Frihandel i media vecka 13

2019-03-28

Jesse Snyder i Kanadensiska  National Post skriver om en ny rapport om hur Kina beter sig i handelssammanhang:

“OTTAWA — Canada needs a “reality check” in its approach to free trade with China, particularly amid a dispute over canola exports that points to deeper-lying contradictions in Chinese trade policy, a new report warns.

In a report Thursday, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute lays out a comprehensive argument against Canada seeking a trade agreement with China, saying it would be a “non-starter” because of the fundamental disagreement between the two countries over basic market principles and international trade law.

MLI senior fellow Duanjie Chen reviewed a number of free trade deals China has signed in recent years with other nations, including Switzerland, New Zealand, Pakistan, and found a “troubling pattern of [the deals] benefiting China more than its partners,” according to the report. Chen found that China has been “a much shrewder negotiator in getting what it wants from its partners, all of whom have regarded China’s non-market system as harmless.”

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Ottawa’s plans for a trade agreement have cooled since Canada arrested Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. authorities, prompting a months-long diplomatic spat with China. China has also detained two Canadian citizens, citing vague national security reasons.

On Tuesday, China further escalated tensions when it barred imports of canola from Canadian firm Viterra Inc., a unit of Switzerland-based Glencor Plc. The move came after a similar ban this month on imports from Richardson International Ltd., a major seller of Canadian grains and oilseeds.

Both bans cited “harmful organisms” found in canola shipments to China; no other Canadian trading partner has made similar claims.

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Chen also reviewed a number of trade pacts China has signed in recent years, and found that they overwhelmingly favour the world’s second-largest economic power.

Switzerland, for example, removed tariffs on 99 per cent of its products on day one of signing an agreement with China, while China agreed to remove only a portion of its import tariffs over a period of five to 15 years.

In its trade deal with Australia, China managed win full protections for both established and new investments it made, while Australia’s protections apply only to established investments.

In all of its free trade deals, China agrees to protections on private ownership of assets, which creates lopsided incentives in China’s mostly state-owned land system.

“This fundamental discrepancy in land ownership implicitly motivates Chinese investors to grab land abroad but deters their counterparts from doing the same in China,” the report said.

In 2017, Canada’s trade deficit with China reached $44 billion, the highest on record. Raw commodities make up the largest share of exports into China, while equipment and machinery exports are just nine per cent, due in part to protections the Chinese government has placed on its manufacturing sector.”

2019-03-27

Finance skriver om frihandelsavtalet mellan Hong Kong och Australien:

“Hong Kong already has the greatest concentration of Australian businesses outside Australia but it will now be easier to compete in the Asian city thanks to a new free-trade deal.

The deal, signed on Tuesday morning, joins the Indonesia and Peru agreements waiting to be ratified when the new parliament sits after the May federal election.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham signed the deal with Hong Kong in Sydney.

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“Under this agreement zero tariffs will be locked-in on goods, market access will be guaranteed for services suppliers, and conditions for two-way investment will be significantly improved,” he said.

“We also agreed to a series of cutting-edge rules – particularly on data flows and data storage – to facilitate trade and investment and provide certainty and confidence to Australian investors.”

While exporters will benefit, the deal opens up better market access for services companies.

Hong Kong is home to the largest concentration of Australian businesses operating overseas anywhere in the world, and there was $US18.8 billion ($A26.5b) worth of trade between the two economies in 2017/18.

HSBC Australia chief executive Martin Tricaud said Australian businesses were now well placed to take advantage of a huge market.

“The agreement will create opportunities for Australian business that extend beyond Hong Kong to the Greater Bay Area, which also includes nine mainland (China) cities and Macau,” he said.

“China’s new plans for the economic integration of this region mean its consumer market may double to nearly $US900 billion by 2025.”

Senator Birmingham said hundreds of Australian firms competing across the finance, construction, communications, hospitality, education, retail, logistics and professional services sectors would get better access to Hong Kong.”


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