Indonesian President Joko Widodo will push to sign off an Australia-Indonesia free trade agreement when he meets Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this weekend, declaring that only “technical” details were delaying the deal. Read more 

The Globe and Mail: Now that International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne has put Canada’s signature on the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement, the doors to the Asia-Pacific are about to crack open for Canadian businesses. Read more 

Severing NAFTA ties harms much more than trade

The Hill: U.S. ties with Mexico and Canada touch the daily lives of more Americans than ties with any other two countries in the world. Trade, border connections, tourism, family ties and mutual security concerns link us closely, but we are endangering those links and our wellbeing by a contentious modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Read more 

What impact will trade agreements have on global food markets?

Devex: The political uncertainty surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and North American Free Trade Agreement, as well as the implications of Brexit, has left experts struggling to understand what their impacts will have on markets — particularly in developing countries. Read more 

BONUS

Trade War Bad for Region

My commentary in the Business Authority of March 18 (page 15) on the possible fall-out of any trade war between the US and other major trading powers on the Caribbean.

Liked this issue? To read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – February 4-10, 2018

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of February 4-10, 2018! We are pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World. We hope you enjoy this edition.

REGIONAL

CDB reports Regional development gains in 2017 despite catastrophic Atlantic Hurricane Season

CDB: Despite major setbacks caused by a destructive 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is reporting a year of several developmental gains for the Region. Read more 

Positive economic growth expected for Caribbean Region in 2018, but resilience-building measures needed

CDB: The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is projecting regional economic growth of 2% in 2018. This follows a return to positive figures last year, during which the Region experienced overall growth of 0.6%–despite the devastation caused by the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Read more 

Barbados ratifies Trade Facilitation Agreement

BGIS: Barbados has ratified the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) on Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Read more 

Jamaica Prime Minister Tables Report on CARICOM

JIS: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, tabled a copy of the Report of the Commission to Review Jamaica’s Relations within the CARICOM and CARIFORUM Frameworks in the House of Representatives,  yesterday (February 6). Read more

CDB President announces up to US$800M for disaster recovery, amid strong Bank performance in 2017

CARICOM: President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, today announced that the institution is making USD700 to 800 million (mn) available to help Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) recover from the impact of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Read more 

INTERNATIONAL

Brazil Circulates Proposal for WTO Investment Facilitation Deal

ICTSD Bridges: Brazil submitted an extensive draft proposal for a potential agreement on investment facilitation to the WTO’s General Council last week, in a bid to jumpstart more “structured discussions” on the subject. Read more 

EU-Chile trade talks: Commission releases its proposals and reports about progress

EU: The Commission also published a report of the second round of talks that took place in Santiago (Chile) from 15 to 19 January 2018. These were the first substantive discussions on trade following the launch of talks in November last year. Read more 

Commission imposes definitive anti-dumping duties on Chinese corrosion resistant steel

EU: The investigation confirmed that Chinese producers were dumping the product on the EU market, a finding that already led to imposition of provisional duties in August 2017. The measures that will be in place for the next 5 years range from 17.2% to 27.9%. Read more 

African Leaders Prep for Summit on Continental Trade Deal

ICTSD Bridges: African national leaders concluded the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union last week, with the summit adopting a series of decisions on issues related to continental economic integration – including on the next steps for the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), as well as the free movement of people and air travel. Read more 

No blanket EU trade ban, says Mustapa

The Star: As Malaysia is an open economy, the government cannot impose a blanket ban on trade with the European Union (EU), but it can collaborate with government-linked companies to determine where to buy and sell goods amid the economic bloc’s threat to palm oil, said International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
Read more 

Mozambique joins the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Southern African States

EU: Mozambique was the last piece of the SADC-EPA jigsaw to fall into place. The other five countries – Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South-Africa, and Swaziland – have been implementing the agreement since October 2016.  Read more

Ministers admit almost 65 existing trade deals with non-EU countries are ‘at risk because of Brexit

The Independent: Ministers have admitted for the first time that about 65 existing trade deals with non-EU countries are at risk because of Brexit, it has been claimed. Read more 

This doesn’t help the little guy! Trader reveals why Germans are furious at EU trade deal

The Express: The European Union has not learned lessons from its trade deal with Canada and the public will slowly start to resent Brussels bureaucrats and turn against the bloc, an expert has warned. Read more 

How can East Asia defend the WTO?

East Asia Forum: A confident, rules-based environment for international trade has made possible the remarkable improvements in East Asian living standards over the past 50 years. This environment — created by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its successor in the World Trade Organization (WTO) — remains essential for the future. But its survival cannot be taken for granted. Read more 

BiH near membership in the WTO

IBNA: Bosnia and Herzegovina can reach full membership in the World Trade Organisation till summer this year, and is on the right path to finish negotiations. Read more 

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s WTO accession negotiations advance towards conclusion

WTO: At the 13th meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina held on 7 February, WTO members supported the swift conclusion of the negotiations and welcomed the strong commitment and desire by Sarajevo to finalize this process in the coming months. Read more 

US blocks India’s request for WTO compliance panel on solar dispute

Hindu Business Line: Moving on expected lines, the US, on Friday, blocked India’s first-time request for the establishment of a panel to settle a dispute on whether the country complied with a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling against domestic sourcing of solar cells and modules mandated in its national solar power generation programme. Read more 

FM: Belarus has no plans to slow down WTO accession talks

BELTA: In 2017 Belarus considerably intensified the talks on joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) and is intended to keep the pace, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview to the Russian newspaper Izvestia, BelTA has learned. Read more 

Italy eyes stronger ties with ASEAN countries

Indian Express: “Italy wants to strengthen relations with ASEAN and will organise the 2nd High Level Dialogue ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations in Singapore in April,” said Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano. Read more 

Liked this issue? To read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

Caribbean Trade and Development Digest – January 1-6, 2018

Happy New Year! Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of January 1-6, 2018! We are pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World. We hope you enjoy this edition.

REGIONAL

Cuba’s Raul Castro Meets Top EU Diplomat to tighten relations

TeleSur: Cuban President Raul Castro met with the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, at the end of her two-day visit to the country, seeking to construct and reinforce ties between EU member countries and Cuba. Read more

Exxon Mobil reports Oil Discovery off Guyana

Fox Business: Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) on Friday said it made another positive oil discovery off the coast of Guyana.  Read more

2017 gold declarations below target

Stabroek News: The Guyana Gold Board has recorded total gold declarations of 652,000 ounces for 2017, which is below the target of 720,000 ounces. Read more

Hurricane-hit Caribbean countries slash cost of Citizenship by Investment programs, says report

Nation News: Caribbean nations ravaged by recent hurricanes are selling citizenship at dramatically discounted prices in an effort to raise emergency funds, sparking concerns that the programmes may be vulnerable to abuse, according to reports here. Read more

Arrivals of US tourists to Cuba tripled in 2017

Caribbean News Digital: U.S. tourism to Cuba grew nearly threefold in 2017 over the previous year, mainly due to relaxation of travel ban, a Cuban official said Saturday. Read more

CARICOM moving to create first climate-resilient region

Jamaica Observer: Incoming chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse, says the regional grouping is moving towards creating the world’s first climate-resilient region this year. Read more

INTERNATIONAL

Will intra-African trade flourish in 2018?

The Herald: Overcoming the barriers for intra-African trade to double in a decade can feel like a Sisyphean task – impossible to complete. But that is the objective of the Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT) action plan, which targets to double flows between January 2012 and January 2022. Read more

Rwanda: AU Summit to discuss Continental Free Trade Area

AllAfrica: The upcoming 30th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government is expected to receive a progress report on the status of negotiations of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), an official has told Sunday Times. Read more

US Trade deficit hits $50.5 billion, biggest since 2012

ABCNews: The U.S. trade deficit rose to $50.5 billion in November, the largest imbalance in nearly six years, as imports and exports both hit records. Read more

Canada’s NAFTA charm offensive kicks into high gear

CBCNews: The new year begins with Canada relying on an old strategy for saving the North American Free Trade Agreement. Read more

UK seek free trade agreement covering goods and services in Phase Two

RTE: British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the UK will be looking for a free trade agreement with the EU that will cover goods and services in Phase Two of the Brexit negotiations this year. Read more

Tariffs to be slashed as China-Chile free trade agreement kicks in

China.org.cn: Nearly 98 percent of products traded between China and Chile will have zero tariffs attached when the new China-Chile free trade agreement is implemented in 2018, according to the Guangdong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, reports Chinanews.com. Read more

Will 2018 be the year of protectionism? Trump alone will decide

New York Times: The Trump administration will soon face several major trade decisions that will determine whether the White House adopts the type of protectionist barriers that President Trump campaigned on but that were largely absent during his first year in office. Read more

Will global trade survive 2018?

