Food & Agriculture
October 25, 2022

By Michael Anderson, Vice President of Trade and Industry Affairs


  • U.S. – Mexico: On Oct. 23, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced its rejection of the petition submitted by a group of bipartisan Florida lawmakers to initiate a Section 301 investigation into Mexican seasonal produce and, instead, pledged its support for U.S. growers through the establishment of a private-sector industry advisory panel “to recommend measures to [promote competitiveness].”
  • U.S. – Taiwan: Taiwanese officials are increasingly voicing their hope for the establishment of trade talks with the U.S. by the end of 2022. Deputy Trade Representative for Taiwan Yang Jen-ni reiterated the country’s desire for an “early harvest list.” The countries are still deciding on the time and location of initial discussions.
  • Trade Trends: Last week, 45 facilities were approved by Brazil to begin exports of corn to China which could lead to the first shipments as early as December. Brazil, which has seen rising yield forecasts for both corn and wheat production, has the potential to partially offset U.S. exports to China in 2023.
  • Food Security: In response to Russia’s threat to end the Black Sea Grain Initiative, U.N. officials traveled to Moscow last week to discuss the extension of the agreement. However, participants reported that no solid progress has been made.
  • U.S. – EU: The U.S. continues to hear resounding opposition to the EV tax credit contained in the Inflation Reduction Act with French President Emmanuel Macron voicing opposition to the provision and the protectionist stance from which it addresses the industry. The President continued by asking the European Commission to support consumers and producers of electric vehicles produced in the EU.
  • U.S. – U.K.: Former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has been voted to succeed Liz Truss as the next Prime Minister of the U.K. On Oct. 20, U.K. Prime Minister Truss announced her formal resignation from office due to rising concerns over her economic policies.

“The USMCA and its dispute settlement mechanism are designed for regional cooperation between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. The USMCA should preempt the U.S. from taking unilateral actions like Section 301 investigations against its closest allies Mexico and Canada.”

— Fresh Produce Association of the Americas in response to USTR’s dismissal of a section 301 petition

U.S. – Indo- Pacific

13th U.S.-India TPF set for November

Indian Commerce Minister, Piyush Goyal
Shiri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India
  • The U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) is set to take place on Nov. 8, in which Indian Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal will lead the Indian delegation to Washington, D.C. to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Last week, a group of U.S. officials travelled to New Delhi to confirm the key issues to be discussed at the forum. The countries held the 12th TPF in November of 2021. Progress was subsequently realized regarding exports of mangoes and pomegranates to the U.S., and cherries to India. Concerns on the Indian side pertain to issues in the service sector, while the U.S. has voiced concerns about market access and the regulatory environment.
    • In a phone interview, former Secretary of Commerce Anup Wadhawan alluded to the U.S. interest in negotiations for agricultural and non-agricultural digital trade, competition, and more, citing that “a mismatch between bilateral ambition and sensitivity has been an issue at times. The U.S.’s ambitions are commensurate with what you would expect for a highly developed economy.”
  • Among India’s requests are worker visas, Social Security portability, and Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum. Further, in September, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India. During the meeting, Secretary Blinken and Dr. Jaishankar discussed visa mobility for high-skilled workers, the IPEF initiative, reform proposals for the U.N., among other items. The U.S. is India’s largest trading partner registering $157 billion of goods and services trade in 2021. India is the only member of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework that did not sign onto the trade pillar earlier this year.

