PBEC Trade Report April 2021

Issue: 005: AUSTRALIA’S CHINA WINE DISPUTE HEADED TO WTO: A WTO Dispute Panel is likely now that China has hiked five-year anti-dumping duties on Australian wine to between 116 and 218 per cent. Trade Minister Tehan described China’s action as “extremely disappointing and completely unjustifiable.”

AUSTRALIAN PRODUCERS RESPOND TO CHINA HIT: Australian wine producers are responding to China’s anti-dumping duties by chasing new markets. Industry leader Tony Battaglane said wine producers would now focus on growing demand for Australian wine in other markets across Asia, Europe, USA and UK.

USTR TRADE MEETINGS BY VIDEO: United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai has spent her first days in office in virtual meetings with the Trade Ministers of Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, EU and UK. She is also scheduled to participate in this week’s G7 Trade Ministers meeting hosted by the UK.

US CONGRESS MEMBERS CALL FOR FTA WITH TAIWAN: Twenty-three US Congress members have written to President Biden calling for the US to pursue an FTA with Taiwan. They said an FTA with Taiwan would demonstrate to Indo-Pacific allies that the US was invested in their security and prosperity.

AUSTRALIA’S WTO BARLEY BID STALLED: A US-Venezuelan trade spat saw the suspension of a monthly WTO Dispute Settlement Body meeting last Friday. This meant Australia’s bid for a WTO Dispute Panel to be established to review its China barley dispute has stalled as it was to be considered at the meeting.

INDIA STAYS ON US DIGITAL INQUIRY LIST: India remains on a US investigation list of 10 economies with digital services taxes said to discriminate against US digital companies. The US will now be seeking public comment on possible trade actions. Indonesia is among four jurisdictions dropped from the inquiry.

ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY GETS NEW LEADER: Satvinder Singh has been appointed deputy secretary-general for the ASEAN Economic Community. The Singaporean will report to ASEAN Secretary-General Lim and will play a key strategic role in implementing ASEAN’s economic and trade integration.

INDIA AND BANGLADESH TO ACCELERATE FTA STUDY: India and Bangladesh this week agreed to an “expeditious conclusion” to an ongoing joint study on the prospects of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement. The agreement was reached during a state visit by Prime Minister Modi.

NZ PREPARES FOR NEW FTA ROUND: New Zealand trade negotiators are expected to hold a 4th round of FTA negotiations with the UK over two weeks beginning April 13. The 4th round is again to be held virtually and follows a 3rd round earlier this year. Farm produce access is expected to be a difficult bargaining issue.

AUSTRALIA REPORTS ON EU GOODS ACCESS: Australia has reported “constructive discussions” on goods market access, including farm produce, during a 10th round of EU FTA negotiations. Australia also reiterated it would not agree to protect EU GI terms unless an overall deal was in Australia’s interests.

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