Foreign Policy (Blog): The future of the global trade system faces more risk and uncertainty than at any time since it was created after World War II. Read more

Macron pursues ambitious agenda on first official China visit

RFI: French president, Emmanuel Macron’s heads to China Sunday hoping to forge closer ties with President Xi Jinping. During the three-day trip which begins Monday, Macron plans to seek a “strategic partnership” with Beijing, notably on terrorism and climate change, an official in the president’s office said. Read more

Why Britain should be allowed to join the TPP

The Strait Times: Analysis by James Crabtree Read more

US-Korea trade talks pit pickup trucks against nuclear threat

Reuters: The United States and South Korea on Friday completed the first round of review talks on a bilateral trade deal with Washington saying there was “much work to do” to reach a new pact.  Read more

Will there be a Pacific trade war in 2018?

Nikkei Asian Review: Analysis by Glen Fukushima Read more

New Chinese consul general talks tough on trade

Business in Vancouver: China is eager to conclude a free-trade agreement with Canada, but not at the expense of a set of “baseline” political principles seen as untouchable by Beijing, said the new top Chinese diplomat in the Western Canada region. Read more

How Nepal’s trade costs could be minimised

The Himalayan Times: A recent report jointly prepared by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) titled ‘Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism (TTFMM) in Nepal’ has suggested the government to set up the TTFMM institutional mechanism to monitor processes in certification, customs, transit and cargo transportation to bring down the cost of trade. Read more

Brexit: UK Government considers joining TPP trade agreement to help bolster economy after leaving EU

The Independent: Britain is exploring the possibility of joining a trans-Pacific trade bloc after Brexit in a bid to find alternative markets for exports that currently go to Europe, it has emerged. Read more

Brexit: May urged to stay in the single market by 20 British MEPs

The Guardian: Theresa May is being urged to change course and seek full membership of the European single market and customs union by 20 British MEPs, including three Tories and the majority of Labour politicians based in Brussels. Read more

Pressure grows for UK to bring ban on ivory trade

The Guardian: Consultation by the government shows huge public support for ending all sales. Read more

More than 2,300 EU academics resign amid warning over UK university ‘Brexodus’

The Independent: New figures show a 19 per cent increase in departures of European staff from universities last year compared to before the EU referendum, and a 10 per cent rise from some 2130 resignations in 2015-16. Read more

Liked this issue? To read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – April 23-29, 2017

Source: Pixabay

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of April 23-29, 2017! We are pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World.

We do apologise for the lack of a Digest for the past two weeks due to my travelling. It has been an interesting two weeks in world trade, with the US imposing tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports and the EU releasing its Guidelines for the Brexit Negotiations with the UK pursuant to Article 50. On the home front, Belize has concluded its third World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Policy Review. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We hope you enjoy this edition.

REGIONAL NEWS

Belize has concluded its third WTO trade policy review

WTO: The third review of the trade policies and practices of Belize takes place on 24 and 26 April 2017. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Belize. Read more

US and region deepen security ties

Nation News: The United States has pledged its commitment to deepening its cooperation with the Caribbean region to combat all threats. Read more

Barbados Hotel occupancies drop during the first quarter

BarbadosToday: Against the backdrop of a fall in hotel occupancies and weak returns on hotel room rates during the first quarter of this year, Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Roseanne Myers Wednesday disclosed that travel agents from source markets were reporting that some repeat visitors were opting not to travel in winter because they were waiting for “when the rates are a little better”. Read more

Hopes for Caribbean Trade Boost

Business Authority: Local exporters, and their Caribbean counterparts, stand to benefit now that a major international trade agreement has come into force.  Read more

Barbados records significant rum trade with Europe

Jamaica Observer: Barbados has exported BDS$89.9 million (US$44.95 million) in rum products to the European Union over a four year period, Commerce Minister Donville Inniss has said. Read more

