The United States is in the process of negotiating investment rules in several of its trade initiatives and is also considering new investment treaties. This recent activity in the area of investment rules provides an opportunity for reevaluation.? This full evaluation is available in Liberalization or Litigation? Time to Rethink the International Investment Regime at http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/liberalization-or-litigation-time-rethink-international-investment. The current rules are not well calibrated to liberalizing foreign investment. Instead of offering a simple and direct policy of liberalization, they incorporate vague legal principles that provide numerous opportunities for litigation, and in doing so they undermine the more basic principle of treating foreign and domestic investment equally. If international rules are to be used at all in this area, a focus on nondiscrimination, and a more flexible legal framework, would be preferable to the existing system. To read more Click here.
One of the largest challenges in the TTIP negotiations is the dispute over Genetically Modified Organisms.? Yet recently a report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council stated that studies linking GMO?s to adverse effects are based on ?contested science.?? This could therefore be the time for the US agricultural industry to lobby the United States government over the TTIP, and to work towards changing European perceptions of GMO?s. Click here
There is currently an issue brewing in South Africa over the proposed increase in customs duties on imported chicken.? Association of Meat importers and Exporters chief executive David Wolpert warns that these duties could result in a 305 to 50% increase in chicken prices.? The argument centers on whether the increase in price due to the customs duties will be passed onto the consumer, as the total quantity of imports represents 12% of the total poultry soul in South Africa. You can access the report, Chicken Prices Set to Rise After Tariff Increase, by clicking here.
Canada?s tariffs on agricultural products are among the highest of the food exporting nations, with tariffs as high as 246.8% on dairy imports.? The article Canada Hurting Itself with Protectionist Practices in Agriculture: Report explains that while Canada has entered into many new trade talks they have failed to address the highly-protected agricultural sector. Addressing this problem would be beneficial for Canada?s economy in the future. ?To read more Click here
In a response to falling airline traffic Spain will cut tariffs that airlines pay to use the country?s airports and remove the charge entirely in some cases. To learn more of the specifics of this proposal click here.
In breaking news during the bilateral talks to reach an economic partnership agreement, The European Union announced it is ready to eliminate tariffs on Japanese auto parts in exchange for Japan ending import duties on a range of European food items. To read more Click Here.
Japan and the European Union began their third round of free trade negotiations in Brussels on Monday October 21st, aiming to engage in full-fledged discussions on tariffs and other trade barriers. ?To Read more Click Here.
This article explains how non-tariff barriers in the East African region remain the largest challenge to regional trade. ?This often results in people opting to trade with other countries on the African continent than ones in the East African Community. ?To learn more about this problem visit?http://allafrica.com/stories/201310050063.html
The Philippines is moving towards joining the European Unions?s new duty-free scheme, known as the EU Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+). ?The country already benefits from the regular EU GSP under which 2,442 products can be exported tariff free. But if they are accepted to the GSP+ this would increase to 6,274 products, adding an estimated 611.8 million euros in exports to the Philippines? economy! ?To learn more Click here.?
As the 21 members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum gather in Indonesia in coming weeks, 12 countries will engage in a series of high-level meetings and a summit to negotiate a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact on the margins of the APEC talks to reach a basic agreement. ?Japan, the United States and 10 other members said in a statement issued after their ministerial talks in Brunei in August that the TPP summit on Oct. 8 on Bali will be an “important milestone” toward their goal of concluding by the year-end a deal for creating one of the largest free trade zones in the world. ?Read the rest of the article to learn the further implications for the APEC and TPP. ?Click here?