News Article | May 15, 2017
根据欧盟贸易事务负责人的信息，欧盟和墨西哥“承诺”在年内完成谈判，达成双边协定的升级版。 在墨西哥城为期两天的访问中，欧盟贸易委员Malmström 与墨西哥外交事务部长Luis Videgaray Caso 和经济部长Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal举行了会谈，会谈后，他们承诺加快会谈的步伐，再次确认达成一个全面的、覆盖广泛的新协定的目标。 5月8日，欧盟贸易委员 说 ，“这是一个雄心勃勃、但是可以实现的目标。我们希望给世界传递一个明确的信息，就是加强管理国际贸易规则的重要性，而不是削弱这些规则。” 双方谈判人员将在6月26-30日举行下一轮会谈，并 计划 在9月和11月最终完成谈判的目标。 此次部长级别的会谈所处的时机正是欧盟和墨西哥都面临巨大贸易挑战的时候。 在欧洲，一些国家的大选显示贸易、全球化和移民的影响已经日益成为选民关注的热点，虽然法国总统选举结果部分平息了对反全球化规模的担忧。 墨西哥将在明年进行总统选举，与此同时也在准备与美国和加拿大进行北美自贸协定（NAFTA）的升级谈判，这个谈判也是美国总统特朗普的优先事项之一。 Guajardo部长对记者们说，“今天比以往任何时候更重要，就是要发出一个明确的信息：我们不会因为重新谈判北美自由贸易协定的挑战而陷入瘫痪。我们将继续我们的贸易战略，因为它是支持墨西哥经济增长的关键。” 墨西哥官员们也将在本月晚些时候与跨太平洋伙伴关系协定（TPP）的其他10个贸易伙伴举行会谈，讨论美国退出TPP之后该协定接下来的步骤。该会议将在亚太经合组织（APEC）贸易部长会议期间举行。(《桥周报》, 2017年5月4日 ) 墨西哥也是太平洋联盟的成员，该联盟其他成员包括智利、哥伦比亚和秘鲁，联盟的目的是努力深化与其他国家和地区之间的经济贸易联系，比如南美共同市场。(《桥周报》, 2017年4月13日 ) 在访问墨西哥首都期间，Malmström 重申对开放贸易的承诺，警告反对制造贸易壁垒，认为“以价值为基础的”贸易制度是确保自由和公平贸易的正确路径。 在5月9日和工商界代表的交流中，Malmström 说 ，“我赞同Guajardo关于全球开放经济合作的重要性的观点。因为这个原因，我们同意加快我们的讨论，以达成一个新的现代版的协定。” 就同一个议题，欧盟委员会在5月10日发布了一个 报告 ，涵盖了欧盟委员会对处理贸易和全球化地缘政治的反思，从而开展更多的辩论。 谈判的领域 欧盟和墨西哥谈判的名为“全面协定” （Global Agreement）可以追溯到1997年。他们协定中货物贸易的条款于2000年生效，服务贸易有关的条款在次年生效。 这一轮升级谈判已经开展了一年的时间，据称进展顺利。比如，在政府采购方面双方以欧盟的 提案 为基础已经在去年11月达成了该章节的框架，有关中小企业的章节文本也基本整合完毕。 Malmström在5月8日说，“全球贸易、商业和投资的模式发生了变化，对一个现代的、进步的商业协定所能实现的目标的期待也发生了变化。” 这位欧盟贸易委员提到了一系列欧盟希望从与墨西哥贸易协定中看到的成果，包括更低的农产品关税，更快的行政审批，强有力的地理标识制度，更大的政府采购市场准入，和促进对外直接投资的政策环境。 欧盟委员会上周在网上发布了一系列提案，涵盖了 可持续发展 ， 数字经济 ， 良好规制实践 等。 比如，有关可持续发展，欧盟表示旨在“加强把可持续发展融入缔约方的贸易投资关系中，特别是在贸易和投资背景下，建立有关劳工和环境层面的原则和行动。” 所建议的这一章随后涉及多个相关的议题，包括：管制的权利，多边劳工和环境协定及标准，气候变化，生物多样性，林业，渔业，和供应链管理。 欧盟有关数字贸易的提案文本集中在通信和信息通讯技术，同时表示这一章不涉及音像、赌博、广播、认证和法律代表服务等。这一章涵盖了电子传输的海关关税，网上消费者信任，网上直接推销、电子公共采购等。这一章也留有一些空白，保留给有关数据流动和数据本地化方面的可能条款。 欧盟委员会也提出了投资仲裁议题，鉴于欧盟努力推动使用它们的新的“投资法院制度”，该制度已经包括在欧盟与加拿大、欧盟与越南的贸易协定中了，并且是谈判多边投资法庭的跳板。根据欧盟委员会对最近一轮谈判的 报告 ，墨西哥支持使用欧盟提出的投资者-东道国争端解决制度。 截止本文发表之时，墨西哥尚未把它的提案文本放到网上，尽管该国官员表示他们有兴趣在可持发展、知识产权等领域取得进展。 ICTSD报道；彭博社，2017年5月9日，“墨西哥和欧盟计划在年底前完成谈判”；Politico早晨贸易快讯，2017年5月9日，“加拿大贸易特使为‘进步’贸易辩护”。Tags: Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs), European Union (EU), Mexico, Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs)
News Article | May 11, 2017
The European Union and Mexico are “committed” to finishing talks to revamp their decades-old trade agreement this year, according to the EU’s top trade official. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström met with Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso and Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal for two days this week in Mexico City, after which they pledged to scale up their meeting schedule while reaffirming their commitment to a comprehensive, wide-ranging new accord. “This is an ambitious but feasible goal. We want to send a clear signal to the world about the importance of strengthening – not weakening – the rules that govern international trade,” said the EU trade chief on Monday 8 May. Negotiators from the two sides are next due to meet from 26-30 June, with meetings planned for September and November in a bid to meet this objective. The ministers’ level meeting comes at a time when both the EU and Mexico are facing heightened trade-related challenges. In Europe, elections at the national level have already shown the effects of trade, globalisation, and migration to be a growing source of anxiety among voters, though the results of France’s presidential election this past weekend have helped quell some concerns regarding the scale of the anti-globalisation backlash. (For more on the French elections, see related story, this edition) Across the Atlantic, Mexico is gearing up for its own presidential elections next year, while preparing also to launch negotiations with the US and Canada for an upgrade to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has been deemed a priority of the new administration of US President Donald Trump. (For more on NAFTA, see related story, this edition) “Today it is even more important than ever to send a clear message that we are not going to be paralysed in spite of the challenge of renegotiating NAFTA. We will continue with our trade strategy because it is key to supporting growth in the Mexican economy,” said Guajardo to reporters, according to comments reported by Bloomberg. Mexican officials will also be meeting with their counterparts from 10 other Pacific Rim nations later this month to discuss the next steps for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, in light of the US’ withdrawal from the pact. That meeting will be held on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers’ meeting. (See