Indonesia says trade, investment deal with Australia takes effect

An Indonesia-Australia deal that eliminates most trade tariffs between the two nations and aims to open up investment, took effect on Sunday, Indonesia's Trade Ministry said. The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), signed last year and ratified by the Indonesia's parliament in February, aims to boost bilateral trade that was worth $7.8-billion in 2019.

Business groups say flexibility needed to implement new North American trade deal

US, Mexican and Canadian business groups applauded a new North American trade deal's entry into force on Wednesday, but said more work and flexibility was needed to overcome challenges including implementation of new labor and automotive rules. The US Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Mexico's Consejo Coordinator Empresarial said in a joint statement that the new US-Mexico Canada Agreement provides certainty for business investment in the region. The replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) launches under a cloud of disputes, with the United States considering new tariffs on Canadian aluminum and growing concerns over Mexico's ability to meet new labor standards in the deal.

BHP completes first blockchain iron-ore trade

Major BHP has completed its first iron-ore trade with steel producer China Baowu on Canadian startup MineHub Technologies’ blockchain-based platform. The transaction was estimated to be worth some $14-million. MineHub connects buyers, sellers and service providers in mining and metals supply chains through shared information, on a common but decentralised digital platform. The technology helps the parties in a mineral transaction to virtually integrate their trade operations processes like contracting, logistics, specifications and financing services. “Working with the world’s largest mining company and the world’s largest steel producer on designing the digital future of critical supply chains like iron-ore is incredibly exciting,” said MineHub CEO Arnoud Star Busmann.

Minster punting Aus resource to Asian buyers

Australia’s Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, has reached out to his counterparts in Japan and Korea to discuss potential collaboration between the countries to assist economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Pitt said on Wednesday that his discussions with Korean Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy, Sung Yun-mo, centered around the pandemic and progress collaboration on hydrogen and critical minerals.

Minster punting Australian resources to Asian buyers

Australia’s Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, has reached out to his counterparts in Japan and Korea to discuss potential collaboration between the countries to assist economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Pitt said on Wednesday that his discussions with Korean Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy, Sung Yun-mo, centered around the pandemic and progress collaboration on hydrogen and critical minerals.

Global trade set to slump 27% in Q2, report warns

Global trade is projected to record a quarter-on-quarter slump of 27% in the second quarter of 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, after falling by three percent in the first quarter, a new report by the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA) warns. The report, released on May 13, is a product of cooperation between the international statistics community and national statistical offices and systems around the world, coordinated by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or Unctad.

Australia/Peru FTA kicks in

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has welcomed the enforcement of the Peru-Australia free trade agreement (PAFTA), providing Australian businesses with a gateway to Latin America. Under PAFTA, Peru will eliminate 99.4% of its tariffs, including on valuable Australian resources such as iron-ore, copper, nickel, coal, mineral fuels and oil.

US revokes WTO subsidy preferences for some developing nations

The Trump administration is changing a key exemption to America’s trade-remedy laws to make it easier to penalize about two dozen so-called developing countries including China, India and South Africa. The US on Monday narrowed its internal list of developing and least-developed countries in order to reduce the threshold for triggering a US investigation into whether nations are harming US industries with unfairly subsidized exports, according to a US Trade Representative notice.

South Africa will caution Trump against ‘premature’ trade review

South Africa’s government will tell President Donald Trump’s administration that its review of a preferential trade agreement that could put as much as $2.4-billion in exports at risk is premature and potentially damaging for both economies. The US Trade Representative will start public hearings on Thursday to review the nation’s duty-free access to the US market under the so-called Generalized System of Preferences, its oldest and largest trade-preference program for the world’s poorest economies.