Taiwan seeks a U.S. trade deal

  • According to Executive Secretary of Taiwan’s Office of Trade Negotiations Hsiao Chen-Jung, Taiwan hopes to establish negotiations with the U.S. that will result in a full trade deal by the end of 2022. “We’ve been talking to each other steadily,” and “some of these measures we’ve discussed to a very mature point,” Chen-Jung revealed. Similarly, Deputy Trade Representative for Taiwan Yang Jen-ni reiterated the country’s desire for an “early harvest list.” The countries are still deciding upon the time and location of initial discussions.
    • President of the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council Rupert Hammond noted that the initiative “is a modest platform with several areas of interest … and an early harvest should move things along and has some political weight in the effort to respond to [China’s] economic coercion of the island.”
  • Negotiators are hoping to discuss 11 categories, including agriculture, environmental protection, labor rights, trade facilitation, non-market policies, support for SMEs, and acceleration of the digital economy. Professor at the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University Hu Junli stated that a formal agreement between the countries would make Taiwan “move toward the U.S. side.” Further, Taiwanese Minister for Economic Affairs Mei-Hua Wang, during her October trip to the U.S., emphasized the importance of an FTA with the U.S. in encouraging other countries to strengthen ties with the island.
  • Ongoing discussions with Taiwan include the introduction of the Initiative on 21st Century Trade proposed by the Biden Administration earlier this year. The initiative acts as a substitute for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for which Taiwan is currently not included.
  • The potential for trade talks is contextualized by growing polarization in the region with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighting the dynamic changes in the relationship with Taiwan. Secretary Blinken recently noted that “there has been a change in the approach from Beijing,” citing concerns over comments by Chinese President Xi Jinping to “tak[e] all measures necessary” in Taiwan, given the potential for “reunification” between the countries.
  • Following Blinken’s comments, a spokesperson from China’s Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin, accused the U.S. of encouraging Taiwan’s formal independence due to the recent sale of advanced weapons to the country. “We are ready to create vast space for peaceful reunification, but we will leave no room for separatist activities in any form,” Wang said. Pressure is building for the Biden Administration, which has repeatedly expressed its support for Taiwan and the potential for U.S. assistance should China advance on the island.

Tai speaks with Korean Trade Minister

Ahn Duk-geun, Minister for Trade, South Korea
Ahn Duk-geun, Minister for Trade, South Korea
  • On Oct. 19, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai met with Korean Minister for Trade Ahn Duk-geun to discuss areas for collaboration in supply chain resilience and strengthening the bilateral relationship. The pair also discussed the Inflation Reduction Act and emphasized the need for an open dialogue on the issue throughout the implementation process, particularly with regards to the EV tax credit.
  • The U.S. has previously shown its support for South Korea and demonstrated a willingness to conduct working-level discussions on the law due to the country’s concerns regarding the discriminatory nature of the provision. On Sept. 27, Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged the South Korean Prime Minister’s concerns regarding the new EV law and pledged to hold consultations regarding its implementation moving forward.

U.S. – Mexico

USTR denies petition for Section 301 investigation

  • On Oct. 23, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced its rejection of the petition submitted by a bipartisan group led by Florida lawmakers to initiate a Section 301 investigation concerning Mexican seasonal produce. Although the Administration denied the investigation, USTR pledged its support for U.S. producers and announced the establishment of “a private-sector industry advisory panel to recommend measures to promote the competitiveness of producers of seasonal and perishable produce in the southeastern United States.” USTR and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will collaborate alongside the panel and Congress to “develop possible administrative actions and legislation that would provide real benefits to this struggling industry,” according to USTR reports.
  • Mexico is the second-largest export market for U.S. agricultural goods, with $25.5 billion in U.S. agricultural commodity imports in 2021. Several food and agriculture associations had expressed their opposition to the proposed Section 301 investigation, including the U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Wheat Associates, American Feed Industry Association, American Soybean Association, Corn Refiners Association, and others, warning of the threat of retaliation by Mexico should the petition be realized.
  • Further, last week, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senior Member on the Agriculture Committee alongside Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Patty Murray (D-WA), sent a letter to the Office of the USTR to oppose the petition for a Section 301 investigation on seasonal produce from Mexico, according to a recent statement. In the letter, the Senators argued that the trade dispute should be settled under USMCA to avoid price increases and retaliation efforts by Mexico. The lawmakers held that the agreement is “intended to improve regional cooperation” as opposed to unilateral measures, such as the potential investigation. Further, the letter states that “if the petition is not rejected, it will undermine the credibility of Section 301 as an effective tool and raise the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables during a time when Americans across the country are struggling with the increasing cost of food.”
    • Senator Grassley also commented on the Section 301 petition submitted by the Florida delegation, calling the motion “ill advised” and a “threat to U.S. farmers and consumers.” As such, the Senators called for USTR to consider “the importance of cross-border trade and consumer needs” by implementing a decision that will not harm the U.S. economy. The Senators also drew attention to the issues present in the petition, highlighting that the document does not meet requirements laid out by the Section 301 statute because it “fails to identify the economic interests of the petitioners; lacks analysis and explanation on its impact to commerce in the U.S.; and fails to explain adequately the alleged export targeting scheme.”

