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Su-Lin Tan

Articles by Su-Lin Tan

China’s interest in DEPA digital trade pact raises questions about ‘domestic reforms’ and what could be the next big multilateral deal

November 4, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s bid to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) could put the country at the strategic forefront of world trade and provide an impetus for the formation of another major economic pact hot on the heels of other deals, such as the soon-to-launch Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), according to trade experts.China’s interest in joining the DEPA makes it the latest deal that China has applied to or is included in, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive…

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CPTPP trade agreement poised to be new powerhouse partnership in beleaguered global trade system

November 1, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]One of the world’s biggest multilateral trade agreements has the potential to become a global game-changer and supplant a beleaguered world trade system, trade experts say.That trade agreement – the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – was formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) when it was the centrepiece of the United States’ strategic pivot to Asia. But not only has the agreement survived the disappointment of a US withdrawal, it has…

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China-Australia wine dispute: WTO agrees to investigate China’s tariffs after Beijing blocked it last month

October 26, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The World Trade Organization (WTO) has agreed to establish a dispute-settlement panel to address Canberra’s complaint over Beijing’s imposition of anti-dumping duties on imports of wine from Australia, after a first request was blocked by China in September.During a meeting in Geneva on Tuesday, the WTO’s dispute-settlement body said the new panel will investigate the dispute, with 15 countries – including Canada, Britain and New Zealand – reserving a spot on the panel as third parties,…

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China’s bid to ‘weaponise trade’ crumbles as it turns to Australia for cotton, copper despite import ban

October 7, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has imported US$30 million worth of Australian copper concentrate and increased purchases of cotton from the country amid international sanctions over Xinjiang, despite unofficially banning the products in November last year, Chinese trade data shows.Chinese importers also snapped up the lion’s share of Australia’s bumper wheat harvest for the 2021-22 season, making it the country’s largest buyer just as global supplies fall.Global shortages and political tensions have forced China to…

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China steps up coal imports from Kazakhstan, South Africa and Mozambique amid supply crunch

October 5, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has been busy cultivating at least two new coal markets, Mozambique and South Africa, and expanding trade with smaller exporters, including Kazakhstan, Myanmar and Colombia, since the start of the year, as domestic demand for coal-fired power rises acutely amid an electricity crunch and continued ban on the commodity from Australia.On Monday, Zhejiang said it bought its first shipment of thermal coal from Kazakhstan, as the industrial province looks for new sources of supply, local media…

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China’s curbs on steel production, pollution and energy consumption send iron ore prices tumbling

September 21, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Investors are fire-selling mining stocks, iron ore traders are losing money, and smaller miners are pulling back shipments because of falling iron ore prices driven by tumbling Chinese demand.Even usual seasonal factors, such as lower Chinese steel demand ahead of winter, will have little impact on plunging prices that have sent the iron ore supply chain reeling, as the downward momentum caused by fundamental changes to China’s steel and iron ore demand gets under way, analysts say.Iron ore,…

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China-Australia relations: damage from trade bans limited as Australian exporters ‘successfully pivot’ to new markets

September 9, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The cost of China’s ban on a series of Australian goods has been almost negligible for some of the country’s exporters, indicating Australia’s dependence on the world’s second largest economy for trade has not been as devastating as some had predicted, a new report has found.Free markets have provided exporters “risk mitigation mechanisms”, including opportunities to redirect goods to other countries or switch to supplying other products, and financial insurance in the form of earlier bumper…

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China to ‘shift into hi-tech services gear’ over next 2 decades in WTO

September 4, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The focus of China’s WTO membership will shift to the trade in hi-tech services over the next two decades, moving from the traditional manufacturing that made China the “factory of the world”, according to one of the negotiators of the country’s accession.In the countdown to the 20th anniversary of China’s entry to the World Trade Organization in December, Chinese vice commerce minister Yi Xiaozhun told an economic forum in Beijing on Saturday that the country’s services sector had evolved from…

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China-Australia trade: iron ore miner Fortescue set earnings, shipment records in past financial year

August 30, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s ravenous appetite for iron ore has helped Australian miner Fortescue double its profits and achieve record shipments while making Australian shareholders and governments wealthier with a bumper dividend and royalty payouts.In its 2020-21 financial year results released on Monday, Fortescue said it had more than doubled its net profits to US$10.3 billion and unveiled total dividends of about US$8 billion.The miner, which ships almost all of its iron ore to China, said it reached its …

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US-China trade growth has Australia asking whether WTO can stop ‘economic coercion’

August 26, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Despite vowing to support its ally, Australia, and take a stand against China for perceived economic coercion, the United States has done little to advance its commitment amid a lack of formal mechanisms and international trade rules to facilitate this strategy.Instead, America is even reaping the benefits of Australia’s prolonged trade and political dispute with China by capitalising on an increase in Chinese demand for goods that Beijing has banned from down under.The list of Australian goods…