Bridges Weekly, 4 May 2017) Mexico is also a member of the Pacific Alliance, a group that includes Chile, Colombia, and Peru, which is looking to deepen its economic and trading ties with other blocs, such as South American customs bloc Mercosur. (See Bridges Weekly, 13 April 2017) Malmström echoed that view of showing a strong commitment to open trade during her visit to the Mexican capital city, warning against the creation of barriers in this field – and arguing that a “value-based” trading system is the way to ensure both free and fair trade. “I share the opinion of Secretary Guajardo regarding the importance of global and open economic cooperation. For that reason, we have agreed to accelerate our conversations to conclude a new, modern agreement,” said Malmström in a speech to business representatives on Tuesday 9 May. On that same subject, the European Commission released a report on Wednesday 10 May which covered the EU executive arm’s reflections on addressing the current geopolitical landscape on trade and globalisation and aims to spark additional debate. The current trade deal between the EU and Mexico is known as the Global Agreement, which dates back to the year 1997. Within that context, their deal on trade in goods took effect in 2000, and the terms on services the subsequent year. Negotiators are now looking to expand the deal to cover a host of additional areas that were either not covered in the original deal or would need a re-think in light of the new trading environment. These talks have been official underway for a year, and have reported steady progress since then. For example, on public procurement, the two sides are reportedly building off of the EU’s textual proposal for that chapter from last November, and have consolidated texts in areas such as small and medium-sized enterprises. “The patterns of global trade and commerce and investment have changed, as have the expectations over what can be achieved with a modern, progressive commercial agreement,” said Malmström on Tuesday. The EU trade chief referred to a series of areas where the EU would like to see outcomes with Mexico, including lower agricultural tariffs; faster administrative approvals; a strong regime for geographical indications; greater public procurement market access; and improved conditions for fostering foreign direct investment. The European Commission also put online this week over a dozen proposals, covering topics ranging from sustainable development to digital trade to good regulatory practices. For example, on sustainable development, the EU says that it aims to “enhance the integration of sustainable development in the parties’ trade and investment relationship, notably by establishing principles and actions concerning labour and environmental aspects of sustainable development of specific relevance in a trade and investment context.” The proposed chapter then goes on to address issues such as the right to regulate; multilateral labour and environmental agreements and standards; and climate change, biological diversity, forests, fisheries, and supply chain management. Meanwhile, the EU’s textual proposal for a digital trade chapter focuses specifically on telecommunications and information and communication technologies (ICT), while saying that this chapter will not address areas such as audio-visual, gambling, broadcasting, notary, and legal representation services. It does cover topics such as customs duties on electronic transmissions, online consumer trust, unsolicited direct marketing, and electronic public procurement, among others. It also has a bracketed placeholder for a forthcoming article on data flows and data localisation. The EU’s executive arm has also flagged investment arbitration as a key area for Brussels, in light of their efforts to use their new “investment court system” – now part of its concluded trade deals with Canada and Vietnam – as a springboard toward negotiating a multilateral investment court. Mexico has reportedly backed using an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system for the planned EU deal, according to a Commission report on the latest round of talks. At the time of this writing, Mexico had not put its own textual proposals online, though officials from the North American nation say that they are interested in seeing advances in areas such as sustainable development and intellectual property. ICTSD reporting; “Mexico, EU to Step Up Talks to Finish by Year End,” BLOOMBERG BNA, 9 May 2017; “Canadian trade envoy to make the case for ‘progressive’ trade,” POLITICO MORNING TRADE, 9 May 2017.
