Twenty-four crew members of the Al Messilah, a livestock carrier under Kuwaiti flag, tested positive last week for Covid-19 at Fremantle Port in Western Australia. They are among the few cases where maritime crews have tested positive.
Despite assumptions that ships are an especially
Like a sailing ship caught in the doldrums, the international trade policy world seems stagnant and listless. Is there any fresh wind to be detected? Can we create some movement?
In this coronavirus–dominated environment, nothing much is happening. The trend in global trade itself is not easy to
When Canberra called for an international, independent inquiry into Covid-19 in April, Beijing deployed trade restrictions measures against Australian beef and barley the next month.
And so when the Australian government responded firmly to China imposing a sweeping national security law in Hong
On Monday this week, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced it has commenced an investigation into whether Australia has been subsidising winemakers. This follows a parallel investigation launched two weeks ago to examine allegations that Australian winemakers have also been “dumping” their
Albert Einstein once said that “in the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity”. For an open trading nation like Australia, the pandemic is an unparalleled crisis. The nation is facing its worst downturn since the Great Depression, along with recessions in key trading partners, severe
At a time when stability and predictability are needed most, the body at the heart of the rules-based trading system — the World Trade Organization — is reeling from far more than just a paralysed Appellate Body and antagonistic Trump administration
There is growing support for diversifying Australia’s economic ties with China in order to reduce the risks of economic coercion. The main bilateral economic ties are through exports, imports and investment. Australia’s risks of economic coercion from China mainly come via exports. China buys 33
Did anyone notice that the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), the revised NAFTA, entered into force on 1 July? If not, do not be too concerned, as the Covid-19 crisis has probably affected that as well.
Still, this deal is (without getting too much into the weeds of whether it is
Amid the many consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of seafarers around the world are now locked onboard their ships with expired contracts and unable to get home. In a normal month, approximately 100,000 seafarers leave their ships and are replaced by others, but travel
Growing Sino-Australian diplomatic and trade disputes have led to Chinese import bans on certain Australian products, but iron ore – Australia’s biggest export to China – has largely been kept out of the fray. Although China did impose new import procedures that could potentially hold up
The entry into force of an ambitious Indonesia-Australia trade deal on Sunday is a boost to the bilateral relationship, coming after nearly a decade of difficult negotiations. No two neighbouring G20 economies trade as little as Australia and Indonesia, and the investment relationship is similarly
Australian businesses in Southeast Asia are showing continued faith in regional economic integration despite the relatively lacklustre cross border political cooperation so far seen in response to the pandemic.
A new survey of Australian-connected businesses on
China’s decision to impose heavy tariffs on Australian barley and the alleged connection with Australia’s call for an independent international investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic has been widely and intensively reported in recent weeks. What is more important now is to
Retail therapyWhen even the normally unflappable Trade Minister Simon Birmingham bluntly tells business to reduce ties with the country that has underpinned the Australian economy for two decades, a mood shift is afoot. It took some prodding, but Birmingham finally broke cover at the end of his ABC&
Last weekend news broke that the Chinese government was considering imposing large tariffs on Australian barley exports. Now, China-bound exports from four Australian meat processors have been suspended.
Following Australian calls for an independent inquiry into the early handling of Covid-19,
Earlier this week, New Zealand moved out of total lockdown into a phase of continuing control on social movement, but with an opening of widespread economic activity. Schools reopened partially. It is estimated that about half a million people returned to work after a stand down of five weeks.
Big boys time
From media baron Rupert Murdoch to leadership rival Peter Dutton, Malcolm Turnbull’s new memoir* released this week is partly built on his self-assessment that he can size up a bully better than most.
“The one thing I’d learned with bullies is that sucking up to them is
What impact will coronavirus have on economic globalisation, the force that has so momentously changed our world over the last half century?
An early example is the global trade in medicines and medical products, especially those essential to fighting coronavirus such as face masks, ventilators
This is the third of a three-part series of articles examining the Democrats’ and America’s place in the world in the lead-up to the US presidential election. The first article can be read here, and the second here.
CPTPP: The trade agreement America loves to hate
The fate of the
US President Donald Trump was quite right when he declared the 15 January US–China “Stage One” agreement an “unbelievable deal” for the United States. Unbelievable it is, though not in a good way – and especially not for Australia.
The deal requires China to import $200 billion more
It may go awry between now and the promised finalisation in January, but both the US and China now agree that phase one of the most difficult bilateral economic negotiation in recent decades is over.
Unusually for this negotiation, the two sides also seem to agree on what they have agreed – at
Who dominates global trade? It is well recognised that China has become the world’s largest trading nation. Less appreciated is the effect this has had in displacing the United States from its traditional dominance as a trading partner for other countries around the world.