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US frozen beef exports to China surge, adding to Canberra-Beijing tensions but boosting trade deal

August 25, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The United States has leapfrogged Australia as the leading exporter of frozen beef to China, with Chinese trade data further highlighting the fallout from ongoing tensions between Canberra and Beijing while helping further the progress of the phase-one trade deal.Australia has traditionally exported more frozen beef to China, but since April its exports have plunged, with the gap between the two widening quickly in favour of the US.In April, the US shipped US$68 million worth of frozen beef to…

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Global trade recovery from coronavirus shock may have ‘peaked’, as WTO says outlook ‘overshadowed by downside risks’

August 19, 2021

“The rise in the barometer reflects both the strength of current trade expansion and the depth of the pandemic-induced shock in 2020,” the WTO said. Advertisement“The outlook for world trade continues to be overshadowed by downside risks, including regional disparities, continued weakness in services trade, and lagging vaccination timetables, particularly in poor countries.“Covid-19 continues to pose the greatest threat to the outlook for trade, as new waves of infection could easily undermine the recovery.”
05:27 ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics’ explained The surge in Delta variant outbreaks across the globe has ignited new concerns, with economists adjusting their outlooks for regions like Asia and North America that have regained trade momentum since the pandemic started

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Iron ore prices falling as China’s restrictions on steel production continue to bite and economic growth slows

August 17, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Anglo-Australian miner BHP has signalled that the heydays of extraordinary iron ore prices could be near their end amid China’s slowing steel production and its latest coronavirus outbreak.On Tuesday, the miner posted strong financial-year earnings on the back of high iron ore and copper prices just as iron ore prices dipped to near US$160 a tonne after striking a record high price of US$230 a tonne in May.“Medium-term, China’s demand for iron ore is expected to be lower than it is today, as…

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US calls for decoupling prove ‘sticky’ as China boosts share of global trade during pandemic

August 4, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Calls to decouple from China are becoming less of a reality as the country’s share of global trade soars, proving that cutting trade ties with the world’s second largest economy is a lot stickier than expected, analysts say.Despite the push for decoupling from Washington and some other Western countries, China looks likely to maintain its integral position in global supply chains after the coronavirus pandemic, said Louis Kuijs, head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics in new research…

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China-Australia relations: plunging wine exports don’t ‘spell doom and gloom’, but new markets crucial

July 27, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Only 60 per cent of Australia’s lost wine exports to China will be redirected to existing markets by 2025 unless Australia expends more effort into finding new markets, new research has shown.And the potential losses by then could be in the billions.Australian exporters will need to brace for the end of the bottled-wine trade with China as further modelling from Australia’s agricultural research arm, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (Abares) indicates…

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China-Australia relations: wine exports to mainland China are way down, but it remains the top market

July 21, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Australia’s increased wine shipments to new and existing markets were not able to offset the 45 per cent decline in sales to mainland China in the financial year that ended in June, industry group Wine Australia’s latest export report shows.While the decline in exports to mainland China was the main driver of an overall 10 per cent drop in Australia’s total wine exports to A$2.56 billion (US$394.7 million), a shortage in wine available for export – especially from three consecutive low-yielding…

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Chinese buyers abandon Australia’s housing market, still get blame for rising prices

July 16, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]At an auction of a house in the affluent Sydney suburb of Chatswood in 2015, a group of protesters stunned prospective bidders when they turned up with placards decrying foreign homebuyers.“Keep the Aussie dream alive,” the signs said. “We don’t want your dirty $$”.Earlier that year, residents of another affluent Sydney suburb, Lane Cove, were shocked to find in their letterboxes fliers titled “Stop the Chinese Invasion” blaming Chinese property buyers for pushing up home prices while claiming…

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China-Australia relations: ‘smearing China’ will backfire for trade partners, Beijing warns

July 7, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China says it will not do business with countries that undermine it, while analysts say that any “trade alliances” to neutralise China’s trade actions will not work in a free global market.Responding to a request for comment by the state-owned China News Service, which pointed to some analysts saying Canberra “should not blindly follow the US”, China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that countries which unjustly attack China would suffer the consequences, without elaborating.“We will not…

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Economic thought of China’s Xi Jinping to be immortalised in newly established research centre

July 6, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision for a new branch of economics is fast becoming a reality, with his party announcing the establishment of an economics research centre in his name.The decision follows discussions over such a centre that began a year ago, and analysts say the move is part of Xi’s strategy to further strengthen his rule.The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party – the party’s most authoritative body – on Monday gave the green light for a new “Xi Jinping Economic…

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China-Australia relations: WTO trade disputes rehash old question of whether China is a ‘market economy’

June 30, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s long-demanded recognition as a market economy has resurfaced in Beijing’s complaints to the World Trade Organization about anti-dumping duties that Canberra has imposed on Chinese wind towers, railway wheels and kitchen sinks, according to officially lodged documents.China and Australia both filed complaints at the WTO just one day apart this week, over mutual anti-dumping duties imposed on each other’s products, as the two nations continue their back-and-forth bilateral battle.In its…

