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PBEC Trade Report January 2022

Issue: 015: January 2022

CHINA’S BID LIKELY TO BE DELAYED: The WTO’s Dispute Body’s agenda for this week includes China’s bid for a WTO Dispute Panel to review Australian dumping duties on stainless steel sinks, railway wheels and wind towers. It is usual for respondents to get a delay of at least a month by arguing a panel is premature.

MALAYSIA RATIFIES RCEP FTA: Malaysia has become the 12th economy to ratify the RCEP FTA. The world’s largest FTA will enter into force for Malaysia on March 18. The 15 member economies of the RCEP FTA (ASEAN + 5) represent nearly a third of the world’s population and 30 per cent of its GDP.

PHILIPPINES TRADE BOSS CALLS FOR SENATE SUPPORT: Trade Secretary Lopez has called for his country’s Senate to immediately endorse ratification of the RCEP FTA saying RCEP was a strategic tool to sustain the region’s economic advantage. Industry groups such as garment makers have also backed the FTA.

UK & AUSTRALIAN STATE SIGN MOU: UK Foreign Secretary Truss and South Australian Premier Marshall signed an MOU during the former’s visit to Adelaide at the weekend. The MOU will seek to deepen ties in such industries as space, cyber and green technologies arising from the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement.

SOUTH KOREA PURSUES EGYPTIAN FTA: South Korea and Egypt have agreed to a joint feasibility study as they work toward a bilateral FTA. This follows a meeting in Cairo between Presidents Moon Jae-in and Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. South Korea will also resume FTA talks with the six GCC States after a 12-year hiatus.

OTTAWA GROUP STEPS UP WTO EFFORTS: The Ottawa Group of reformist trading economies, chaired by Canada and including Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and the EU, met during the week and agreed to intensify its efforts to restore a fully functioning WTO dispute settlement system.

AUSTRALIA HELPS PNG EXPAND TRADE CAPABILITY: Australia is to contribute $580m to assist Papua New Guinea boost trade by upgrading its maritime infrastructure to accommodate larger ships. Trade Minister Tehan said the work would allow for dedicated container ships to make direct calls to Papua New Guinea.

TAIWAN BOOSTS CPTPP FTA BID: Taiwan is seeking to boost its membership-bid credentials for the CPTPP FTA by ensuring tougher protection of intellectual property. Its Cabinet approved law changes during the week to its Copyright and Trademark Acts. A range of criminal penalties have been included in the changes.

AUSTRALIA DELAYS GALVANISED STEEL REPORT: The Anti-Dumping Commission has postponed the timing of a report and ministerial recommendation on the possible continuation of anti-dumping duties on galvanised steel from India, Malaysia and Vietnam. The recommendation will now by due by July 1.

US LAUNCHES CAR LAMP INQUIRY: The US International Trade Commission is to begin an inquiry into a range of imported automotive replacement lamps. This follows complaints by Hyundai that the imported lamps infringe its patents. A Taiwanese and three US companies have been named as inquiry respondents.

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