Tag Archives: export

Australian Trade Chiefs Head for Europe to Discuss Vaccine Exports | Instant News

Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan will travel for face-to-face talks with his ministry colleagues in Germany, France and Brussels starting Thursday, after the European Union restricted exports of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The talks will discuss “the supply of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the EU that Australia has contracted with and how we can work with the EU to increase global vaccine supplies,” Tehan said in an emailed statement. He will also meet European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and British Foreign Minister for International Trade Liz Truss to advance negotiations on free trade agreements.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who initially promised that all Australians would receive their first dose of vaccine in October, said on Sunday that he would not set a new target date because of concerns about health. AstraZeneca Plcshots and European export restrictions.

While Morrison has defended his government’s vaccine launch strategy, he has been criticized by the main opposition Labor party for being 3 million doses less than previously promised, and for not getting more deals with pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Last month, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said his country had raised the issue of export restrictions with the European Commission through “multiple channels” and had asked for the decision to be reviewed.

Hunt now says Europe is unlikely to provide the 3.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine still in circulation due to the block’s tightened export rules. About 1.2 million people in a country of more than 25 million have received the first dose.

Tehan, appoints Australia’s head of trade in December, had said he wanted to finalize trade deals with Britain and the EU by the end of the year. As a block, European Union is Australia’s fourth largest trading partner and third largest source of foreign investment, as well as a country annual trade with Britain worth an estimated $ 23.5 billion.

While in Europe, Tehan will also:

  • Met with World Trade Organization Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to discuss WTO reforms and update global trade rules
  • Hold talks with World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Daren Tang to discuss ways to support Australian businesses to protect their intellectual property rights internationally
  • Co-chair of the second Australia-France Trade and Investment Dialogue with the Minister’s Delegation for Foreign Trade and Economic Attraction Franck Riester


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100 days later, Brexit doesn’t work and business wants to be repaired | | Instant News

When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced it Brexit trade deal on December 24, he said it would allow British companies “to do more business” with the European Union.

Britain will be “affluent and dynamic and content” thereafter completing his exit from the European Union, Johnson says, is free to enter into trade deals around the world while continuing to export unhindered to the EU market of 450 million consumers.

But it’s been 100 days since Britain broke away from its biggest single trading partner and Brexit has proven to be a disaster. for many UK exporters, who has dismissed Johnson’s description of the problem as a “teething problem” and now calls on the government to take urgent action to prevent further losses.

“We call on Britain and the European Union to return to the negotiating table and come up with solutions that reduce trade barriers and give exporters an opportunity to fight,” said British Chamber of Commerce executive director Hannah Essex in a statement on Monday.

“The difficulty exporters face is not just a ‘teething problem’. It is a structural problem which, if left untreated, could lead to potentially irreversible long-term weakness in the UK export sector, “he added.

The deal is bad for trade. But it has also contributed to the recent violence and growing anger in Northern Ireland.

During the negotiations on the Brexit deal, the issue of moving goods between Ireland, which is a member of the European Union and Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, proved to be the most difficult to solve. Honoring the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which ended three decades of sectarian violence meant avoiding a return to the border on the Irish island.

Instead, Johnson agreed that Northern Ireland would remain subject to EU market rules and to set up trade borders in the Irish Sea to control them, angering pro-British union members who objected to Northern Ireland being treated differently from other British nations. Johnson has promised in 2019 that there will be no inspections of goods moving between Britain and Northern Ireland.

The rioting and violence on the streets of Belfast this month have sparked fears of a return to Northern Ireland’s troubled past and led a US State Department spokesman to warn that the Good Friday Agreement should not “fall victim to Brexit.”

Exports are collapsed

The UK government has not published an assessment of the economic impact of Brexit, and continues to promote the benefits it claims.

A government spokesman told CNN Business that the Brexit deal “protects high-quality jobs and investments right across the UK and ensures that businesses continue to trade effectively and sell to their customers in the European Union.”