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China-Australia relations: US coal continues to fill void left by ban on Australian exports, Canberra report says

June 29, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The United States continued shipping more coal to China in May – supporting an upward trend seen in recent months and filling the gap left by Australian coal banned by Chinese authorities, newly released trade data and reports show.About 720,000 tonnes of coal made its way from the US to China in May, increasing year on year, but declining from the 1 million tonnes China received from the US in April, according to the latest Chinese trade data.US coal shipments to China, which gradually began…

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China-Australia relations: ‘long list of claims’ may follow Beijing’s unprecedented WTO complaint

June 25, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s decision to lodge a complaint against Australia’s anti-dumping duties at the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a shift from Beijing’s “usual strategy” – a sign that the move is likely to be politically motivated, according to international trade lawyers.Although Australia initiated 85 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases against China between 1995 and 2020, China had not contested any of those cases involving its goods, including the three named in China’s complaint lodged with the WTO…

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Global minimum tax faces ‘long and rocky path’ to implementation after G20 endorsement

June 24, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A new global minimum corporate tax could take up to five years to come into effect if endorsed by the Group of 20 (G20), with countries such as India likely to be beneficiaries, tax consultants say.G20 finance leaders are set to endorse a global corporate tax floor aimed at preventing multinationals from shifting profits to jurisdictions where they pay little or no tax when they meet next month, according to a draft communique reviewed by Reuters.No tax rate was mentioned in the document, but…

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Taiwan should join Australia in trans-Pacific trade bloc, Canberra told

June 23, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Australian businesses and industry groups with connections to Taiwan are trying to coax Canberra into advocating for Taiwan’s membership into a large trans-Pacific trade block, spurred on by Britain becoming the first new country to begin talks to join the pact since its inception in 2018.Various Australia-based groups have submitted letters to a new Australian parliamentary inquiry looking into the merits of expanding the membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans…

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China’s appetite for Australian iron ore, beef and gold push May exports to 4-year high, despite trade tensions

June 23, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese demand for Australian iron ore, gold and agricultural products pushed Australia’s merchandise goods exports in May to a four-year high, new trade data shows.Australia exported A$39 billion (US$29.3 billion) in merchandise goods last month, of which China bought A$16 billion, or about 41 per cent, according to preliminary data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released on Wednesday.Despite ongoing political and trade tensions between the two countries, China is by far the…

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China-Australia relations: Port of Newcastle becomes second Australian port with Chinese interests to come under political fire

June 22, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Port charges levied on the vessels transporting coal out of the world’s biggest coal export port make up 1 per cent of the total cost of coal to importers and do not appear to substantiate any claims by local politicians that the half-Chinese-owned port could abuse its monopoly position and impose “punitive costs” to hurt Australian coal exports, according to all available data, including from an independent third party.Port of Newcastle is the second Australian port with Chinese interests to…

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China-Australia relations: wine is heading to Taiwan and other ‘non-traditional markets’, but Canberra says exports still way down

June 21, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Australia’s wine exports to new markets are increasing but nonetheless remain a drop in the ocean compared with the former output to the now-closed Chinese market. And to that end, Canberra is hoping to force a conversation with Beijing about its anti-dumping tariffs on Australian wine, having formally lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday.On Monday, Australian trade minister Dan Tehan said that sales of Australian wine in “non-traditional markets” rose during the…

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China-Australia relations: trading relationship still strong with growing divide between ‘rhetoric and reality’

June 8, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Australian businesses say there are signs the trade relationship with China will not collapse as exports and imports between the two countries continue to be healthy despite bans on certain products.China’s total imports from Australia in May rose more than 55 per cent from the previous month to US$13.6 billion, while exports rose just over 1 per cent to US$4.9 billion, according to Chinese data released on Monday.The growth is an extension of the buoyant trading pattern between the two…

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China’s CBD crackdown deals blow to emerging market using cannabis-derivative in cosmetics

June 4, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s formal crackdown and U-turn on the use of the cannabis-derived ingredient cannabidiol (CBD) in cosmetics production, while not surprising, represents a significant blow to the fledgling market that had quadrupled in the past year.Drug regulator, the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), last week banned the use of CBD – a compound found in the cannabis plant – in all cosmetics, formalising the draft proposed by the National Institutes for Food and Drug Control released in…

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US-China relations: Is Biden’s stimulus plan enough to stop China becoming the world’s leading economic power?

June 3, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]When US President Joe Biden proposed his US$1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to jump-start the world’s largest economy in January, he might also have had China on his mind.Two weeks after the package was approved by Congress in March, Biden said he would do everything in his power to make sure China did not become the world’s most powerful country.But will Biden’s stimulus be enough to stave off China’s rise or will it fall short?Since China’s post-pandemic economic growth is already…

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