Onlookers concerned about Economia transformation

  • Following the restructuring of key positions in Mexico’s Ministry of Economy over the past couple of weeks, businesses and officials have collectively voiced their concerns over the stability of trade with Mexico and the future of the bilateral relationship. Recently Undersecretary for Foreign Trade, Luz María de la Mora was asked for her resignation, just a few days after the official resignation of former Minister of Economy Tatiana Clouthier. The ministry also removed Orlando Pérez Gárate from his post as the General Director of International Trade Legal Consulting. The respective replacements include former head of the Tax Administration Service Raquel Buenrostro as Minister of Economy and former labor ministry official Alejandro Encinas Najera as Undersecretary for Foreign Trade. According to a government source, at least 12 other officials in the ministry have also been removed.
  • An economist at BANCO Base, Gabriela Siller, noted the changes in the Ministry of Economy are “a really bad sign for the economy” due to the loss of expertise in the ministry. Further, former Mexican trade official, Luis de la Calle, revealed that the shakeup was due to “negotiations inside Mexico” to allow for “more credibility with the energy ministry and the President.” Echoing the concerns of other officials, former Mexican Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Andrés Rozental added that he “assume[s] the hardliners have won.”

Food Security

Moscow threatens end to Black Sea Grain Initiative

Alexander Fomin, Minister of Defense, Russian Federation.
Alexander Fomin, Minister of Defense, Russian Federation.
  • U.N. officials traveled to Moscow last week to discuss the extension of the Black Sea Grain initiative. Russia, in recent comments to the U.N., issued a set of demands regarding fertilizer and food exports should the country allow the agreement to extend beyond its November expiration. The U.N. delegation was led by Secretary-General for the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development Rebecca Grynspan on Oct. 16-17.
  • On Oct. 17, U.N. Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths and Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin discussed the agreement’s prospects moving forward. General Fomin expressed the Kremlin’s support for the grain initiative but held that its continuation depends on full implementation of previous agreements. Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov also criticized the agreement’s lack of action to increase Russian exports and open the market to fertilizer and grain. Both Ukraine and the U.N. have explicitly supported the extension of the deal. Concrete resolutions following the meeting have yet to be reported.
    • On Oct. 13, Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba posted a statement via Twitter, saying “Russia is doing exactly what we warned: renewing hunger games and threatening the Black Sea grain initiative. I want every African, Asian, Middle Eastern family to know: Ukraine puts forward no additional demands, we want the corridor to keep working,”
    • The agreement was originally established in July between the U.N. and Turkey to enable Ukraine to continue grain exports from Black Sea ports that had previously closed due to the Russian invasion. However, the agreement also contained assurances from the U.S. and EU exempting banks and companies from sanctions on the trade of Russian grain and fertilizer.
  • Russia and Ukraine are the two largest exporters of grain in the region with Russia leading the charge on global fertilizer exports. On Oct. 21, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of slowing grain exports to exacerbate the growing food crisis, citing the “artificial queue” of 150 ships awaiting passage for export from Ukraine.
    • Officials from Turkey, Ukraine, and the U.N. have “acknowledged this problem and [are] trying to address the backlog.”

Trade Legislation

Senator Portman seeks mini-trade package

  • A streamlined legislative trade initiative may arise when Congress returns in November. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) is pushing for a potential modest trade package after the mid-term elections that would provide Trade Promotion Authority for negotiations to complete the U.S.-U.K. free trade agreement begun under the previous Administration. Portman has expressed frustration that Congress was unsuccessful in renewing the Generalized System of Preference program and the Trade Adjustment Assistance program in the CHIPS Act before the recent Congressional recess.
    • Senator Portman noted that one potential avenue for advancing the trade elements during a “lame duck” session entails the pursuit of his previous trade bill (S 4450), introduced with fellow Senate Finance Committee member Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), to authorize President Biden to negotiate the U.S.-U.K. FTA – as opposed to full-scale negotiating authority. It is unclear whether Senate leadership has commented on the potential for such action in conjunction with the Senate’s consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act, which is an expected legislative priority when the Senate returns in November.

