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International: WTO Considers Waiving Certain Intellectual Property Protections for the Prevention, Containment, and Treatment of COVID-19

(Mar. 24, 2021) At a meeting on March 10-11, 2021, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Council (TRIPS Council) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) continued its consideration of a waiver from the implementation, application, and enforcement of several sections of the TRIPS Agreement in relation to the prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19. […]

International: World Trade Organization Addresses Trade Disputes between Major Trading Powers, Future of Global Trade Governance

(Oct. 19, 2020) In September 2020, at the World Knowledge Forum, an event aimed at “highlighting the importance of knowledge sharing towards a balanced prosperity of the global economy,” Deputy Director-General (DDG) Alan Wolff of the World Trade Organization (WTO) addressed the topics of trade disputes between major trading powers and the future of global […]

Australia: WTO Appellate Body Rejects Appeal Regarding Plain Packaging of Tobacco

(June 18, 2020) On June 9, 2020, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Appellate Body issued its reports on cases brought by Honduras and the Dominican Republic against Australia’s tobacco plain packaging requirements. (Australia — Certain Measures Concerning Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Other Plain Packaging Requirements Applicable to Tobacco Products and Packaging (DS435 and DS441).) The […]

Chile; New Zealand; Singapore: Digital Trade Agreement Signed

(June 17, 2020) On June 12, 2020, the governments of Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore signed the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) in an online ceremony, with e-signature tools utilized. Negotiations for the agreement were launched in May 2019 when the trade ministers of the three countries met and “discussed ways to maximize the contributions that […]

New Zealand; Singapore: New Declaration on Trade in Essential Goods for Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic

(Apr. 17, 2020) On April 15, 2020, the governments of New Zealand and Singapore “launched a new trade initiative to ensure supply chain connectivity and the removal of blockages to trade in a list of essential products that includes medicines, medical and surgical equipment.” The initiative builds on a joint statement by the two countries in […]

International: Negotiations Underway at WTO for Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies

(Dec. 6, 2019) On November 15, 2019, members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held discussions on the difficulties they have encountered in curbing harmful fisheries subsidies through international trade negotiations, as well as on the potential ways such negotiations might be successful in the future. Underpinning this work, the WTO negotiating group has endorsed […]

Italy: Legislation in the Event of Brexit Takes Effect

(May 21, 2019) On March 23, 2019, new legislation addressing the potential effects of Brexit entered into force in Italy. (Decree-Law No. 22 of March 25, 2019, Urgent Measures to Ensure Safety, Financial Stability and the Integrity of Markets as well as the Protection of the Health and Freedom of Residence of Italian Citizens and […]

New Zealand: Agreements with Five Countries Exclude Compulsory Investor-State Dispute Settlement Processes

(Mar. 26, 2018) On March 9, 2018, the New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, announced that the government has signed “side letters” with five other countries that are also party to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, also referred to as TPP11) that exclude compulsory investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) […]

Philippines/Indonesia: Agreement on Border Issues

(Feb. 28, 2018) Following a meeting of high-ranking officials of the Philippines and Indonesia, it was announced on January 10, 2018, that the two countries had agreed to a number of measures aimed at increasing trade and curbing terrorism. (Lilian Mellejor, PH, Indonesia to Intensify Cross-Border Cooperation, PHILIPPINES NEWS AGENCY (PNA) (Jan. 10, 2018).) The area […]

ASEAN/Hong Kong: Negotiations Concluded on Free Trade and Investment Agreements

(Oct. 13, 2017) On September 9, 2017, Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced that they had concluded negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a related Investment Agreement. (Press Release, Hong Kong and ASEAN Conclude Free Trade Agreement Negotiations, Trade and Industry Department of the Government of the Hong Kong […]