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EMEA Trade Weekly: Brexit, FTAs, Trade Restrictions


Europe and CIS

UK looking to prevent disruption of trade with U.S.
At the first meeting of a U.S.-UK trade and investment working group, Trade Secretary Liam Fox said Britain wants to ensure that business relations with the U.S. are not disrupted amid the Brexit process and will seek negotiations on an ambitious bilateral trade agreement. Although formal negotiations are not allowed until the UK officially leaves the EU, Fox said early discussions will focus on providing commercial continuity for businesses on both sides.

Mercosur looks to finalise trade deal with EU by year end
Observers say the two sides will likely only be able to reach a political agreement by the time of the World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting in December and that concluding a full trade agreement will take more time. The next round of talks is scheduled for October in Brasilia.

U.S. sanctions on Russia threaten European companies
A bill approved by the House of Representatives that tightens sanctions on Russia adds restrictions to banks’ and energy companies’ ability to raise capital and targets state-owned entities in the rail, shipping, metals, and mining sectors. There is concern that the bill could lead to U.S. fines on EU firms that take part in Russian energy projects and affect Europe’s energy supply and infrastructure.

[Global Trade Review]
EU concerned about effects of potential U.S. restrictions on steel trade
One concern is that with China already largely cut out of the U.S. market, any restrictions would primarily affect shipments from other major suppliers, including the EU. Another concern is that suppliers from affected countries could shift exports from the U.S. to the already overcrowded EU market.

[Metal Miner]
CJEU decision in AD case involving bicycles from China

[Court of Justice of the EU]


China agrees to duty-free imports from Gambia
The agreement will eliminate tariffs on goods imported into China from The Gambia but does not include reciprocal treatment.
The Point]
Kenya-Tanzania trade spat resumes
Just days after the two sides signed an agreement to remove trade restrictions that have cost traders billions of shillings, Kenyan companies say some products still cannot access the Tanzanian market. Tanzania is reportedly imposing additional conditions on imports from Kenya regarding labelling, clearance, and standards.

[The East African]

Middle East

Western sanctions could be opportunity for Iran-Russia cooperation, official says

[Tasnim News Agency]
Oman ready to become regional import/export hub
The country has invested billions of dollars in the construction of ports along its coast and developed an electronic customs system to encourage global importers and exporters to use those ports.

[Middle East Monitor]