But a survey of more than 1,000 UK business leaders conducted by EY and the London First lobby group in late February found that three-quarters had experienced disruptions to their operating model after the end of the Brexit transition period, and half expect it to continue in the long term. .

UK exports to the European Union plunged 41% in January compared with December, according to the Office for National Statistics, and many companies said their ability to continue trade with the bloc was at risk due to problems arising from the trade agreement. Businesses that were previously able to get goods into Europe within hours of placing an order now face long and costly delays due to new customs and food safety checks.

A UK Chamber of Commerce survey published Monday of 2,900 UK exporters found that 41% of companies reported a drop in export sales in the first quarter, driven by Brexit and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

British exporters are struggling to adjust to the “paperwork” they now have to handle, according to Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chamber of Commerce.

There is also ambiguity surrounding sales tax payments as well as confusion about new rules of origin requirements, with companies reporting very little accessible advice from the UK government on the matter, he told CNN Business. Rules of origin determine the origin of goods, including raw materials and component parts, and whether tariffs should be charged.

“The fact is, companies trading with the EU did not need to know or understand customs until now. And there is not enough capacity at [customs] industry to provide the support it needs, “said Anna Jerzewska, founder of international trade consultancy Trade & Borders.

While large companies can cover new costs, small businesses have been hit hard. A survey of 132 exporters by the Small Business Federation in March found that 23% had temporarily suspended sales to the European Union and five had stopped permanently.

“Small traders are struggling, and are considering whether exports are worth pursuing again,” the organization’s national chairman Mike Cherry said in a statement last month.

Can the deal be fixed?

On Monday, a group of lawmakers, business leaders and economists announced an independent commission to scrutinize Britain’s trade deals with Europe and the rest of the world.

The UK Trade and Business Commission, which counts Virgin chairman Peter Norris among organizers, will make recommendations to the government on how to scale up this deal.

“We will take a detailed look at the impact of this deal, especially on small businesses bearing the brunt of the new bureaucracy on our borders,” said conservative lawmaker Roger Gale, who sits on the commission, in a statement. . “It’s about putting ideology aside and finding a pragmatic, evidence-based way forward,” he added.

The situation is especially urgent for food producers, who have seen their all-in-one exports but have been wiped out by new trade arrangements. From 1 January, all plant and animal products entering the EU require an export health certificate (EHC) which must be stamped by a government-certified veterinarian.

This prevents the Cheshire Cheese Company from selling to online buyers in the European Union because the price of the certificate is many times the average selling price of £ 25 ($ 34) to £ 50 ($ 69) per order.

Prior to Brexit, these sales were valued at around £ 180,000 ($ 247,800), or 20% of the company’s revenue, and are on track to hit £ 250,000 ($ 344,000) this year, according to managing director Simon Spurrell. “We used to have an ocean of opportunity, we dealt with 27 different countries. It quickly became a pool,” said Spurrell.

UK food and beverage exports collapsed in January, driven by a 76% drop in sales to the European Union compared with the same month last year, according to the Food and Beverage Federation. Salmon exports fell 98%, beef fell 92% and animal feed fell 80%. Whiskey exports fell 63%.

“The solution is to swallow our pride and reach a veterinary agreement,” said L. Alan Winters, founding director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex. “Without it we will see that animal products are unlikely to increase,” he added.

There are several other areas that also need attention.

For example, reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications, such as doctors, accountants and architects, still has to be agreed per sector. It hasn’t happened yet and it is a “big problem” facing businesses, said Thiru.

Johnson’s Brexit deal makes no provision for financial services, an industry that accounts for nearly 11% of government tax revenue and 1.1 million jobs, according to PwC and the Office for National Statistics.

The prospect of a deal that will give Britain the same market access rights as some other non-EU countries is looking slim, and it could further undermine London’s position as Europe’s top financial city.

Since the referendum, international financial services firms have transferred assets worth nearly £ 1.3 trillion ($ 1.8 trillion) and relocated 7,600 jobs from Britain to the European Union, according to data tracked by EY. Amsterdam has surpassed London as the top stock trading center in Europe.

