PBEC Trade Report May 2022

Issue: 020: May 2022

APEC TRADE WALK-OUTS: Five economies – Australia, Canada, Japan, NZ and the US – briefly walked out of the APEC Trade Ministers meeting in Bangkok while a Russian delegate spoke. Russia later retaliated when the US spoke. The meeting could not agree on a communique, but a chairman’s statement was later issued.

RUSSIA UNDER FIRE IN BANGKOK: A statement by seven economies at the APEC Trade Ministers meeting condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While acknowledging unwavering support for APEC, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Korea, NZ and the US expressed concern at a deteriorating humanitarian situation.

APEC TRADE MINISTERS BACK WTO: The WTO received strong backing from APEC Trade Ministers. Following a meeting in Bangkok, a statement by chair – Thai Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit – said Ministers reaffirmed the importance of a rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core.

US LAUNCHES TRADE PLAN: President Biden launched a trade-facilitating Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity in Tokyo on Monday. The initial partners of the US are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

AUSTRALIA TO GET NEW TRADE MINISTER: Australia may have its first female trade minister with the new Albanese Government. The Labor Party’s Shadow Trade Minister before the election was West Australian MP Madeleine King. She retained her seat in Parliament as did former Trade Minister Dan Tehan.

NEW ZEALAND PM LEADS MISSION: Prime Minister Ardern and Trade Minister O’Connor are leading a trade mission to the US this week. Leading New Zealand exporters participating in the mission include Silver Fern Farms, Fonterra and Zespri. Trade between the two economies was worth $NZ18.5 billion in 2021.

CHINA LIFTS CANOLA BAN: Canada has welcomed reports China has removed a ban on imports of Canadian canola. Imports of canola seed from two Canadian companies were suspended in 2019. Canada initiated dispute action at the WTO following the ban and a WTO Dispute Panel was established in November 2021.

US & TAIWAN TO EXPLORE CLOSER TRADE LINKS: US Trade Representative Tai and Taiwanese Minister Deng met in Bangkok during the week and agreed to deepen the trade relationship between the two economies. They expect to meet again the coming weeks to discuss a path forward.

AUSTRALIA FILES SECOND BARLEY SUBMISSION: Australia has filed a second submission with the WTO Dispute Panel considering its challenge to anti-dumping and subsidy duties imposed by China on barley imported from Australia. China imposed combined duties of 80.5% on Australian barley in May 2020.

CANADA REACHES OUT TO DIGITAL AGREEMENT: Canada has formally requested to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement. The agreement links New Zealand, Chile and Singapore and entered into force in January 2021. It is a trade policy tool which seeks to address fast-evolving digital economy issues.

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