过去几周在华盛顿及其他地区发生了一系列贸易活动，包括美国副总统迈克·潘恩出访亚洲； 美国和欧洲高级别贸易官员之间的会议； 以及可能对美国-加拿大更广泛的贸易谈判产生影响的双边软木贸易争端的升级。 过去几天的事态发展也表明，未来数月，美国总统唐纳德·特朗普新政府可能提升贸易谈判的势头。 美国贸易代表可能很快就能到位，因为被提名人罗伯特·莱特希泽上周已经 完成 了在 参议院财政委员会的程序，现在正在等待参议院全体会议的确认。 贸易是特朗普和其他国家领导人之间早些时候举行的会谈中的最重要议题之一。美国新任总统多次强调他对减少美国贸易赤字的担忧； 追求“美国第一”的经济政策； 并承诺将优先考虑双边贸易协议，而不是多个国家之间的大的贸易协定。 美国，欧盟衡量贸易谈判未来 欧盟贸易专员塞西莉亚·马尔姆斯特伦和美国商务部长威尔伯·罗斯上周在华盛顿会晤，讨论加深双边经济关系的下一步。此前，有外界猜测，双方可能恢复跨大西洋贸易投资伙伴关系协定的（TTIP）谈判。 经过多年的准备，美欧在2013年启动TTIP的谈判。虽然进行了15轮正式的谈判，试图在美国总统奥巴马一月份离任前达成协议的努力失败。 欧盟贸易专员塞西莉亚·马尔姆斯特伦（CeciliaMalmström）上周在华盛顿会见罗斯之前 表示 ：“就我而言，欧盟和美国之间这两个最大经济体之间达成一个雄心勃勃的贸易协定是很有道理的”。 “我们需要更多的时间来分析我们现处的位置。 从欧盟方面来看，我们还需要明确双方都有寻求解决困难问题的雄心。“ 今年早些时候，马尔姆斯特伦表示，TTIP谈判处在“深度冻结”状态，等待新特朗普行政当局关于如何进行的更多信息。 (《桥周报》, 2017年3月23日 ) 在与欧盟贸易代表马尔姆斯特伦会谈之前，美国商务部长罗斯告诉英国 金融时报 说，削减与北美自由贸易协定（NAFTA）以外的主要经济体的贸易逆差是必不可少的，包括与欧洲的贸易逆差，同时也提到NAFTA的谈判仍然是华盛顿的首要事项。 特朗普上个月在华盛顿会晤德国总理默克尔时表示，他特别希望改变双边贸易关系的性质，而德国领导人则提到TTIP将给双方创造更多的价值并敦促恢复谈判。 上周金融时报的媒体报道表明，默克尔与特朗普的讨论可能增加了新任美国总统对TTIP谈判的兴趣。德国总理星期天对路透社说，美国开始评估未来贸易协议的前景。为此她“深受鼓舞”。 (《桥周报》, 2017年3月23日 ) 潘恩建议美日双边协定 同时，美国副总统潘恩上星期出访亚太地区的多个国家，并与几位国家领导人会晤。 潘恩与日本副首相Taro Aso举行会谈，并启动美国-日本经济对话。该机制是美国总统特朗普和日本首相安倍在今年早些时候会晤时宣布成立的。(《桥周报》, 2017年2月16日 ) 据美国副总统介绍，双方现在已经列出了三个“支柱”来构建双边经济对话的整体工作，即：贸易与投资； 经济和结构政策； 以及行业合作。 关于第一支柱，潘恩说，美国将寻求“自由的贸易，我们希望贸易是公平的”，他特别提到需要削减贸易壁垒。 潘恩 说 ， “今天我们开始的这个经济对话，结果可能导致今后双边贸易协定的谈判。这些讨论非常反映总统的观点，即与一些国家的双边谈判是促进美国利益的最佳路径。” 此次出访，潘恩还访问了澳大利亚，印度尼西亚和南韩。记者们提出了跨太平洋伙伴关系（TPP）的问题，因为今年早些时候美国宣布退出TPP。日本也是该协定的成员，日本表示，美日双边协议可能不会像TPP那样对美国有利。 潘恩一再 强调 ，TPP“对美国来说是过去的事情”。TPP协定的其他11个国家仍在继续评估推动协定继续前进的替代方案。上个月在智利维也纳德尔马亚太经合组织（APEC）会议的同时，TPP国家举行了边会。 （《桥周报》, 2017年3月16日 ) 据报道， 澳大利亚和日本 等国有意构建“TPP-11”，但是这个新框架需要有哪些调整尚不明朗，因为美国在TPP谈判中发挥了引领作用。今年5月20-21日在越南河内举办的APEC贸易部长会议期间，TPP部长们也将举行会谈。此前，这些国家的高级别官员将举办一些预备会议。 (《桥周报》, 2017年3月16日 ) 美国和加拿大直面软木及奶制品贸易问题 另一则消息说，美国和加拿大之间软木伐木和乳制品的紧张关系上周爆发，这对重启NAFTA谈判带来的新的疑问。 美国商务部于4月24日初步确认对加拿大软木材征收反补贴税。美国商务部称，经过 调查 ，加拿大木材生产商获得了幅度在3.02％至24.12％之间的不公平补贴。这些关税立即开始征收，并追溯对过去90天的进口征收反补贴税。 美国商务部长威尔伯·罗斯在其办公室发表的正式声明中 说 ，“这是美加贸易关系糟糕的一周。上个月，很显然，加拿大打算切断来自美国的乳制品。今天，在另一个问题上，商务部决定需要对加拿大的软木伐木出口征收大约10亿美元的反补贴税。这不是我们认为的自由贸易协定的正常运转。”他指的是NAFTA。 这个问题已经提到了领导人层面。加拿大总理特鲁多和美国总统特朗普在4月25日就此通了电话。 特鲁多总理办公室发布的电话 摘要 说，“关于软木问题上，总理驳斥了美国商务部毫无根据的指控和征收不公平关税的决定。” 美国和加拿大早先已经达成了软木木材协定（SLA）来管理双边软木贸易，该协定从2006年到2015年有效，并成功地终止了数年之久的诉讼和重税。在SLA到期前达成新协议的谈判努力失败，禁止对加拿大软木采取新的贸易救济措施的禁令也在2016年底的时候到期。 (《桥周报》, 2017年4月6日 ) 关于加拿大对奶制品行业的保护，双方的矛盾也在加剧。特鲁多总理办公室发布的电话摘要也表示，现有的贸易“非常有利于美国”，并认为其做法符合北美自由贸易协定和其他国际贸易义务。 虽然加拿大对牛奶和奶酪征收高关税，但以前并没有对用于制作酸奶和奶酪的超滤牛奶征收这种关税。因此，加拿大最近的政策使加拿大国内生产者使用加拿大超滤牛奶而不是进口更加便宜的美国超滤牛奶，引起美国出口商和政治领导人的抗议。 这两个争端对NAFTA升级谈判意味着什么，这一点尚不明朗。有报道说，特朗普正在考虑行政命令，开始退出北美自由贸易协定的过程。有猜测认为，此举的目的是在未来谈判中给加拿大和墨西哥施加压力，同时也是回应特朗普所在的共和党党内一些成员的批评。 ICTSD报道； 2017年4月23日，金融时报，“美国重开与欧盟恢复谈判之门 ”；2017年4月23日，路透社，“美国将考虑与欧洲的自由贸易协定，德国默克尔深受鼓舞”；2017年4月25题，华盛顿邮报，“特朗普突然关注加拿大的制奶业，解读”；2017年4月20日，THE HILL，“特朗普：与加拿大的奶制品贸易争端是一个NAFTA引起的‘羞辱’”；2017年4月26日，POLITICO，“共和党员告诉特朗普坚持从NAFTA撤出”。Tags: Global Economy, European Union (EU), Global Economy, Japan, NAFTA, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), United States (US)
News Article | May 4, 2017
US Officials Eye Next Steps on Trade with Europe, Japan, NAFTA Partners The past weeks have seen a flurry of trade activity in Washington and beyond, including a trip by US Vice President Mike Pence to Asia; meetings between top American and European trade officials; and an escalation in the US-Canada row over softwood lumber that could have implications for broader trade talks. The developments seen over the last several days indicate that the coming months could see more momentum in efforts to negotiate or upgrade trade deals under the new administration of US President Donald Trump. The role of US Trade Representative is likely to be filled in the near future, with nominee Robert Lighthizer advancing out of the Senate Finance Committee this week and now awaiting confirmation by the full chamber. Trade had been one of the high-profile items in earlier meetings between Trump and fellow leaders, with the new American president repeatedly stressing his concerns over reducing the US’ trade deficit; pursuing an “America First” economic policy; and pledging to prioritise bilateral trade deals over larger multi-country agreements. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met in Washington this week to discuss next steps on deepening economic ties between the two trading giants, amid renewed speculation that the two sides may be moving towards renewing talks for an official trade deal. The US and EU began talks for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in 2013, following years of preparations. While negotiators held 15 official negotiating rounds, efforts to clinch a deal before US President Barack Obama left office in January were unsuccessful. “For my part, there is still a case for an ambitious trade agreement between the EU and the US, the two largest economies in the world,” said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in Washington on Monday before meeting with Ross. “We both need a bit more time to see where we are. From the EU’s side, we would also need to clarify that both sides share an ambition to find solutions to difficult issues,” she added. Earlier this year, Malmström said that the TTIP talks were in the “deep freeze” pending additional information from the new Trump administration on how they would like to proceed. (See Bridges Weekly, 23 March 2017) Prior to meeting with Malmström, Ross told the Financial Times that reducing the US’ trade deficit with major economies outside the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was essential, including with Europe, while at the same time noting that the NAFTA talks remain Washington’s top objective. When Trump met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month in Washington, he indicated that he would particularly like to change the nature of their bilateral trading relationship, while the German leader referred to the value of TTIP in creating mutual gains for both sides and urging for those talks to be resumed. Media reports in the London Times the last week have suggested that Merkel’s discussions with Trump may have helped pique his interest in the TTIP negotiations. The German chancellor told Reuters on Sunday that she was “encouraged” that the US may now be reviewing the prospects for a future trade deal. (See Bridges Weekly, 23 March 2017) Meanwhile, US Vice President Mike Pence travelled to various countries in Asia and the Pacific last week for meetings with several national leaders. Meeting with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Tarō Asō, the two