By Philip Blenkinsop BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union countries cleared the way on Tuesday for the bloc to begin free trade talks with Australia and New Zealand in a drive to forge new alliances as trade tensions with the United States increase. The European Commission, which negotiates on behalf of the 28 EU members, will seek ambitious and comprehensive agreements with both countries, although with caveats about opening up EU markets to farm produce such as butter and beef. The EU forecasts that its exports to the two countries could increase by a third if trade agreements were struck. Since its plans for a trade alliance with the United States were frozen after Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, the EU has focused instead on trying to champion open markets and seal accords with other like-minded countries. The EU is also facing the prospect of U.S. import tariffs on its steel and aluminium and possible U.S. sanctions on Iran that could restrict its … [Read more...] about EU agrees to start trade talks with Australia, New Zealand
Australia dairy company
On March 15, 2013, Japan announced it will seek to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, an 11-country free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation involving Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam, which collectively make up one-third of the global economy. Japan is the world’s third largest economy and the United States’ fourth largest trading partner. For US companies with export interests, Japan’s participation in the TPP could mean improved access to one of the world’s largest economies for US goods, services and investments including in the following areas:Elimination of Japanese tariffs and non-tariff barriers on agriculture products of export interest to US companiesOpening of Japan’s insurance sectorReform of Japan’s non-transparent and costly environmental and safety certification procedures for autos Reform of Japan’s entry and … [Read more...] about Japan’s Entry Into Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Raises Opportunities and Risks for US Companies
Trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries announced, on October 5, 2015, that they had reached an agreement in principle on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP would arguably be the largest free trade agreement in history when considering the member economies, covering approximately 40% of the global economy. The deal, reached in Atlanta, GA, is a victory for President Obama, who has championed the agreement as a vehicle for opening new markets to American products and establishing higher labor and environmental standards, while building an economic bloc in the Asia-Pacific region to compete with China. (See the White House Fact Sheet here.) Once the last of the details are fully ironed out, the agreement must then be individually approved by each of the 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.After President Obama formally presents the deal to the U.S. Congress, lawmakers will … [Read more...] about Pacific Rim Countries Reach Historic Agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, But Will Congress Approve It?
Trade ministers announced that they will continue negotiations over several unresolved provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during a four-day meeting in Maui, Hawaii that concluded July 31. Trade ministers representing the 12 Pacific Rim countries included in the free trade deal remain optimistic about negotiations and said in a joint statement that they are “more confident than ever that TPP is within reach.”One of the major sticking points reportedly centers around intellectual property protections for biologics. The U.S. reportedly attempted to secure 12 years’ data protection for pharmaceutical companies, while Australia is insisting on five years. Observers suggest the agreement will fall somewhere between five and seven years’ data protection. U.S. stakeholders concerned with a deal that only includes five years of data protection could threaten to round up enough opposition in Congress to stymie the deal.Other points of contention arose over … [Read more...] about Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Face Tighter Timeline as Talks Continue
Many franchisors and other participants in the franchising sector are anticipating with concern the outcome of The Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 (Bill) which was introduced into the Federal Parliament on 1 March 2017 and referred to the Senate Education and Legislation Committee on 23 March 2017. The Committee briefly accepted public submissions until 6 April 2017 and held public hearings on 12 and 13 April 2017.Assuming that this Bill passes into law, new liability for franchisors will now be created in relation to the underpayment or non-payment of franchisee staff members. The Bill also proposes significant increases in fines.The following update includes details about the Bill and what it means for franchisors should it be passed. We will provide a comprehensive bulletin regarding the matter once the Bill passes into law.Recent Franchising StatisticsIn January 2017 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released updated … [Read more...] about Increased Franchisor Liability Likely Under New Laws: Franchisor Update May 2017