Guest Blog: The Australian View of the TPP and the RCEP

Many Australians support the United States in its endeavor to advance Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. To Australia, the TPP is seen as a framework setting exercise for Asia’s economic relations. Supporters also favor Chinese participation in the TPP, hoping China will enhance its integration in the Asia-Pacific while American trade pivots to Asia. However many argue that Washington is its own worst enemy in the project.They claim that Americans cannot expect other TPP partners to go further on investment rules, government procurement, and intellectual property rights protections without agreeing to revisit U.S. market access barriers. If the United States fails to revisit such barriers Australia may turn towards its fallback options, one of which is the ASEAN + 6 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) project. Read more: 

Status Quo Bias and the Difficulty of Reforming the International Economic Law System

“The more things stay the same, the harder they are to change.” Today, there are thousands of treaties that address problems with the international investment system dating back to the end of the colonial era. Meanwhile, anti-dumping laws purport to address “unfair” pricing for imports already deterred by anti-trust laws. There also remains the Export-Import Bank, established in 1934, which has been declared to serve no necessary domestic policy purpose. These and other obsolete trade policies are propped by vested interests and entrenched by their worldwide reach. Rather than elongating issues, let us seize the opportunity to propose multilateral reforms that will advance prosperity. Read more:

Single Visa System Gets Major Boost

A current project by the World Bank to promote intra-regional trade in Africa will create Univisa, a single visa system for countries who are members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The project will begin harmonizing visa requirements for the Kavango Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area (Kaza) countries in Africa, starting with Zambia and Zimbabwe. In addition to a four stage implementation process, the World Bank plans to host high-level consultation, modernization, and advocacy events to ensure travel time between cities and bureaucracy decrease as well. The World Bank expects the plan to strengthen the tourism sector in Kaza countries, contributing to new jobs and a more prosperous economy. Read More: 

It’s Now Time for a Free Trade Zone in Canada: James Moore

According to Industry Minister James Moore, it is easier for a foreign investor to do business in Canada than it is for a domestic firm to access its own marketplace. The aggregate cost of regional protectionist policies in Canada is tens of billions of dollars a year. The stifling business atmosphere can be observed through the restrictions on moving products, burdening job elimination, and limited consumer choice. For this reason, Moore has dedicated himself to creating a true free trade zone in Canada. On board with his efforts, Canada’s federal government is working to increase trade transparency with the construction of an International Trade Barriers Index. The index will serve as a reference to all the protectionist rules and regulations of Canada’s different provinces. Read more:

S.Africa’s Intention to Impose Export Taxes Raises Concern

In South Africa the government plans to impose an export tax on key mining resources such as platinum group metals and iron ore. Although the aim is to increase the declining prices of these resources, the tax will pose a casino online destabilizing expense. Already policy shifts have characterized the industry with uncertainty, steering away investment and innovation. Increasing the distribution costs will only slow the development of the mining industry, and in consequence, put many out of work. Read more:

Iran, Qatar Mulling Establishment of Joint Free Trade Zone

Iran and Qatar begin are currently in the workings of a joint free trade zone. Already, the two Persian Gulf countries signed protocols to increase mutual cooperation in politics, economics, defense, security, and culture. In a recent trip, Iranian officials visited Qatar’s free economic zones, just after Qatari officials became acquainted with the economic and trade capacities of Iran’s Persian Gulf Qeshm Island. Both foreign ministers share a mutual enthusiasm for the new ties. Read more:


‘Anti-Dumping Chicken Tariffs Unnecessary’

The Association of Meat Importers and Exporters states anti-dumping tariffs in the chicken industry are unnecessary. An investigation by the International Trade Administration Commission found the appeals of local producers to government to be nothing short Canadian pop star is in trouble again. of cries for cronyism. According to reports, the chicken tariffs harm a small import industry and spike local chicken prices for consumers. Read more:

EAC Urged to Toughen on Trade Restrictions

Experts say the East African Community (EAC) should stop treating trade restrictions and government interventions, which distort markets, as a diplomatic matter. Food security in particular remains an issue for EAC countries. While policy makers find themselves caught between consumer and producer interests, people are starving. Protectionist policies and trade barriers have hiked food prices and government efforts have done little to alleviate the problem. Read more:

From Rice Cookers to Robots: Shopping for the Latest Gadgets in North Korea

North Korea’s 2014 Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair doubled in size compared to last year. Despite recent sanctions, many luxury items were available to consumers. Several of these products appeared to be from overseas, such as flat screen TVs, laptops and robot vacuum cleaners. Accordingly, accepted currencies included the Chinese Yuan, Euro, and US dollar. Foreign economists deem this increasing interest in trade fairs a reflection of the quality development of new products and potential economic growth. Read more:


Moldova is working with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to steer its economy towards greater regional and global integration. After signing an agreement, Moldova will have free trade areas that permit access to two major markets: the European Union (EU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIES). Programs are  currently being crafted to instruct businesses on best practices for adjusting and benefiting from the new trade environment. Read more: