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The Caribbean’s Premier Trade Policy Institution

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IN THIS EDITION 

Trade News Watch 
SRC Trading Thoughts
SRC Trade Quick Guide - The US-China Trade Deal
Past SRC Events 
Events Coming Up
SRC Staff in the News 

Happy New Year from the SRC! This is our first newsletter of the year 2020. It is the start of the second semester of academic year 2019-2020 and our Cohort 16 MITP students are already settled in. We will also shortly welcome our first Cohort of students under our new and bespoke OECS-MITP programme.

In addition to training, we will be continuing our research and outreach activities through our SRC Trading Thoughts, Lunch Time Chats and various other events. Do look out for our events! We also started our new SRC Trade Quick Guides, with the first one on the US-China Phase One Trade Deal. 

The year has also started with some sad goodbyes and pleasant welcomes. We congratulate Tameshia Brandford on her promotion and are grateful for her service to the SRC over the past three years. We also welcome our new staff member Chelceé Brathwaite who joins our research team, and Taneil Knight who temporarily serves as stenographer/clerk. 


Current and former SRC staff members with outgoing staff member Tameshia Brandford (4th from left) and incoming Member Chelceé Brathwaite (2nd from left). 

TRADE NEWS WATCH

US Revises Designations of LDCs and Developing Countries under CD Law

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice in its Federal Register on February 10, 2020 which narrows - for purposes of US law - the list of Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including some Caribbean countries, that are eligible for special de minimis countervailable subsidy and negligible import volume standards under the countervailing duty (CVD) law.  The revised designations took effect as of 10 February 2020.  

Imports from the reduced list of 44 least-developed and 35 developing WTO Members outlined in the notice are subject to a de minimis standard of 2 percent and a negligible import volume of 4 percent (except if the aggregate volume of imports from countries with less than 4 percent exceeds 9 percent).

For purposes of this notice, the US list relied on several criteria for classifying countries as LDCs and developing countries.  Among the criteria for developing country status are per capita GNI, share of world trade, as well as "other factors". Haiti is the only CARICOM country listed among the LDCs.  Based on the listed criteria, Caribbean countries of Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Suriname are among the developing countries which remain on the list. 

Conversely, Caribbean countries like Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago - which currently self-designate as developing countries for WTO purposes - are not included in the developing country list.  Additionally, the US has removed from its previous list of developing countries several emerging economies, such as China, India and Brazil, which continue to self-designate as developing countries for WTO purposes. Through this latest notice, therefore, the United States gives effect to prior announcements by the United States that it will use GNI per capita and share of world trade as a basis for designating countries as developing. For more on this, please see our SRC Working Paper on this topic here

The link to the notice in the Federal Register may be viewed here

In other trade news:
  • On January 31, 2020, the UK officially left the European Union (EU), initiating an eleven month transition period during which the UK and EU will seek to negotiate their future trading relationship. Read more 
  • The US and China have agreed a phase one trade deal. Our trade researcher, Chelceé Brathwaite, discusses this agreement in the SRC Trade Quick Guide section below.
  • Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados has assumed chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and will hold the chairmanship from January-June 2020 under that organisation's rotating chairmanship system. Watch her 2020 New Year's message as incoming chairman here
Coming up later this month CARICOM Heads of Government will meet in Barbados for their 31st inter-sessional meeting on February 18-19. Read more 

Find out more about upcoming trade events by visiting our events calendar

SRC TRADING THOUGHTS

Engaging the Caribbean diaspora for trade and sustainable development

Alicia Nicholls: Some four million people of Caribbean descent live outside of the region, according to data from the United Nation’s Population Division. Persons of Caribbean descent can be found across the world, but their main hubs are in the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and parts of continental Europe, such as France and The Netherlands. With regard to emigrant stock as a percentage of their national populations, the percentage for Caribbean countries in 2013 varied from as ‘low’ as 11% in the Dominican Republic to as high as 103% for the Commonwealth of Dominica. Read the full article here.

SRC TRADE QUICK GUIDE - FEBRUARY 2020

A Quick Guide to the US-China Phase One Trade Deal 

Chelceé Brathwaite: Just in case you missed it, the world’s two largest economies – China and the United States of America (USA)- have been embroiled in a full-blown trade war which escalated from ongoing tensions. Over the past 18 months and even prior, these two economies fought in several WTO cases; engaged in numerous back-and-forth negotiations; imposed a string of foreign technology restrictions against each other; and had an all-out tit-for-tat tariff war, which culminated with the USA imposing tariffs on USD 550 billion worth of Chinese goods and China in turn retaliating, with tariffs on USD 185 billion worth of American goods. Read the full fact sheet here

PAST SRC EVENTS
  • SRC/IDB Panel Discussion "Trading Promises for Results"
The SRC teamed up with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to host a panel discussion entitled "Trading Promises for Results" on Thursday, February 6, 2020. Have a read of our press release on the discussion here.


L-R: Dr. Jan Yves Remy (SRC Deputy Director), Dr. Ernesto Stein (Principal Technical Leader, Research Department, IDB), Dr. Mauricio Mesquita Moreira (Principal Economic Advisor of the Integration and Trade Sector, IDB), Dr. Justin Ram (Director of Economics, Caribbean Development Bank) and Dr. Antonio Alleyne (Temporary Lecturer, Department of Economics, The UWI). 
 
  • CARICOM/WTI/SRC/TAF Workshop on WTO Issues
The SRC partnered with the World Trade Institute (WTI), the CARICOM Secretariat and the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund to host the CARICOM Workshop on WTO Issues on January 8-10, 2020 at the Savannah Beach Hotel, Barbados. The topics discussed included e-commerce, investment facilitation for development, the development dimension at the WTO, the fisheries subsidies negotiations, trade in services and domestic regulations, among others. 

EVENTS COMING UP
  • Blockchain Symposium - April 8 & 9, 2020
 The SRC is partnering with the IDB Lab, Compete Caribbean and TechBeach to host a Blockchain Symposium on April 8 & 9, 2020. Learn more in the flyer below! 



Find out more about upcoming SRC events by visiting our events calendar

SRC STAFF IN THE NEWS

In her personal capacity, SRC trade researcher Alicia Nicholls participated in the Inaugural AML/CFT Empirical Research Conference organized by the Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) and the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas (ASBA), with the support of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The Conference was held from January 20-24, 2020 at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, Bahamas. Alicia's presentation was based on an IDB policy brief she co-authored in June 2019 entitled "The EU AML/CFT Blacklist: Implications and Options for The Bahamas". 

Alicia Nicholls making her presentation at the conference in The Bahamas. 
 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SRC

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About Us

The SRC is the Caribbean’s Premier Trade Policy Institution.  Our mission is to advance trade policy learning, create knowledge and foster innovation for the positive transformation of the Caribbean. We are home to the UWI Flagship Programme, the Masters in International Trade Policy (MITP).

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Visit our website and learn more about us.  As the leading Caribbean Trade Policy Institution, we want to partner with fellow academic institutions; business and industry organizations; regional and international organizations; NGOs; civil society to advance trade policy for Caribbean development.
Copyright © 2020 The Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy & Services, The University of the West Indies, All rights reserved.

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src@cavehill.uwi.edu

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Shridath Ramphal Center · Caricom Research Park · The University of the West Indies · cave hill PO Box 64 · Barbados

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