FratiniVergano’s latest issue of Trade Perspectives© is published
The first article provides updates on the discussions within the WTO on certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, as well as on the initiatives aimed at addressing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The article first notes the announcement, on 28 March 2018, by the new Chair of the Negotiating Group on Rules within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to move forward on the issue of harmful fisheries subsidies aimed and at securing an agreement by the next WTO Ministerial Conference in 2019. The article then addresses the continuous work of the EU to verify compliance by its trading partners with its framework for combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The article concludes that regulating fisheries subsidies that favour overfishing, fishing overcapacity and illegal fishing, and addressing IUU fishing by implementing and enforcing relevant legal frameworks, remains a global issue, which significantly affects trade.
The second article addresses the continuing uncertainties regarding the UK’s exit from the EU (‘Brexit’), in particular related to trade policy. The article first provides some background information on the ongoing ‘Brexit’ negotiations. The article then analyses the agreements reached between the EU and the UK in March 2018, relating to the so-called transition period. The article reviews the implications of this agreement on trade policy, noting that the transition period would postpone the threat of the UK falling back to trading with the EU under WTO most-favoured nation (MFN) rules and that the UK may negotiate, sign and ratify international agreements in its own capacity in the areas of exclusive competence of the EU, provided that those agreements do not enter into force or apply during the transition period. The article then discusses the beginning initiatives by the UK to negotiate its own trade agreements with third countries around the world. The article concludes that all interested stakeholders should prepare and engage with their respective interlocutors in the EU, the UK and in trading partners around the world.
The third article addresses the publication of the report by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on an audit conducted in Spain from 27 September to 19 October 2017 related to raw and processed pork products. The USDA’s onsite equivalence verification audit of Spain’s inspection system for raw and processed pork products confirmed that Spain’s inspection system for such pork products continues to remain equivalent to that of the US. The article notes that Spain’s food safety system was considered equivalent to the FSIS’s system with regards to specific provisions of US’ laws and regulations. In its audit, the FSIS applied a risk-based procedure that included an analysis of Spain’s performance within six equivalence components. The article concludes that the confirmed equivalency was an important result, which would likely maintain the current degree of trade facilitation and allow pork exports from Spain to the US to continue to grow.
Trade Perspectives© is available for full reading at the following link. With this fortnightly publication, we intend to regularly provide readers with a set of recent international trade developments of particular commercial and regulatory interest. Our focus is on those matters that are set to become contentious trade issues or which should be followed closely by traders, government officials, lawyers, consultants and all other concerned parties. Trade Perspectives© does not constitute legal advice and is not, therefore, intended to be relied on or to create any client/lawyer relationship. For new recipients to be added to our circulation list, please contact us at: TradePerspectives@FratiniVergano.eu.