News Update: Five men have been charged with drug importation following a seizure of 300kg of pure pseudoephedrine, worth $42 million. The pseudoephedrine was hidden in 167 boxes in a shipping container filled with 900 boxes of washing powder.
Between 22 December 2016 and 2 January 2017, there were 33 signification detections of varying illegal items and illicit drugs across a range of border entry points with detections made in air cargo, sea cargo, mail centre’s and international flight arrivals at airports.
Reminder – ChAFTA Duty Rates Reduced
Australia continues to make progress establishing and improving trade agreements. China in particular, continues to be Australia’s largest trading partner. In 2016, more than 85% of Australian export goods (by value) were exported to China. As of January 1st 2017, duty rates for most tariff categories covered under the China – Australia (ChAFTA) agreement were reduced. The below table indicates some examples of the duty reductions.
Trump Abandons Trans-Pacific Partnership
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order formally withdrawing the US from the TPP trade deal. The TPP, signed in February 2016, was the largest trade deal, made up of 12 countries representing around 40% of the global economy and a quarter of world trade. In making his decision, Trump called out China and Japan for making it “impossible to sell” American products into their country. “In some cases its impossible. They won’t take your product. But when they do take your product they charge you a lot of tax. I don’t call that free trade. What we want is fair trade”. Australian Trade minister, Steve Ciobo said the government was wiling to work with the remaining 10 participating countries to find a way forward for the multilateral deal. Whilst some TPP countries have suggested some sort of deal may be possible without the US, others have stated it would be “meaningless” without the US.
Throughout 2017, ICAL will continue to monitor and keep you informed about changes and negotiations made to existing and pending trade agreements