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PBEC Trade Report December 2021

Issue: 013:

AUSTRALIA’S NO TO CHINA: Prime Minister Morrison has flagged Australia is unlikely to support China’s bid to join the CPTPP FTA. He told a news conference this week that those seeking to become part of a high standard agreement like CPTPP would not want to have a track record of coercing other trade partners.

WTO LAUNCHES VACCINE TRADE TRACKER: The Word Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund have this week launched a new vaccine trade tracker. The tracker aims to provide clearer transparency on the international flow of COVID-19 vaccines and incorporates a range of trade information.

INDIA HOSTS TRADE FORUM: USTR Tai was in India this week for the US-India Trade Policy Forum. Speaking before the forum, she told a reception the trade relationship between the two economies was a priority with a huge growth potential in areas like the digital economy, services, health and agriculture.

AUSTRALIA & INDIA FTA TALKS ENTER KEY STAGE: Negotiators from Australia and India are reaching a key stage in their bid to conclude an interim trade agreement. The two economies will exchange offers this week. Trade Minister Tehan expects negotiations to discuss the offers will be held in early 2022.

WORLD TRADE MINISTERS FLY TO GENEVA: As ministers head to Geneva for the WTO’s 12th ministerial conference, negotiators are working overtime to reach consensus on key issues including the functioning of the WTO and key topics such as e-commerce, subsidies for fisheries and farming and pandemic responses.

US & TAIWAN HOLD SECOND TRADE DIALOGUE: The US and Taiwan have this week held their second Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue. The dialogue, held under the umbrella of their trade offices in Washington DC and Taipei, seeks to forge closer commercial and trade ties between the two economies.

EU HITS ASIAN ECONOMIES WITH ANTI-DUMPING TARIFFS: The European Union has announced a series of anti-dumping duties on goods from Asia. It has imposed duties of up to 44% on optical fibre cables from China and up to 35.3% on stainless steel cold-rolled flat products from India and Indonesia.

THAILAND & VIETNAM WORK TO BOOST TRADE: A 4th Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation met during the week and agreed to seek an early joint trade committee meeting to boost trade. This follows an agreement by Prime Ministers Prayut and Chinh in May to target $US25b of annual bilateral trade by 2025.

AUSTRALIAN MINISTER HOSTS FIRST HOME MEETING: Trade Minister Tehan is approaching his first year in the portfolio but has just had his first in-person meeting in Australia with a foreign counterpart due to Covid-19 wreaking havoc with travel. The meeting came during the week with NZ Trade Minister O’Connor.

PHILIPPINES JOINS ATA CARNET SYSTEM: The Philippines has joined the ATA Carnet System. This follows its ratification by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee in Manila. The system is recognized by more than 87 economies and facilitates trade by allowing for a streamlined and duty-free temporary importing of goods.

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