“The days of significant asset announcements and job relocations appear to have passed and are likely to be replaced by a slower but sustained movement of people and assets to Europe for compliance purposes,” said Omar Ali, financial services management partner at EY, said in a monthly report. then.

Long term consequences

Leaving the EU single market means an end to frictionless trading and higher costs for British companies, even as they adjust to new ways of doing business.

“It’s important to realize that there are some teething problems, but there are also problems to come because the long-term consequences make it more difficult to trade back home,” Winters said.

That will encourage foreign direct investment into the UK over time as companies wishing to serve the European market will no longer choose to be based in the UK, he added.

The new trade relationship is expected to cause a long-term loss of output in the UK of around 4% compared to the rest in the European Union, according to the UK Office of Budget Responsibility, which produces economic forecasts for the government. Exports and imports will fall by about 15% in the long run.

According to Jerzewska, a trade expert, the main consequence is a gradual shift in supply chains as EU producers seek alternative suppliers. “Businesses are following the path of least resistance and new trade barriers could make UK suppliers less competitive in the EU market,” he said.


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Hermes Tells Switzerland to Stop Providing an Abundant Supply of Luxury Watches | Instant News

Photographer: Michele Limina / Bloomberg

Swiss watchmakers are still issuing too many watches despite production cuts following the Covid-induced decline in sales, according to the chief Hermes Internationalhorology unit.

Brands including Hermes, Rolex and Audemars Piguet suspended production last year amid the pandemic, which is helping to reduce oversupply. However, some manufacturers have failed to address this problem, said Laurent Dordet, chief executive of Hermes’ watch unit, in an interview.

After Switzerland exported more than 1 billion watches over the past four decades, luxury watchmakers are struggling with the paradox that they need to sell more but make their products more exclusive. Some Swiss watchmakers reward sales managers too much for pushing too many products onto the market, according to watch heads Hermes.

“This remains the main disease of the business, at least with some brands,” said Dordet. “It may be less now, but as long as you have commercial people who are incentivized by the key performance indicators, you will have excess stock in the market.”

Many websites selling second-hand watches have sprung up as consumers slashed their collections and interest in vintage items increased. Meanwhile Apple company. it now produces more than twice as many watches than all of Swiss exports, eroding demand for low-end watches.

Read more: Yaws Chairman Philippe Told Swiss Watch Industry to Slow Down

Swiss watch exports are down 22% in 2020 as tourism comes to a halt and Covid-19 puts out social events where big buyers can show off their latest purchases. Demand is increasingly concentrated on the biggest brands: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Cartier and Omega, according to Dordet.


Watch shop closed with empty Rolex case during Geneva partial lockdown.

“It is difficult if you are not among the five leaders,” he said. “The watch industry is very polarized. We will have more winners and losers. “

Hermes Watches earned 2% revenue last year, outpacing all of its major competitors in luxury watches, according to Vontobel Bank analyst Rene Weber. Meanwhile sales slumped 40% on Swatch Group AGIts namesake label, which sells for $ 50 and less, analysts estimate.

Last year, RJ Watches, a small independent brand known for works featuring Pac-Man and Spider-Man, filed for bankruptcy.

The healthiest segment is the most expensive. While Hermes prices average around $ 6,000, some price tags exceed $ 800,000.

“For us, there is absolutely no overproduction of watches, no waste at the end of the year,” said Dordet. Hermes limits distribution through third parties and therefore has better control over sales, he added. “The advantage is that it’s more profitable and you have less inventory.”


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Industry Suffering in Germany and France due to Virus Force Lockdown | Instant News

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi / Bloomberg

Germany and France, the euro area’s two largest economies, both experienced unexpected declines in industrial production in February, suggesting that coronavirus curbs are hurting parts of the economy that have proven resilient so far.

German output fell 1.6% from the previous month, surprising all but three economists in a Bloomberg survey. Production in France slumped 4.7% and was stagnant in Spain.

