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EMEA Trade Weekly: TTIP, Brexit, Autos, Customs



U.S. open to resuming TTIP negotiations
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said “it makes sense” to continue the talks, which were suspended when Donald Trump was elected as president on a campaign ticket that went heavy on protectionist talk and policies. The negotiations have also had to contend with serious civil society opposition and fallout from the EU-Canada FTA ratification process.

EU-India trade deal possible after Brexit
Some analysts believe Brexit may make it easier for the EU to conclude an agreement since it will no longer have to take account of British concerns. Germany’s business lobby is urging the EU to restart negotiations that have been stalled for years over disagreements on agriculture, generic drugs, and worker movement.

Britain to suffer net economic loss from Brexit
One recent study found that the services industry alone stands to lose up to €41 billion per year from reduced access to EU markets, outweighing Britain’s net budget contribution to the EU by three to one.

EU Parliament agrees on more trade concessions for Ukraine
In a vote amending a Commission proposal, MEPs ensured that (1) tomatoes, wheat, and urea do not enjoy further quota preferences than those outlined in the bilateral free trade agreement; (2) the fight against corruption becomes a condition for granting Ukraine preferential treatment; and (3) industry representatives, not just member states, may request a study on possible measures protecting EU producers.

[European Parliament]
Russia cancels some economic restrictions on Turkey
A decree signed on 31 May by President Putin lifts a ban on Turkish construction and tour firms doing business in Russia and reverses a prohibition against Turkish companies bringing new workers from Turkey into Russia. Bans on imports of tomatoes from Turkey and on visa-free travel for all Turks remain in place.

[Daily Sabah]
Council agrees to reform type-approval and market surveillance for motor vehicles
The Council approach, which would have to be negotiated with the European Parliament before becoming law, would strengthen (1) the quality of testing that allows a car to be placed on the market through improved technical services, (2) market surveillance to control the conformity of cars already available on the market, and (3) the oversight of the type-approval process.

[Council of the EU]

Middle East

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, others cut diplomatic ties with Qatar
The decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, and the Maldives was reportedly made to protect national security in the wake of allegations that Qatar is harbouring terrorist groups that aim to create instability in the region. Qatari officials responded that the measures are “unjustified and based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact.”

Saudi Arabia seeks public feedback on draft VAT law
Comments on the imposition of the five percent value-added tax, which is slated to take effect 1 January 2018, are due by June 29.

[Arabian Business]
Qatar Development Bank signs MOU with Dubai Exports to promote trade

[The Peninsula]


Nigerian Senate approves customs reform bill
The new bill would substantially enhance revenue generation, facilitate trade through the full implementation of modern customs procedures, ensure pre-shipment and post-shipment inspection at point of origin and destination to reduce imports of dangerous items, and support the use of modern information technology systems and the application of risk management.

[Business Day]
East African Community to focus on consolidating single customs territory
Other key priority areas earmarked for implementation under the EAC’s 2017-2018 budget include infrastructure development, further liberalisation of the free movement of skilled labour, and enhancement of regional industrial development through investment in key priority sectors.

[The Citizen]