Barbadian Rum producers fear results of French election

BarbadosToday: Barbadian rum producers are keeping a close eye on the French presidential run-off election scheduled for May 7, fearing the results could hurt the local industry. Read more

Gopee-Scoon talks trade with local high commissioner and ambassador

Loop Trinidad: Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon met with the High Commissioner-designate to the United Kingdom Orville London and Ambassador-designate to Costa Rica Tracey Davidson –Celestine on Wednesday. Read more

Sector leader sees improved trade relations with Trinidad & Tobago

Jamaica Gleaner: President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) Metry Seaga says his organisation has received fewer complaints from local manufacturers about unfair trade practices by their Trinidadian counterparts. Read more

We will do everything to keep GuySuCo alive – says Granger

Stabroek: President David Granger said today that his government will do everything possible to keep the sugar industry alive. Read more

Guyana considers Suriname’s gold export model

Demerara Waves: Guyana’s recent foreign currency shortage appears to have caused government to consider adopting Suriname’s model to ensure that more earnings from gold sales goes directly to the national treasury. Read more

Granger names three sugar estates to be retained

Demerara Waves: President David Granger has named at least three sugar estates that will be retained as part of a restructured Guyana Sugar Corporation. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

European Council Releases (Article 50) Guidelines

EU: The European Council has released its guidelines for the upcoming Article 50 Brexit negotiations with the UK. Read more

Africa and China trade is booming

BusinessReport: China remained Africa’s biggest trading partner as bilateral economic relations boomed, said Jiang Zengwei, head of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. Read more

US imposing 20 percent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber

CNBC: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday his agency will impose new anti-subsidy tariffs averaging 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber imports, a move that escalates a long-running trade dispute between the two countries. Read more

US lumber tariffs hit B.C. manufacturers hard

CBC Canada: New softwood lumber tariffs being imposed by the U.S. are already cutting deep into B.C. businesses. Read more

DG Azevedo: Global trade challenges are best tackled through the multilateral system

WTO: The WTO should seek to bolster global economic cooperation in order to leave a strong and well-functioning trading system for future generations, said Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. Read more

Downgrades depress South African exports and trade

BusinessReport: Recent credit downgrades by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch have put more pressure on South African exports and international trade. Read more

WTO issues panel report on Chinese cellulose pulp duties

WTO: On 25 April 2017 the WTO issued the panel report in the case brought by Canada in “China – Anti-Dumping Measures on Imports of Cellulose Pulp from Canada” (DS483). Read more

Arbitrator issues decision in Mexico-US tuna dispute

WTO: On 25 April, a WTO arbitrator issued a decision on the level of retaliation that Mexico can request in its dispute with the United States over US “dolphin safe” labelling requirements for tuna products (DS381). Read more

ACP: One billion people to speak to Europe with one voice

The Southern Times: Seventy-nine countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which are home to around one billion people, will speak with one voice as they prepare to negotiate a major partnership agreement with the European Union (500 million inhabitants) in May. Read more

EU tells May: Give our citizens their rights or no trade talks

The Guardian: The EU has called on Theresa May to provide immediate “serious and real” guarantees to its citizens living in Britain. Read more

Some important clarifications on the EPA

The Guardian: All of the ECOWAS countries, apart from Nigeria and the Gambia, have to date signed the EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EPA may enter into force only if all ECOWAS member states sign and if at least two thirds ratify the agreement. Read more

Examining Trump’s record on trade

NPR: When the president speaks the world listens. Adam Behsudi of Politico talks with NPR’s Scott Simon about how Donald Trump’s outspoken commentary is affecting international trade with the U.S. Read more

Trump on trade: Scrutinise NAFTA, other deals for abuses

Politico: President Donald Trump’s latest executive order on trade calls for review of all U.S. free trade agreements — including NAFTA and the World Trade Organization pact — and possible renegotiation of any deal to eliminate “violations and abuses,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday. Read more

Difficult trade-offs necessary for RCEP to be worthwhile: PM Lee Hsien Loong

Strait Times: Asean is keen to conclude a region-wide trade agreement with its key partners, but the pact must have substance to be worthwhile, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (April 29). Read more