Call for the inclusion of TAA in trade bills

  • In anticipation of the passage of proposed trade legislation, Democrats have called for the revival of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program to provide job training to workers who were displaced from their occupations due to trade. However, the demand is facing opposition by Republican counterparts who claim that the provision should only be included if the legislation also renew the Trade Promotion Authority. The two pieces of legislation under review include the Generalized System of Preferences which cuts tariffs on goods imported from developing countries and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill which reduces duties on imports used for U.S. manufacturing.
    • Chair of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has voiced his opinion on the matter, holding that “a trade package that does not renew TAA is unacceptable.” Similarly, Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) has also held that “the reauthorization and improvement of Trade Adjustment Assistance, which expired in July, is a top priority for me and many members of Congress.”
  • Both Democrats and Republicans have revealed that a decision is unlikely to come before the end of the year, with members in both houses voicing concerns that such a long delay in renewal of the TAA could result in its total exclusion from future trade legislation.

Potential for Brazilian corn imports to disrupt U.S. supply in China

  • Last week, 45 facilities were approved by Brazil to begin exports of corn to China which could lead to the first deliveries as early as December. In the context of the war in Ukraine, coupled with rising tensions with the U.S., China has been working to combat food insecurity and decrease reliance on U.S. agricultural imports. The country is also beginning to cut back on exports of corn starch to buffer domestic supply.
  • Brazil is the second-largest exporter of corn in the world. However, past imports of Brazilian corn into China have been limited due to concerns over phytosanitary standards. This year, China and Brazil held a meeting in which the two governments agreed on a set of sanitation standards to pave the way for increased corn imports. Concerns are beginning to rise with regards to the future of corn trade between the U.S. and China, a significant market for U.S. producers. In 2020/21, U.S. imports of corn products comprised 70% of the Chinese market.
  • Brazil’s wheat and corn yield is expected to rise this year, with Brazilian farmers anticipating higher production levels. Last week, the country’s National Supply Company (CONAB) raised its wheat projection to 5.6 billion bushels. CONAB also expects Brazilian corn exports to increase 24% from 2021/22, largely driven by increased shipments bound for China.
  • At the same time, U.S. exports of soybeans to China have been increasing steadily throughout October, with exporters estimating the sale of two million metric tons of soybeans to the country in 2022/23. From Oct. 7-13, 1.4 million tons of soybeans out of the total 1.9 million tons sold were delivered to China.

Supply Chains

Global shipping freights drop

  • Retailers and shippers are increasingly cancelling orders with diminished expectations for overall freight activities during a period which has historically marked the peak shipping season. Due to concerns regarding the strength of the economy, demand has fallen alongside freight rates as carriers are decreasing their capacity. Further, the Global Port Tracker reported a 4% cut in import projections for the second half of 2022.
    • Founder of Hackett Associates Ben Hackett commented on the situation, stating, “the growth in U.S. import volume has run out of steam, especially for cargo from Asia.”
  • Imports on container ships from China fell 18.3% from August to September this year, with many suppliers and retailers cancelling orders to avoid supply chain congestion and product shortages. According to the Association of American Railroads, rail volume was 4.8% lower in September than in the previous year. Similarly, FTR Transportation Intelligence recently released a statement expressing concerns over the possibility of a “trucking winter” due to weaker demand and falling transport prices. An October survey by Citi revealed that analysts anticipate a “weaker peak season and a large amount of uncertainty in terms of the magnitude of demand.”
  • Experts are increasingly concerned with the strength of the freight industry due to lower consumer demand coupled with uncertainty with the pending railroad union deal. On Oct. 10, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of the Way Employes Division (BMWED) rejected the tentative contract proposed by the White House last month, and only six of the 12 unions have approved the agreement. According to Union Pacific, the new agreement will clarify changes in travel policies for employees. BMWED agreed to delay potential strikes until five days after Congress reconvenes on Nov. 14. 