officials kicked off the first session of the new US-Japan Economic Dialogue, which was announced earlier this year following Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (See Bridges Weekly, 16 February 2017) According to the US Vice President, the two sides have now set out three “pillars” that will structure the economic dialogue’s overall work: trade and investment; economic and structural policy; and sectoral cooperation. On the first pillar, Washington will be looking for “trade that is free and we seek trade that is fair,” according to Pence, who referred specifically to cutting back trade barriers. “Today we’re beginning a process of an economic dialogue, the end of which may result in bilateral trade negotiations in the future,” said Pence. “These discussions are very much a reflection of the President’s view that negotiating at arm’s length on a bilateral basis with nations is the best path forward for the United States.” During the trip, which also included stopovers in Australia, Indonesia, and South Korea, the subject of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was also raised by reporters, in light of the US’ withdrawal from the pact earlier this year. Japan is also a member of the pact, and has hinted that a bilateral deal with the US may not be as beneficial to the latter country. Pence, for his part, referred repeatedly to the TPP as “a thing of the past for the United States of America.” The remaining 11 countries that form the TPP are continuing to assess alternatives for going forward, with officials having met last month on the sidelines of a larger Asia-Pacific summit held in Viña del Mar, Chile. (See Bridges Weekly, 16 March 2017) Some countries, such as Australia and Japan, are reportedly looking to build momentum for a “TPP-11,” though what changes would be needed for this to work given the role the US played in the negotiations remain to be seen. APEC trade ministers are due to meet from 20-21 May in Hanoi, Vietnam, which is also slated to see a gathering of TPP ministers on the sidelines. The latter meeting will be preceded by a meeting of senior trade officials from those countries. (See Bridges Weekly, 16 March 2017) US, Canada face off on softwood lumber, dairy In separate news, tensions between the US and Canada on softwood lumber and dairy have flared up this week, raising questions over what this means for the planned NAFTA reboot. The US Department of Commerce confirmed preliminary countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber on Monday 24 April, deeming after an investigation that Canadian timber producers received unfair subsidies ranging between 3.02 to 24.12 percent. The duties are now being applied and are also being levied 90 days retroactively. “It has been a bad week for US-Canada trade relations. Last Monday, it became apparent that Canada intends to effectively cut off the last dairy products being exported from the United States. Today, in a different matter, the Department of Commerce determined a need to impose countervailing duties of roughly one billion dollars on Canadian softwood lumber exports to us. This is not our idea of a properly functioning Free Trade Agreement,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a formal statement released by his office, in an apparent reference to NAFTA. The issue has already advanced to leaders’ level, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump speaking by phone on Tuesday 25 April. “On the issue of softwood lumber, the Prime Minister refuted the baseless allegations by the US Department of Commerce and the decision to impose unfair duties,” said a summary of the call released by Trudeau’s office. The US and Canada previously had a deal governing trade in the timber, known as the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), which was in place from 2006-2015 and had brought to an end years of litigation and hefty duties. Efforts to negotiate an updated version both before and after the SLA expired failed to bear fruit, and a standstill prohibiting the imposition of new trade remedies on Canadian softwood lumber expired in late 2016. (See Bridges Weekly, 6 April 2017) The two sides have also been increasingly at odds over Canada’s protections for its dairy sector. The phone call summary released by Trudeau’s office also said that existing trade between them “heavily favours the US” and argued that its practices are in line with NAFTA and other international trade obligations. While already having hefty milk and cheese tariffs in place, Ottawa previously did not charge such tariffs on ultrafiltered milk, which is used to make yoghurt and cheese. It has since worked to make it cheaper for domestic producers to use Canadian ultrafiltered milk instead of importing it, prompting outcry from US exporters and political leaders alike. What this means for the NAFTA upgrade talks remains unclear. Reports that Trump is considering an executive order to start the withdrawal process from NAFTA emerged on Wednesday, drawing speculation that this would try to raise the pressure on Canada and Mexico in the upcoming talks – as well as criticism from some members of his own party. ICTSD reporting; “US reopens door to reviving EU trade talks,” FINANCIAL TIMES, 23 April 2017; “Germany’s Merkel encouraged U.S. will consider EU free trade deal,” REUTERS, 23 April 2017; “Trump’s sudden preoccupation with Canadian milk, explained,” WASHINGTON POST, 25 April 2017; “Trump: Dairy trade dispute with Canada a ‘disgrace’ caused by NAFTA,” THE HILL, 20 April 2017; “Trudeau Defends Dairy Subsidies After Trump Vows U.S. Farmer Aid,” BLOOMBERG, 20 April 2017; “Aso: TPP better for U.S. than bilateral deal,” THE JAPAN NEWS, 22 April 2017; “Republicans tell Trump to hold up on NAFTA withdrawal,” POLITICO, 26 April 2017.
News Article | May 4, 2017