Southeast Asia prioritises trade pact including China

Channel News Asia: Southeast Asian countries will prioritise creating an Asia-focused trade pact this year that includes China, India and Japan, while trade issues with the United States will be put on the back burner, the Philippine trade minister said. Read more

Mwagiru: Durban forum expected to focus on intra-Africa trade

Daily Nation: Wary of the perils of depending on reluctant donors for its survival, Africa is on a quiet quest for self-reliance and intra-regional cooperation. These are among the themes that will feature at the three-day World Economic Forum that opens in Durban, South Africa, on Wednesday. Read more

CTLD NEWS

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Alicia Nicholls presenting her paper at the SALISES Conference, Trinidad.

Alicia Nicholls presented a paper at the 18th Annual SALISES Conference 2017, a major academic conference organised annually by the University of the West Indies (UWI). The Conference was hosted this year by the Trinidad (St. Augustine Campus) at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

Alicia’s paper is a work in progress and is entitled “Economic Citizenship and Freedom of Movement of the Caribbean Community National: An Irreconcilable Tension?”.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Small Nations, Dislocations, Transformations: Sustainable Development in SIDS” and was held over the period April 26-28, 2017.

For more CTLD News see News & Announcements

NEW ON CTLD BLOG

French Election 2017: What’s at stake for the world and the Caribbean?

The Trump Presidency – Implications and Opportunities for Caribbean IFCs

PM May calls snap election: Pros and Cons

Liked this issue? Read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – March 19-25, 2017

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of March 19-25,2017!  I am pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World.

It is “Brexit Week”! This Wednesday United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50, beginning the formal process of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU). I trust you will enjoy this week’s edition of our Caribbean Trade and Development Digest!

For past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here.

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REGIONAL NEWS

Grenada joins list of CARICOM countries to ban corned beef from Brazil 

Jamaica Observer: Grenada has join the list of countries within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to place a ban on the importation and consumption of corned beef from Brazil. Read more 

Dominican Republic: Plantain contribution vital to GDP

Fresh Plaza: The Dominican Republic’s plantain sector contributes more than RD $14.000 million per year to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and it is one of the products that promotes the economy’s development the most, stated the chief executive of the Dominican Agribusiness Board, Osmar Benitez. Read more 

CARICOM to introduce secure, harmonised skills certificate

Antigua Observer: The Caribbean Community (Caricom) said it will be implementing a harmonised skills certificate with a range of security features under the Caricom Single Market & Economy (CSME) regime. Read more 

EU wants to advance common agenda with CARICOM in global fora

Nation News: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Wednesday accredited a new Ambassador of the European Union (EU), with the new envoy advocating for the relationship to more effectively advance a common agenda in global and multilateral fora. Read more 

Jamaica, Brazil face off over “bully beef”

Jamaica Observer: Jamaica and Brazil appear to be heading towards a trade row over the island’s ban on corned beef imported from that South American country as both sides yesterday took hard positions on the measure. Read more 

Finland expresses interest in CARICOM’s bioenergy potential

Jamaica Gleaner: Finland has expressed an interest in exploring the bioenergy potential in mainland territories of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries. Read more 

EUR 24m in support to the Caribbean’s private sector

St Lucia Times: The European Union (EU) have signed the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) agreement worth EUR 24 Million to support regional private sector development. Read more 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Trump to review all 14 US FTAs

Fortune: The Trump administration is preparing new executive orders to re-examine all 14 U.S. free trade agreements and review government procurement policies to aid American companies, two administration officials said. Read more 

EU, Mercosur Countries Work to Speed up trade talks 

ICTSD Bridges: Talks on a potential trade deal between the EU and Mercosur have reportedly been gaining renewed traction, with diplomats from both trading partners affirming their commitment to bringing the long-running negotiations closer to a successful conclusion. Read more 

Pacific countries to sign deal next month

Radio New Zealand: Pacific Island countries are expected to sign the proposed regional trade deal called PACER Plus next month. Read more 

Anti-Brexit protesters march in London 

The Australian: Tens of thousands of protesters marched in London against plans for Britain to withdraw from the European Union. Read more 

