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PBEC Trade Report February 2024

TRADE MINISTERS HEAD FOR CRITICAL MEETING: Trade Ministers are jetting to Abu Dhabi for next week’s 13th ministerial conference of the WTO. They will confirm the accession of Timor-Leste and debate critical trade issues encompassing topics such as agriculture, fish subsidies, digital trade and dispute resolution.

AUSTRALIA TO PUSH NEW FTA: Australia and the UAE are preparing for a 2nd round of negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement. It follows a first round in January. Trade Minister Farrell will meet his UAE counterpart while in Abu Dhabi for the WTO’s 13th ministerial conference.

AUSTRALIA & NZ BACK PACIFIC PARTICIPATION: Australia, NZ and the UK have contributed funding to facilitate the participation of Pacific Island economies in the WTO MC13. Pacific Islands Forum secretary general Puna described the support as pivotal to ensuring Pacific Island voices were heard in Abu Dhabi.

ASEAN-INDIA COMMITTEE MEETS IN NEW DELHI: ASEAN and Indian officials have met in Delhi for a 3rd joint committee meeting for undertaking a review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement. The Agreement was signed in 2009. A 4th joint committee meeting will be held in Kuala Lumpur in May.

WTO PANEL RULES AGAINST US IN OLIVE DISPUTE: A WTO Compliance Panel has ruled the US has failed to comply with an earlier ruling that its anti-subsidy duties on Spanish ripe olives breached global trade rules. Since the duties were imposed in 2018, Spain’s ripe olive exports to the US have fallen by more than 70%.

APEC PUBLISHES ANNUAL REVIEW: The APEC Secretariat has this week published its annual Outcomes & Outlook 2023/2024 ahead of the 1st senior officials meeting in Lima. It focused on the economic, trade and policy outlook for the region as well as reviewing US hosted APEC 2023 and Peru hosted APEC 2024.

JAPAN EXTENDS CHINA DUMPING DUTIES: Japan has announced a five-year extension of its anti-dumping duties on electrolytic manganese dioxide imported from China. The duties of up to 46.5% were introduced in 2008 and will now expire in 2029. Electrolytic manganese dioxide is largely used in battery manufacture.

AUSTRALIAN CITY TO HOST MAJOR PROMOTION: Tourism Minister Farrell has announced Perth will host Australia’s major G’Day Australia promotion in October. It will attract more than 300 international travel agents from global markets and is a key element toward the recovery of tourists to pre-pandemic levels.

TAIWAN BANS CHINA CHILLI PEPPER IMPORTS: Taiwan has this week banned chili pepper powder imports from 21 Chinese importers and manufacturers for 3 months. It follows the discovery of the widespread use of a banned colouring agent. The Taipei Times said Taiwan currently had a policy to test every shipment.

SOUTH KOREA & EU DIGITAL NEGOTIATORS MEET: A 2nd round of South Korea-EU Digital Trade Agreement negotiations was held in Seoul this week. Trade negotiators from South Korea also travelled to Georgia for the first round of negotiations for a South Korea-Georgia Economic Partnership Agreement.

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