El secretario de Comercio de Estados Unidos, Wilbur Ross, junto con Linda McMahon, de la Agencia Federal para el Desarrollo de la Pequeña Empresa (SBA, por su sigla en inglés), firmaron un memorando de entendimiento (MOU por sigla en inglés) con el Ministro de Producción de Argentina, Francisco Cabrera para dinamizar las relaciones empresariales y promover la “coherencia regulatoria” entre las legislaciones de ambos países. El MOU es uno de los resultados de la visita del presidente de Argentina, Mauricio Macri, a Washington el pasado 27 de abril. El texto firmado por los funcionarios enfatiza la importancia de las buenas prácticas regulatorias para mejorar la competitividad de las pequeñas y medianas empresas. Se establece, además, una hoja de ruta a ser seguida por ambos países para cooperar en la formulación de los procesos regulatorios para evitar obstáculos innecesarios al comercio. La “coherencia regulatoria” busca institucionalizar las buenas prácticas promovidas por organismos regionales o internacionales como el Foro de Cooperación Económica Asia Pacífico (APEC, por su sigla en inglés, la Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económico (OCDE) y la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC). Asimismo, el término fue una de las novedades del Acuerdo Transpacífico (TPP, por su sigla...Tags: Competitiveness, Agriculture, Americas, Argentina, United States, Competitiveness
News Article | May 4, 2017
TPP Meetings in Toronto Look to Set Stage for Hanoi Talks Senior officials from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries met in Toronto, Canada, on 2-3 May for preparatory discussions on next steps before a ministers’ level gathering in Hanoi, Vietnam, later this month. In focus during these talks is how to proceed with the TPP, given the US’ withdrawal earlier this year under the new administration of President Donald Trump. Ministers already met during a larger conference in Viña del Mar, Chile, in March to begin weighing possible next steps for the accord. (See Bridges Weekly, 16 March 2017) Speaking to Bloomberg Daybreak this week, Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo suggested that a renegotiation of the TPP would be unlikely, given the current balance of trade-offs within the deal. “Look I don’t think so. I mean if we tried to start unpicking certain threads we run the risk of the whole thing falling apart again,” said the Australian trade chief. “Now certainly not having United States in there changes the equation, the matrix that some people have, and some countries have adopted, but by the same token we’re all at the starting line. Everyone’s there,” he continued, suggesting that whether the deal moves forward will involve a mix of political will and advancing domestic ratification. Other reports have suggested that some countries are interested in potentially reopening the deal, or potentially adding new countries to the mix to balance out the loss of the US’ economic heft. Ciobo also generally ruled out the likelihood of the US changing its stance on its TPP membership, while noting that many other major players in the planned trade deal are still showing a strong interest in moving it forward. “I think that there’s a lot of benefit from it. I know New Zealand thinks the same thing. Canada thinks the same thing. If Japan – and they have been ventilating that they’re open to a TPP 11 – I mean, if Japan was there, then we probably get Mexico and we know that the Peruvians and the Chileans are on board as well, so I think that it’s possible to get this deal,” he continued. US Vice President Mike Pence said last month during a trip to Asia that the current administration view TPP as a “thing of the past,” and said instead that Washington will focus on negotiating new or improved bilateral deals with its trading partners, in line with Trump’s preferred approach in this area. (See Bridges Weekly, 27 April 2017) Trump has since ordered a review of existing trade deals and potential “violations,” to be conducted under the US Secretary of Commerce. (For more on that executive order, see related story, this edition) Another factor in the talks will be the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a decades-old accord involving the US, Canada, and Mexico. Some trade observers say that the difficult political nature of those talks could have some ramifications for the TPP 11 revival efforts, given that Canada and Mexico are also part of the TPP. While Ciobo did not commit to a timeframe, some officials are reportedly aiming to reach a deal on next steps by November this year, with Japan said to be among those pushing for that outcome. Negotiators from the Asian economic giant told Kyodo News this week that Japan is in favour of a “TPP 11” approach moving forward. The November timeframe would be in time for the annual meeting of leaders from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) coalition, which will be held in Da Nang, Vietnam, from 10-11 November. APEC trade ministers will be meeting in Hanoi from 20-21 May, which is slated to see a meeting of TPP ministers minus the US on the margins. The larger APEC meetings being led by Vietnam have as their theme “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future,” and Vietnamese officials have flagged boosting trade and investment – particularly through greater regional integration – as one of their main priorities, in line with the 2020 Bogor goals. The APEC Bogor goals refer to commitments made in 1994 during a meeting in the Indonesian city, which set objectives and targets for achieving “free trade and investment” for developed and developing countries, with the timeframe of the year 2010 for the former group and 2020 for the latter. The group has regularly reviewed the progress being made toward these goals, issuing updated reports every couple of years. It has also been examining options for a “Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific,” or FTAAP, and APEC officials have said in the past that TPP and other regional efforts could help serve as building blocks for such a project. Meanwhile, talks on a separate endeavour known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) resumed this week in the Philippines and are due to continue through 12 May. That 16-country project involves the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its six FTA partners, and the group has lately said that they are hoping to see a deal this year. That partnership includes some of the TPP’s members. ICTSD reporting; “Pacific trade negotiators meet to explore pact without U.S.,” KYODO NEWS, 3 May 2017; “Talks kick off on ‘TPP 11’ pact minus US,” NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW, 3 May 2017; “TPP countries kick-start discussions towards implementing the pact without US,” STRAITS TIMES, 2 May 2017.
News Article | April 17, 2017
The HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition), the largest spring electronics event in Asia, and the concurrent HKTDC International ICT Expo opened today. The four-day fairs (13-16 April), are both being organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. More than 3,500 exhibitors from 23 countries and regions are showcasing an assortment of cutting-edge technologies and smart products at the fairs, including innovative solutions and products presented by start-ups. - Startup zone showcases creativity of 100+ companies - A growing force in the business arena in recent years, start-ups number more than 1,900 in the city, according to an Invest Hong Kong report last year. Many young entrepreneurs are introducing new ideas and distinctive products resulting from their creativity and technological expertise. In view of this trend, the HKTDC introduced the Startup zone at the Electronics Fair and ICT Expo this year to feature the innovative technologies, products and services of more than 100 start-ups from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, India, Japan, the United States and Taiwan. The zone features a panoply of innovations from start-ups including an all-in-one real estate digital platform incorporating Virtual Reality (VR) technology (Booth: 3CON-240), an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered data analysis platform for monitoring pet health (Booth: 3CON-240), an audio streaming box that digitises audio and transmits it to a smart device (Booth: 3CON-169) and a smart cloud-based temperature and humidity monitor for cold chain logistics such as cargo containers carrying food and beverages (Booth: 3CON-216). A series of start-up themed events are being held at the fairs. These include sharing sessions featuring representatives from Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, the crowdfunding platform FringeBacker, successful entrepreneurs, angel investors and start-up online media. There are also Pitching and "Startup, Smart Launch" sessions for start-ups to pitch their solutions and project ideas to potential investors, buyers and media. At mentoring sessions, mentors will help start-ups connect with potential partners at the fairs. Two events to be held on the last day of the fairs (16 April) - the "Together Stronger: Creating Impact via Regional Collaboration" sharing session and the APEC Startup Ecosystem Roundtable - will explore ways that start-ups from around the world can collaborate for greater innovation and impact. - 170+ buying missions to generate business opportunities for exhibitors - To help exhibitors capture more business opportunities, the HKTDC has organised over 170 buying missions comprising more than 12,900 buyers from over 9,400 companies to visit the fairs. Participants include major global importers, distributors, retailers and IT consultants, such as Amazon from the United States, Brazil's JTI, Argentina's Mas Singergia SA, France's Groupe SEB, the United Kingdom's Ukbigbuy, the Czech Republic's Enreco Trade, Russia's Bars Group, Australia's Catch of the Day, the Chinese mainland's Wangfujing Department Store, Thailand's 24 Shopping, Korea's Hyundai and Japan's Mindfree. To meet buyers' growing need to source in small orders, the Spring Electronics Fair once again features the hktdc.com Small Orders zone, where some 300 showcases offering close to 3,000 products are available in minimum order quantities of between five and 1,000 pieces. In view of the popularity of e-commerce, the hktdc.com Small Orders online transaction platform (http://smallorders.hktdc.com) is also available for global buyers to source products and complete transactions online. The online platform currently features over 120,000 products from more than 11,000 suppliers, and has generated more than 2.1 million business connections to date. - Inaugural Tech Hall, Virtual Reality zone at Spring Electronics Fair - The Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) is the largest spring electronics fair in Asia. In its 14th edition, this year's fair features more than 2,900 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions, including first-time exhibitors from Singapore and Spain. Major electronics production centres such as the Chinese mainland, Korea and Taiwan have also set up group pavilions to showcase a broad selection of innovative electronic products and services. New to this year's fair is a Tech Hall with four themed zones: the new Virtual Reality zone and the returning Connected Home, Robotics & Unmanned Tech and Wearable Electronics zones. The Virtual Reality zone features a range of VR headsets, video cameras and related technology. The Connected Home zone features an infrared transceiver, which connects all infrared-controlled household appliances in a home, such as air-conditioners and audio systems to a single smart home system. Another popular zone is Wearable Electronics, where highlighted products include a personal safety alarm pendant that sends emergency text and email messages with the user's location data to prearranged contacts. At the Robotics & Unmanned Tech zone are various aerial cameras and robots, including a DIY Building Blocks Drone that allows users to design and build their own drones. Wi-Fi FPV (First Person View) cameras and air pressure sensors can be added to the drone to improve its altitude stability during flight and capture higher quality video. During the first three days of the fair (13-15 April), the HKTDC is organising a series of seminars under the "2017 Tech Trends Symposium". Industry experts and academics from universities will examine the latest technology and application trends in such areas as wearable tech, VR, Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), smart home and robotics. Speakers comprise experts from Hong Kong, the mainland, France, Germany, Taiwan, Singapore and the US, including representatives from Fitbit, Foxconn, Intel, Unity Technologies, university professors and successful start-ups. - Hall of Fame gathers global renowned brands - Another highlight of the Spring Electronics Fair is the Hall of Fame, which features more than 570 internationally renowned quality brands, including Intel and Motorola from the US, Bigben from France, Leplus from Japan, Desay from the mainland and local brand Holga. In terms of market development, the overall HKTDC Export Index rebounded strongly from 33.7 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 47.1 in the first quarter of 2017. The electronics industry index recorded an even higher reading, jumping from 34.2 to 48.2 during the same period, an indication of exporters' steadily improving confidence. The electronics industry is Hong Kong's largest merchandise export earner, accounting for 65 per cent of Hong Kong's total exports in 2016 with a value of HK$2.35 trillion, up 2.5 per cent year