Industrial output fell in Germany and France as economies struggled through lockdowns

Euro area manufacturing has held up relatively well in recent months as it benefited from the economic recovery in China and elsewhere. A separate release showed German exports rose 0.9% in February.

At home, persistently high coronavirus infections have shut most of the service sector, possibly resulting in a contraction in production in the first quarter.

The decline in French industrial production – the sharpest in ten months – was driven by an 11.4% drop in the auto sector. In Germany, investment goods have taken a hit.

However, the German economy ministry expressed optimism that the growth momentum will pick up in the coming months.

“The increase in business confidence and a positive trend in orders signal a positive outlook in the industry,” he said. The future of a pandemic, however, raises uncertainties.

What Bloomberg Economics Says …

“The surprising drop in German production casts doubt on the narrative that the global manufacturing boom is a huge source of support for activity. The order book is constantly filling up and survey data shows that businesses are just as optimistic as the prospects. Friday’s data shows it doesn’t mean higher output – not yet. “

Chancellor Angela Merkel has signaled she will support another short and sharp closure lasting two to three weeks to contain the pandemic. With some regional leaders even reluctant to fully implement current measures, he has threatened to shift powers to the federal level to impose additional restrictions.

Earlier this week, France cut its economic growth forecast for this year to 5% from 6% as a tighter one-month lockdown disrupted activity. The government is counting on the strong rebound from the summer to cover up a weak start to the year.

“I am confident that as soon as the health crisis has passed, hopefully this summer, the French economy will recover quickly and strongly,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sud Radio on Friday.

– With the help of Harumi Ichikura, and Kristian Siedenburg


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The EU monopoly on behalf of public food is a major focus for USTR | Dairy products | Instant News

The Office of the US Trade Representative on Wednesday released its 2021 National Trade Forecast Report, noting tariff and non-tariff barriers impacting US exports of goods and services.

Among his main concerns for agricultural trade is “restricting the ability for US producers to use common names for the products they produce and export.”

The US “remains deeply troubled by the EU’s overly broad protection of geographic indications, adversely affecting both US trademark protection and market access for US products bearing common names in EU and third country markets,” USTR said in the report.

The EU’s growing and aggressive misuse of geographic indications in its trade agreements blocks the export of US products with common food names and wine terms, such as feta, bologna and chateau.

“USTR’s recognition of GI abuse as a way to seize market share is an important step towards proactively addressing this issue,” said Jaime Castaneda, executive director of the Consortium for Common Food Names, in a statement to the USTR report.

“We are encouraged that the persistent work of CCFN members with the US government on this issue has raised concerns around GI abuse from a relatively obscure issue just a decade ago to the agency’s priority,” he said.

“It is imperative that USTR and its interagency partners work to ensure common names are no longer constrained by overt efforts by the European Union to monopolize common terms that consumers around the world already know and love,” he said.

The consortium continues to work with USTR to build on the precedent set in the recent US-Mexico-Canada Agreement negotiations on including a roster of common cheeses to be protected from GI restrictions in perpetuity. Similar proactive action is needed to ensure that products of the same name can continue to be sold worldwide without unfair restrictions.

Castañeda also serves as senior vice president of trade policy for the US Dairy Exports Council and the National Federation of Dairy Producers, who has also raised strong concerns over the issue – as well as other constraints in major dairy markets such as Canada, China, Mexico and the European Union. .

Several of the group’s concerns were included in the USTR report.

“Exports are critical to the US dairy industry, which shipped more than $ 6.5 billion of product to destinations worldwide by 2020,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of the US Federation of Dairy Exports.

“These export barriers have a negative impact on the economic well-being of American dairy farmers and jeopardize dairy processing jobs and workers throughout the supply chain that support our industry. These barriers must be removed,” he said.

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of National Milk, said “we need USTR to continue to pressure our trading partners to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers that restrict our dairy exports. The best way to do this is to implement new free trade agreements and enforce existing agreements. . “

The 570-page USTR report examines 65 trading partners and country groups, highlighting significant barriers to US trade. This can be found at: www.ustr.gov .


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