PBEC Trade Report June 2023
AUSTRALIA & EU FACING TOUGH WEEKS: Australia and the EU face tough weeks ahead as they seek to resolve contentious issues and deliver an FTA. Following talks in Brussels during the week Trade Minister Farrell told Sky News he would walk away if an FTA “in the interests of Australia” could not be reached.
LEADING ECONOMIES CALL OUT COERCION: Australia, New Zealand, US, Japan, UK and Canada met in Paris during the week and issued a joint statement expressing serious concern over the use of trade-related economic coercion to pressure foreign governments and the use of non-market policies and practices.
JAPAN & SOUTH KOREA TALK STEEL: Japan and South Korea have held the 20th Korea-Japan Steel Dialogue in Tokyo. It was the first such meeting in five years and focussed on a range of steel-related issues including a joint response to the European Union’s contentious Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.
INDIA & EU SEEK WTO DISPUTE PAUSE: India and the EU will this week ask the WTO Dispute Settlement body for a three month pause in adopting a ruling that found against India’s tariff treatment of ICT products such as mobile phones. India and the EU hope to negotiate a settlement to the dispute during this time.
CANADIAN DAIRY DISPUTE HEADS FOR PUBLC HEARING: New Zealand’s dairy quota trade dispute with Canada is scheduled to be further considered this week during a public hearing in Ottawa of the specially appointed CPTPP FTA Dispute Panel. It follows the recent filing of a rebuttal submission by Canada.
SOUTH KOREA’S ACCESSION TO DIGITAL AGREEMENT: Negotiations for South Korea to accede to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement were substantially concluded in Paris during the week. The DEPA was signed in 2020 by Singapore, NZ and Chile. China, Canada, Costa Rica and Peru have also sought to join.
AUSTRALIA PROPOSES TOUGHER PRAWN RULES: The Department of Agriculture has proposed tougher biosecurity rules for imported prawns. The rules are to apply from October and follow a lengthy biosecurity review after Australia’s first white spot disease outbreak in Queensland in 2016-17.
INDIA & EU TO CONTINUE FTA NEGOTIATIONS: Trade negotiators from India and the European Union are to meet in Delhi next week for a 5th round of FTA negotiations. This follows a resumption of negotiations in 2022 following a nine-year break. India is also seeking to advance trade talks with Australia and the UK.
PHILIPPINES TO PURSUE RESUMPTION OF EU TRADE TALKS: The Philippines has flagged it wants to resume negotiations for an FTA with the European Union. The negotiations were launched in 2015 but stalled in 2017 after two negotiating rounds. Trade Secretary Pascual is expected to visit Brussels in July.
AUSTRALIAN STATE HEADS TO WASHINGTON DC: The South Australian State Government is to open a trade and investment office in Washington DC as part of a strategy to pursue advanced defence manufacturing and biomedical opportunities. It follows the recent opening of an office in Frankfurt.