on year. - International ICT Expo showcases diverse solutions - The International ICT Expo is one of the signature events of the "International IT Fest 2017". This year's expo has attracted approximately 600 exhibitors from 10 countries and regions, including first-time exhibitors from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Japan. Launched last November, the Innovation and Technology Commission's Technology Voucher Programme provides funding of up to HK$200,000 to subsidise local SMEs that use technological services and solutions to improve productivity and stay competitive. The ICT Expo helps SMEs and other larger-scale enterprises by gathering the latest relevant services and ICT solutions under one roof, including Internet security systems, e-commerce platforms, third-party payment, logistics management and O2O business solutions. This year's expo continues to feature the SME IT Clinic, where experts from Alibaba, Google Premier Partner and hktdc.com offer complimentary professional consultation services on-site to help SMEs select suitable ICT systems and solutions to enhance business efficiency. Winners of the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2017, organised by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, will also be at the fairground to showcase and demonstrate their outstanding products and solutions. - ICT Expo opens to tertiary students on last day to offer career information - A series of seminars and forums are staged at the ICT Expo with daily themes: "e-Commerce & FinTech" (13 April), "Startups" (14 April), "Disruptive Technology" (15 April) and "Career Development" (16 April). Leading industry experts from Accenture, Cyberport, Google, the Innovation and Technology Commission and the Retail Technology Adoption Assistance Scheme for Manpower Demand Management (ReTAAS) Secretariat will discuss such hot topics as Fintech, cybersecurity, e-commerce, Technology Voucher Programme, the ReTAAS, big data, the Internet of Things and sharing economy. For the first time, the expo will open to tertiary students free of charge on the last day (16 April), with representatives from the Hong Kong Computer Society, the Hong Kong Productivity Council and the MTR Corp Ltd giving talks on prospects for the ICT industry and career opportunities. Some exhibitors will introduce entry requirements for their various positions, while cpjobs.com, JobsDB and Recruit will provide career-counselling services for students interested in the ICT industry. In 2016, total exports of IT equipment (computer & parts) reached HK$365.1 billion. Many markets recorded satisfactory performance, including the US, Japan, the Netherlands and the Philippines. Details of the two fairs: Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) / International ICT Expo - Date: 13-16 April 2017 (Thursday to Sunday) - Time: 13-15 April 9:30am to 6:30pm 16 April 9:30am to 5:00pm (ICT Expo open to tertiary students) - Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong - Website: http://hkelectronicsfairse.hktdc.com/ , www.hktdc.com/ictexpo/ - Media Registration: Press registration counter: Hall 1E Concourse, Harbour Road Entrance, HKCEC Media & Webcast Centre: Expo Drive Entrance, HKCEC Photo download: http://bit.ly/2p9icf4 Highlight Products and Solutions: - Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition): http://bit.ly/2nGrrn3 - International ICT Expo: http://bit.ly/2ou7xuk - Startup zone exhibitors: http://bit.ly/2oZypUq To view press releases in Chinese, please visit http://mediaroom.hktdc.com/tc About HKTDC Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn. Google+: https://plus.google.com/+hktdc Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hktdc LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/hong-kong-trade-development-council Contact:
News Article | May 5, 2017
The upgrade of the cross-border e-commerce platform and the Digital Trade Center (DTC) enables SMEs in Turkey and China to export goods to the corresponding country. 1. Establishing a platform that enables two-way trade and merges online and offline business; On October 15, 2015, in the presence of a senior Chinese official and Turkish President Erdogan, China signed its first Cross-border E-commerce Cooperation Agreement with Turkey. The cooperation was proposed by Diane Wang, co-chair of G20 Business Summit and Founder and CEO of DHgate. The Online Silk Road of the Belt and Road Initiative is where the "Internet+" and "the Belt and Road Initiative" overlap. It's also a powerhouse for economic and trade development of countries along the Belt and Road. DHgate will continue to help SMEs to realize their dream to "buy globally, sell globally", and help to extend the Online Silk Road to the whole world and bring more opportunities for future business. Comments from the Two Parties "The Sino-Turkish program is the first bilateral cross-border e-commerce cooperation witnessed by Presidents from two countries. It is a great honor for DHgate to be part of this cooperation. We hope the program can be a successful model for future cross-border e-commerce bilateral cooperation. The Sino-Turkish program has been very fruitful—DHgate has successfully helped 150,000 Chinese SMEs to enter the Turkish market, and has already held APEC CBET workshops in Turkey. Today, the Sino-Turkish program welcomed its 2.0 stage. As the founder, enabler and integrator of cross-border e-commerce platforms, DHgate will continue to help more SMEs to "buy globally, sell globally." "The Turkish e-commerce market is developing fast and has huge potential. Turkish consumers like Chinese products such as wigs, outdoor products and consumer electronics products. High-quality Turkish products are also waiting to enter the Chinese market through cross-border e-commerce. We look forward to promoting the development of Sino- Turkish digital trade, and benefit business people from the two counties by merging the online with the offline." DHgate is the biggest B2B transactional cross-border e-commerce marketplace in China, offering integrated services for international logistics, cross-border payments, internet financing, and online marketing. DHgate's 1.4 million sellers offer 40 million products and serve 10 million buyers from 230 countries and regions. Import now @DHgate.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dhgate-brings-a-promising-breakthrough-to-sino-turkish-e-commerce-300452220.html
News Article | May 5, 2017