We examined this using
After a roller-coaster ride spanning 18 months, the trade war between the United States and China is finally showing signs of abatement, with the two sides confirming that they are close to the conclusion of a phase-one deal. While the signing of the deal, which was originally scheduled to take
When then–Prime Minister Tony Abbott was asked by Angela Merkel about Australia’s relations with China, he summed it up, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, in two words: “Fear and greed”. For a visual embodiment of such sentiment, take the graph charting which countries have been buying the bulk of
For two generations, the term “Factory Asia” has neatly encapsulated the essence of the region’s economic success, with components flowing across the region for products mostly ultimately exported to the developed world.
But as Asia embraces its first regionwide trade deal this
India’s decision to withdraw from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement has been framed as a catastrophe. Coming at a time of growing rivalries among the major global powers, most analysts have argued it augurs poorly for political cooperation and economic integration in
E-bills, e-signature, the electronic transfer of funds – advancements in technology are bringing about remarkable changes in the business landscape, domestically and internationally. All this change is facilitating the faster movement of goods across borders and forcing governments to keep pace.
It is only a start, but the Friday trade talks agreement between China and the US is still the best news for the world economy in the almost three years since Donald Trump won the presidential contest. This agreement is sufficient to keep the talks going, which last week was in doubt. More
Despite the modern proliferation of free trade agreements, there is an enormous gap between free trade as it is understood and advocated by those who benefit from it, and free trade as it is practiced today. The understanding of economic integration is diverse and complicated – at its heart sits a
Despite an optimistic bounce in global financial markets Friday, the relentless trade war between the US and China resumed Sunday. Threatened 15% tariffs by the US on another $250 billion of China imports went into effect Sunday morning, as did new China tariffs on US crude oil, soybeans and
While President Donald Trump’s bull-in-a-China-shop approach to reforming international trade doesn’t appeal, it is possible that some of his objectives might make sense. This was the logic behind comments by former Barack Obama adviser Daniel Russel, suggesting that Australia
A new call to split trade negotiation from diplomacy in Australia has once again underlined how the rise of China has unsettled traditional frameworks for making policy about economic and security interests.
The divide between neo-liberal economic policy approaches
With resumed contact between US trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and China’s negotiator Vice Premier Liu He, the 12th round of trade talks between the US and China may take place in Beijing before the end of July. But the clock is now ticking very loudly. Contrary to the messaging from Beijing
Data, debt and plastic dumping
The prospect that China and the US are now going to use next week’s Group of 20 nations summit in Osaka to extend their trade negotiations rather than take them to the precipice may give some new life to the rest of the agenda.
Japan’s Prime Minister
The signing on 4 March of the Indonesia Australia–Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) has been hailed as a major bilateral trade agreement and a diplomatic breakthrough given recent tensions between Canberra and Jakarta. However, now the negotiations are concluded, there may
The US-China trade war is viewed by many as a dark cloud over the global economy. So why is Australia’s ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, seemingly urging Trump to go harder, and not settle for a “pyrrhic victory” that fails to resolve long-term differences between the US and China?
Geopolitics may be rapidly moving to the forefront in deciding how the US-China trade war will play out. If so, the odds of a rapprochement are dwindling fast.
The trade conflict has always been about many things, clouding how different analysts understood it. Initially, it seemed best understood
What’s in a name? According to US President Donald Trump, it is the difference between the “worst trade deal ever made” – as he called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – and a “wonderful new trade deal” – his reference to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (
The US is moving quickly to follow through on Trump’s threats to further escalate his trade war with China (now is as good a time as any to say that the trade war has officially started).
Last week the US imposed tariffs on US$34 billion worth of Chinese imports, with another US$16 billion to be
Amid the clamour of the current shouting-match about tariffs, two sometimes-forgotten facts in international trade should be noted. First, tariffs are not the only distortion. Second, none of the countries involved in the current battles is without sin when it comes to trade restrictions.
Once entertaining, the Trump administration is becoming unfunny. In less than a week the trade dispute between China and the US has escalated to cover what will quite likely be the entirety of US goods exports to China, and the greater part, if not the whole, of Chinese goods exports to the US
Agree or disagree with his conclusions, we owe Hugh White thanks for forcing us to grapple with “the China challenge”. White’s writings have stripped away much of the easy, high-sounding rhetoric about dealing with Beijing and honed in on the central feature of US–China relations in the
America’s new haphazard and confrontational approach to trade policy under President Donald Trump is rapidly taking shape.
Risks of escalating protectionism and a damaging trade conflict between the US and China are rising. The two have already exchanged tit-for-tat moves with regard to Trump’
This is the first in a three-part series on the future of world trade from a global (part 1), Asia Pacific (part 2) and Australian (part 3) perspective.
Is protectionism on the rise? As we moved into 2017 the conventional wisdom was 'yes'. The G20 warned about it in 2016. The annual January
Reports of the death of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) were exaggerated – or at least premature. Move over a TPP of 12 nations (TPP12) and make way for TPP11, the lower number reflecting the withdrawal of the US from the agreement.
When President Trump withdrew the US from the TPP in
Prime Minister Turnbull yesterday carefully signalled a potential India-Australia Free Trade Agreement is not a priority for his government. This comes after the Abbott Government set a very public benchmark for concluding an India-Australia FTA by the end of 2015, an overly optimistic commitment