Low Mississippi water continues to disrupt trade

  • Water levels in the Mississippi River reached historic lows on Oct. 17, according to Hydrologist Jeff Graschel at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center. Low water flows have led to the stoppage of more than three ships this month, delaying barge traffic and causing significant disruptions in supply chains of U.S. exports.
    • Soy Transportation Coalition Executive Director Mike Steenhoek revealed that “this is a key way of getting soybeans and grain to our export markets at a very critical time of the year and this maritime highway is not operating as it normally does” which is having a series of adverse effects.
  • Barge rates decreased last week due to delayed shipments across the U.S., with the barge spot rate in St. Louis falling from $105.85 per ton to $72.58 per ton. According to shipping sources, about 60% of U.S. corn, soybean, and wheat exports exit the country along the Gulf Coast export terminals, many of which have experienced closures in the past couple of weeks. 

U.S. – EU

France voices outrage over EV tax credit

  • French President Emmanuel Macron recently voiced opposition to the U.S. tax credit for electric vehicles (EV), holding that “the Americans are buying American and pursuing a very aggressive strategy of state aid. The Chinese are closing their market. We cannot be the only area, the most virtuous in terms of climate, which considers that there is no European preference.” The President continued by asking the European Commission to support consumers and producers of electric vehicles produced in the EU. Along this line, he also announced expanded subsidies on electric vehicles to boost local production and encourage consumption by poorer consumers. In a meeting with Les Echos, President Macron highlighted France’s “industrial strategy in place for people to buy more and more French [cars].”
    • Trade policy expert at the Institut, Jacques Delors commented on the situation, stating “Macron plays the role of the bad cop, compared to the European Commission, which left Washington some political room to make adjustments.”
  • Several major importers of U.S. agricultural products, including South Korea, the EU, and China, previously voiced concerns regarding the implications of the tax credit, citing the discriminatory nature of the provision and the negative consequences associated with its implementation. At the recent Global Services Summit, Katherine Tai expressed a willingness to work with partners on their concerns surrounding the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act through open dialogues.

U.S. – UK

Rishi Sunak replaces Liz Truss as U.K. Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak, newly elected Prime Minister, United Kingdom
Rishi Sunak, newly elected Prime Minister, United Kingdom
  • On Oct. 24, former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak was voted to succeed Liz Truss as the next Prime Minister (PM) of the U.K. Both other front-runners, Leader in the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, and former PM Boris Johnson elected to drop out of the contest. Sunak’s rise to office comes at a critical moment in which the country’s economy is facing threats from rising inflation and a looming recession. Mr. Sunak previously expressed disapproval of Truss’s economic policy, holding that “Liz’s plans are promising the Earth to everybody. I don’t think you can have your cake and eat it.”
  • Mr. Sunak has been an advocate for fiscal conservatism with support to tackle climate change and increase immigration restrictions. The U.K. economy, which has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, will also face challenges with regards to increasing energy prices during the upcoming winter. Mr. Sunak will be tasked with uniting the increasingly polarized Conservative Party during his tenure and working to reverse the economic contraction through potential cuts in spending.
  • On Oct. 20, U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her formal resignation, claiming that she “cannot deliver the mandate on which [she] was elected by the Conservative Party.” Her leave from office follows the proposal of broadly contested fiscal policies and the introduction of a mini budget. Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer of the Labour Party called for a general election to replace Truss, requiring the victor to receive the support of at least 100 members of the Conservative Party to assume office. U.S. President Joe Biden also issued a statement on the Prime Minister’s resignation, thanking Ms. Truss for her partnership and stating, “The United States and the United Kingdom are strong Allies and enduring friends — and that fact will never change.”

