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PBEC Trade Report November 2021

Issue: 012:

AUSTRALIA-EU TRADE TALKS DELAYED: A 12th round of Australia-EU FTA talks has now been delayed until February 2022. They were to be held in October but were delayed for a month following the cancellation of a submarine contract with France. In the meantime, chief negotiators will meet in December.

CHINA MAKES FURTHER TARIFF PLEA: China’s Vice Premier Liu has again used a high-level US call to seek the removal of additional tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration. Liu’s latest bid was made in a call this week with US Treasury Secretary Yellen and follows a similar plea made to USTR Tai a fortnight ago.

MALAYSIA LAUNCHES NEW TRADE PLAN: Prime Minister Ismail Sabri has launched a five-year National Trade Blueprint. He said the plan would seek to enhance Malaysia’s trade competitiveness by making structural changes to the export sector in key areas such as facilitation, market access and digitalisation.

CHINA PLEDGES EQUAL SUPPLIER TREATMENT: The Ministry of Finance has pledged the China will treat local and overseas suppliers equally in terms of government procurement. The China Daily reported an open system that encouraged fair competition was necessary as China bid to join the CPTPP FTA.

ASEAN & INDIA LEADERS TALK TRADE: Leaders from ASEAN and India will this week talk trade and commerce between their economies when they meet virtually for an 18th ASEAN-India Summit. It follows this week’s series of regional events including the 16th East Asia Summit and ASEAN + 3 Summit.

AUSTRALIA LEGISLATES FOR RCEP FTA: Legislation for the ratification of the RCEP FTA (ASEAN + Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and NZ) has passed the Australian Parliament. Trade Minister Tehan said RCEP would make it easier for businesses and investors to operate throughout the Indo-Pacific.

INDIA BOOSTS FREE TRADE MESSAGE: Commerce Minister Goyal has called for honesty and transparency to be the core values of free trade within a rules-based multilateral trading system. He told the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade that India was making every effort for an early conclusion to several crucial FTAs.

CHINA FLOODED WITH TRADE QUESTIONS: China’s trade policy review at the WTO attracted more than 1600 written questions from 60 members. China was criticised by some members including Australia and the US regarding concerns over its general increase in non-transparent and discriminatory measures.

NZ & UK SECURE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT: New Zealand and the United Kingdom have secured an in principle free trade agreement. It was agreed during a video call between Prime Ministers Ardern and Johnson, followed 16 months of negotiation and is expected to add a $1 billion boost to NZ’s GDP.

MIXED FARMER RESPONSE TO NZ-UK FTA: Farmers in NZ and the UK have mixed views to the NZ-UK FTA.

NZ’s Federated Farmers described it as great news for farmers and consumers in both economies. However the UK’s National Farmers’ Union said there could be a huge downside to FTAs with NZ and Australia.

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