Category: International


The renowned journalist Alistair Cooke famously wrote and broadcast 'Letter from America' from the US for a period of 58 years. It was a concise and learned spoken piece, around 15 minutes in length in which Mr Cooke delivered observations on developments in the US over the preceding week to a BBC audience in a manner intended to educate the listener and remove some of the confusion usually associated with the US. The 'letters' were subsequently broadcast to a much wider audience through the BBC World Service including into Australia and also formed the basis for television series.

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After several months of uncertainty and speculation, President Trump has finally announced his intention for the US to introduce additional tariffs on steel and aluminium imported into the US. To adapt a famous comment from former US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, it’s time to work out what we know we know, what we think we know and what we know we would like to know.

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was an ambitious 12 nation free trade agreement (FTA) which was entered into some time ago but had never been formally implemented even though its entry into force had been approved by New Zealand and Australia.

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Many of you would be aware of the tradition from Papal elections where white smoke from the Vatican indicates the election of a new Pope. In the trade context, we have white smoke from the World Economic Forum at Davos with reports on agreement on the terms of the Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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On 17 January 2018 a series of media stories announced that Australia had initiated the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 'disputes' process against Canada in relation to measures maintained by the Canadian Government and a number of Canadian provinces governing the retail sale of wine.

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Even as the world’s attention is drawn to events including the Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the announcement of a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and Japan, there also is growing acceptance of the importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) globally.

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The annual Australian International Business Survey (AIBS) has been released. This survey is the product of a collaboration between the University of Technology Sydney, Efic, Austrade and the Export Council of Australia (ECA). It is one of the country’s largest and most in-depth surveys of internationally-active Australian businesses.

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Those within the customs and international trade industry have been following ongoing narration on the imposition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on low-value transactions (LVT) closely.

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Much of the focus in the supply chain revolves around the physical logistics of moving goods to their final destination and the regulation of that movement. 

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A decision of the NSW District Court delivered on 16 October 2017 has created massive levels of concern in the freight forwarding industry as it led to an order for significant damages against a freight forwarding company based on bills of lading (BL) which it had issued but were used for purposes other than originally intended.

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