U.S. – Haiti

Paused U.S. rice exports to Haiti

  • Haiti is experiencing rice import disruptions due to increased violence facing the country and threats to the transport of agricultural goods, including robberies of trucks, ships, and warehouses. The U.S. is the largest foreign customer for milled long grain rice and historically exports more than $200 million worth of rice per year to Haiti, according to Agri-Pulse.
  • The country is facing a severe hunger crisis with roughly 1.8 million civilians categorized under section four of the U.N.’s five-category hunger scale. The U.S. has been unable to ship rice to Haiti since August due to increasing turmoil in the country. CEO of Supreme Rice Bobby Hanks stated, “We were getting our rice off the ships, but we were having all of our trucks hijacked … It’s hard to get information out of [Haiti] right now. My best estimate is that all of our warehouses are empty. We have no rice to sell. I know a couple of our customers actually got their warehouses looted, so they have no rice to sell.”
  • The fuel shortages in Haiti have further exacerbated the problem. On Oct. 20, Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan discussed potential areas for collaboration to address the crisis in Haiti, according to a statement by the White House.

Trade Policy

Businesses call for disclosure changes in supply chains

  • Last week, a group of U.S. businesses in the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee called for the omission of certain import data that could be used to indicate potential labor rights abuses in supply chains. The executives submitted proposals that they said would modernize trade rules in a way that will expedite import and export processes. Key among them is a plan that would shield information from vessel manifests from public viewing. Under current regulations, information for rail, truck, and air cargo shipments is already confidential.
    • One of the goals outlined in CBP’s 21st Century Customs Framework is the promotion of transparency in global supply chains, support for ethical sourcing, and levelized opportunities for U.S. domestic manufacturers. Efforts to expand visibility in supply chains and the goods manufactured under forced labor has seen advances, with the U.S. Department of Labor publishing a report outlining the “2022 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor” at the beginning of October.

USDA announces debt relief plan

  • On Oct. 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the rollout of an $800 million plan in debt relief for U.S. farmers through funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack voiced his support for the plan, stating “now what we can be [is] someone who is in a position of providing help and assistance, which I think is consistent with the responsibilities of government.” Secretary Vilsack continued by highlighting the inclusiveness of the funding which will incorporate both small and large farmers into the relief efforts.
  • The fund will provide $52,000 in relief to farmers with direct loans, $101,000 for those who have been referred to the Department of the Treasury, and roughly $172,000 for guaranteed loans with high lending caps. The relief is intended to ease the burdens placed on farmers with regards to pressures, such as rising fuel prices and supply chain disruptions that have been contributing to higher production costs in U.S. agriculture.


WTO agriculture retreat

  • WTO members are scheduled to convene an agriculture retreat to address current challenges, including food security and the impact of climate change on the agricultural sector. Earlier this month, WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said, “this work could not be more urgent as people struggle with high food prices, and global agricultural production is confronted with climate risks, water scarcity and supply chain issues for fertilizer, seeds and other key inputs.” She noted a members’ retreat to focused on an agriculture agenda should uncover the real market challenges and factor these developments into approaches for future agriculture negotiations. At the WTO’s 12th Ministerial in June, members failed to coalesce around an agriculture work program as a principal outcome, despite strong acknowledgement of global food security challenges.

Deputy Director-General discusses trade remedies

  • On Oct. 14, WTO Deputy Director-General Angela Ellard addressed the Seoul International Forum on Trade Remedies to discuss trends in trade remedies and the overall decrease of new investigations in 2022. In her remarks, DDG Ellard highlighted the success of the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) and the important strides it made for food security and trade.
  • She also discussed the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies which “prohibits subsidies to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.” Namely, Ellard noted three key takeaways accomplished by the agreement.
    • First, the agreement has an extensive reach and pertains to “the harvesting of all wild living marine resources.”
    • Second, the agreement “imposes new and robust transparency requirements on all WTO Members.”
    • Lastly, the provision creates a fund to help less developed members reach their “obligations concerning subsidies, notifications and transparency, and fisheries management.”
  • Further, when describing the economic and trade environment, the DDG outlined the defining features of the current situation: “the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the environmental crisis, and the food security crisis.” Due to ongoing challenges, the WTO lowered its projections for world trade this month. However, DDG Ellard commended members for their continued efforts, citing decreased restrictions on trade as important steps to strengthen the global economy.