BEIJING, May 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- DHgate and the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) launched the DHgate-eWSF program. The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Kayseri, Turkey. During the signing ceremony, they discussed the platform and the establishment of a Digital Trade Center (DTC) in Turkey. President of TOBB, Rifat Hisarcıklıoglu; the President of the Turkey Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, Mehmet OZKAN; and CEO of DHgate, Diane Wang attended the ceremony. Learn more about DHgate.com. The upgrade of the cross-border e-commerce platform and the Digital Trade Center (DTC) enables SMEs in Turkey and China to export goods to the corresponding country. 1. Establishing a platform that enables two-way trade and merges online and offline business; On October 15, 2015, in the presence of a senior Chinese official and Turkish President Erdogan, China signed its first Cross-border E-commerce Cooperation Agreement with Turkey. The cooperation was proposed by Diane Wang, co-chair of G20 Business Summit and Founder and CEO of DHgate. The Online Silk Road of the Belt and Road Initiative is where the "Internet+" and "the Belt and Road Initiative" overlap. It's also a powerhouse for economic and trade development of countries along the Belt and Road. DHgate will continue to help SMEs to realize their dream to "buy globally, sell globally", and help to extend the Online Silk Road to the whole world and bring more opportunities for future business. Comments from the Two Parties "The Sino-Turkish program is the first bilateral cross-border e-commerce cooperation witnessed by Presidents from two countries. It is a great honor for DHgate to be part of this cooperation. We hope the program can be a successful model for future cross-border e-commerce bilateral cooperation. The Sino-Turkish program has been very fruitful—DHgate has successfully helped 150,000 Chinese SMEs to enter the Turkish market, and has already held APEC CBET workshops in Turkey. Today, the Sino-Turkish program welcomed its 2.0 stage. As the founder, enabler and integrator of cross-border e-commerce platforms, DHgate will continue to help more SMEs to "buy globally, sell globally." "The Turkish e-commerce market is developing fast and has huge potential. Turkish consumers like Chinese products such as wigs, outdoor products and consumer electronics products. High-quality Turkish products are also waiting to enter the Chinese market through cross-border e-commerce. We look forward to promoting the development of Sino- Turkish digital trade, and benefit business people from the two counties by merging the online with the offline." DHgate is the biggest B2B transactional cross-border e-commerce marketplace in China, offering integrated services for international logistics, cross-border payments, internet financing, and online marketing. DHgate's 1.4 million sellers offer 40 million products and serve 10 million buyers from 230 countries and regions. Import now @DHgate.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dhgate-brings-a-promising-breakthrough-to-sino-turkish-e-commerce-300452220.html
News Article | April 18, 2017
Certification Reinforces Asurion's Global Leadership in Protecting Data Privacy; Aids Asurion in Facilitating Business across APEC Countries NASHVILLE, Tennessee, April 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Asurion, a global technology protection and support provider, announced today its data privacy program is certified compliant with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system. Asurion partnered with TRUSTe, the leading global data privacy management (DPM) company, to certify Asurion as being CBPR compliant following an extensive review of Asurion's privacy policies and practices. "As a global technology leader, we are deeply committed to data privacy for our customers and employees worldwide," said Scott Mackelprang, vice president and chief privacy officer at Asurion. "Our certification under the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules framework recognizes this commitment and confirms that our privacy practices match the promises we make to our customers and employees. We believe that protecting individual privacy rights is about trust, which is essential for our business." The APEC CBPR system is a voluntary but enforceable program developed to establish consistent, meaningful privacy protections for personal information that flows across borders within the 21-member APEC countries. The certification allows U.S.-based Asurion to better facilitate business across APEC countries, including Japan, through privacy-compliant Asia-Pacific customer and HR data transfers. "TRUSTe believes a strong data privacy management program is critical for companies to build customer trust and ensure privacy compliance," said TRUSTe CEO Chris Babel. "We congratulate Asurion in meeting the APEC privacy framework requirements and demonstrating their privacy commitment to users, partners, and regulators." About TRUSTeTRUSTe powers privacy compliance and trust by enabling businesses to use data across their customer, employee and vendor channels. We have two decades experience and a team of over 150 professionals dedicated to providing data privacy management solutions and services, including assessments, certifications and our SaaS-based Platform. The Data Privacy Management Platform provides control over all phases of privacy; from conducting assessments and implementing compliance controls to managing ongoing monitoring. Companies worldwide rely on TRUSTe to minimize compliance risk and protect their brand. For further information see www.truste.com. About AsurionSimply put, Asurion helps people stay connected. As the global leader of connected life services, we provide more than 305 million consumers around the world with simple, intuitive technology advice to help them get the most from their devices; support to fix their issues and connectivity crises, and device protection to ensure they receive a replacement or repair. When a product is missing or simply doesn't work properly, Asurion's 16,000 employees are focused on solving the problem with people and processes operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, speaking six languages, and working across any device, platform, or provider. By partnering with leading retailers, mobile carriers and pay-tv providers, Asurion helps customers enhance their lives through their technology. For more information about Asurion, please visit www.asurion.com.