Anne Petterd


After two years of negotiations, Australia and Hong Kong signed two agreements on 26 March 2019: the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (AHFTA), and a new Investment Agreement (IA), replacing an initial one signed in 1993, which was the basis of the claims made in the unsuccessful challenge of Australia’s plain packaging laws in 2012-2015. Both jurisdictions have been active in FTA negotiations. This is the fourth trade deal signed by the Hong Kong government…

Effective 1 May 2019, the list of strategic goods being transshipped in or in transit in Singapore needing a strategic goods permit will be expanded. Currently, under the Strategic Goods (Control) Act (“SGCA”) strategic goods permits must be obtained when strategically controlled military and dual-use goods are being exported from, transshipped in or brought in transit in Singapore. For trade facilitation, the regime also provides strategic goods permit exemptions when certain items are transshipped or…

CPTPP, trade, entry into force, Japan, Trade WareIn the midst of the trade war between the United States and China there is an opening up of trade in Asia–the entry into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on December 30, 2018, 60 days after the date of the 6th entrant’s ratification. The members who will begin receiving CPTPP benefits beginning on December 30 are the six ratifying members: Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore.  As a result of the efforts of Japan and the other members, the landmark trade deal is taking shape and influencing the global trade landscape.  As the trade war tariffs impact investment and push supply chains out of China, the CPTPP will attract trade and provide incentives for the consolidation of supply chains in the member states and the Asia Pacific region. 

Shifts in supply chains are becoming more common as the tit-for-tat tariffs imposed between the US and China continue on without an end in sight. And China and the US are not the only countriesAgreements, international trade, trade war, trade tensions, contracts, producers, sanctions, trade imposing increased tariffs as well as non-tariff barriers to trade.  Other countries that have a history of higher tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade, may also be looking to make trade policy adjustments in order to adapt to the changing trade landscape.

How should suppliers respond?

Both China and the US and other governments have relatively quick processes in place for imposing new tariffs , however, most product suppliers need time to assess their options and re-plan their manufacturing processes and supply chains in order to respond to these measures and avoid the higher duty rates. Similarly, governments can also nimbly remove the higher tariffs, but product suppliers often have supply chains that cannot be changed as quickly and they need to determine the risk associated with creating new supply chain routes. It is not just product suppliers who are impacted. New tariffs disrupt many businesses in the supply chain and impact decisions made on product sourcing, routes to market and manufacturing.