China, Australia work together to develop Asia-Pacific Trade

Global Times: At a time of uncertainty, where protectionist economic policy poses some threats to the broader global market, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang‘s visit to Australia has highlighted the importance of the two nation’s responsibility to work together and develop trade in the Asia-Pacific. Read more 

Africa Trade Meeting Has no Africans after Visa denials

VOA: Each year, the University of Southern California brings delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Read more 

Outcomes from FATF annual Private Sector Consultative Forum

FATF: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held its annual Private Sector Consultative Forum on 20-22 March 2017 in Vienna, Austria, hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).Read more 

Japanese, European leaders push for swift conclusion to trade talks

ICTSD Bridges: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday 20 March in Hanover, renewing calls to finalise negotiations on a EU-Japan free trade accord and defending open and fair trade. Read more 

Wildlife Trade: China Reports drop in demand for ivory

ICTSD Bridges: The past month has seen a series of domestic efforts aimed at addressing different aspects of wildlife trade, from the implementation of measures to further regulate or curb ivory sales in various countries and a debate in South Africa over domestic trade in rhino horn. Read more 

MacAuley Looks to tap Asia-Pacific trade for Canada

The Guardian: MacAulay held talks with his counterparts in both countries to promote Canadian products like lobster, livestock genetics, blueberries, grains and oilseeds. Read more 

Algeria ready to strengthen trade with South Africa

Brand South Africa: Algerian ambassador to South Africa Abd-El-Naceur Belaid called for stronger economic partnerships between Algeria and South Africa at an Algeria-South Africa trade and investment summit held in Johannesburg. Read more 

Canada aims to avoid Brexit cliff-edge with trade talks 

Toronto Star: The government is pushing for its trade deal with Europe to be ratified by Britain before it leaves the European Union to secure the crucial agreement. It also has its eye on deeper relations with the U.K. once Brexit is complete. Read more

RCEP “another important path” for trade liberalisation

Channel News Asia: Even as the United States has pulled out from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), both Singapore and Vietnam are “watching how things will develop” on the trade pact, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the end of his visit to Vietnam on Friday (Mar 24). Read more 

Panels established to review US renewable energy measures and Russian transit restrictions

WTO News: The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed on 21 March to the establishment of two new dispute panels: one to review a complaint filed by India regarding certain measures at the state level in the United States to promote renewable energy; and the second to review Ukraine’s complaint regarding restrictions on goods in transit through the Russian Federation. Read more 

UK Food Lobby Calls for Tariff-Free Post Brexit Trade with EU

Bloomberg: Industry bodies representing the U.K. food supply chain have called on the government to seek a tariff-free trade agreement with the European Union during coming Brexit negotiations. Read more 

Malaysia remains open on TPP

The Borneo Post: Malaysia is still keeping its options open on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as 10 of its signatories met in Chile last week, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. Read more 

US Chamber urges quick vote on USTR pick: Lighthizer

The Hill: The nation’s largest business lobby on Wednesday threw its support behind President Trump’s pick to lead U.S. trade policy. Read more 

Mexico prepared to “step away” from NAFTA if negotiations don’t benefit the country

Mercopress: Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said that if North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations don’t benefit all parties involved, the country is willing to “step away” from it. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said pulling out of NAFTA would be a last resort. Read more 

Trumps pipeline permit to TransCanada

USA Today: The company responsible for the Keystone XL oil pipeline said Friday that President Trump’s administration signed off on the project, clearing a hurdle for a polarizing endeavor that has rankled environmentalists and inspired hope for jobs among supporters. Read more 

Trump trade negotiator wants stronger ties with Taiwan 

China Post: U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee for trade representative has urged stronger bilateral ties with Taiwan, according to a report released Tuesday. Read more 

CTLD NEWS 

Read my latest commentary Sport, Entrepreneurship and Development

Caribbean Trade Law & Development (CTLD) and the Africa Caribbean & Pacific Young Professionals Network (ACP YPN)  have submitted joint written evidence to the United Kingdom (UK) House of Commons’ International Trade Committee’s on-going UK-US Trade Relations Inquiry . The inquiry  is examining the potential for a trade agreement between a post-BREXIT UK and the United States  of America (US).Our joint submission has been published on the UK House of Commons’ ITC’s website and may be viewed here.

Liked this issue? Read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

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