I've noticed a couple of "interesting" items the last few days which I lump together below:
The Republic of Mauritius -- held a two-day workshop on Trade Remedies "to ensure capacity-building of the private sector" regarding their brand new (passed June 2010), now ready for prime time Antidumping and Countervailing Measures Act. The workshop appears to be sponsored, at least in part, by the EU's TradeCom Facility. The TradeCom Facility is financed by the European Development Fund and provides trade-related technical assistance to ACP countries. It's not my money, but I'm not sure assisting an island nation of 1.2 million people establish AD/CVD laws is the best use of EU funds right now.
EU -- speaking of the EU, it recently released its five-year blueprint for an "assertive" trade policy. The blueprint is available here. According to the accompanying press release, the five-year plan proposes:
- to complete its ambitious negotiating agenda at the WTO and with major trading partners such as India and Mercosur. Completing this agenda would increase European GDP by more than one percent per year;
- to deepen trade relations with other strategic partners, such as the US, China, Russia and Japan, where the main focus will be on tackling non-tariff barriers to trade;
- to help European businesses access global markets by setting up a mechanism to redress the balance between open markets in the EU (for example in public procurement) and more closed markets with our trading partners;
- to start negotiating comprehensive investment provisions with some of our key trading partners;
- to make sure trade is fair, and our rights are properly enforced, translating promise on paper into concrete benefits;
- to ensure trade remains inclusive so that the benefits go to the many, not the few. We will spell out how trade can continue to support development as we set up a new framework of rules for trade preferences for developing countries.
Argentina -- imposed antidumping duties of 295% against malleable iron pipe fittings from China. Brave. Argentina only recently resumed selling soybean oil to China, which had imposed a ban in April 2010 in response to Argentine antidumping duties against various Chinese products. Vamos, vamos, Argentina!