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EU, Japan conclude world’s largest FTA
“The deal, combining the 28-nation bloc and the world’s third largest economy, will remove EU tariffs of 10 percent on Japanese cars and the 3 percent rate typically applied to car parts. For the EU, it will scrap Japanese duties of some 30 percent on EU cheese and 15 percent on wines as well as allowing it to increase its beef and pork exports and gain access to large public tenders in Japan.”

EU outlines plans for “no deal” Brexit
A European Commission document “notes that regulatory checks and tariffs would need to be applied ‘at borders with the UK,’ warning that transport between the United Kingdom and the European Union would be severely impacted.”
[The Parliament Magazine]

UK government defeats EU customs union bid
“The government has survived an attempt by pro-EU Conservative MPs to change its post-Brexit trade strategy. The MPs wanted the UK to join a customs union if it does not agree a free-trade deal with the EU. But the government, which says a customs union would stop it striking new trade deals, won by 307 to 301.”

EU-Mercosur trade pact could be agreed in early September
“Speaking with reporters following two days of talks with the EU, [Argentina foreign minister Jorge] Faurie said that talks with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström had ‘achieved a critical mass.’ ‘We will be negotiating until the end of July before returning to Brussels in late August with a view to signing a political agreement,’ said Faurie.”

EU advances effort to shield European firms from U.S. sanctions on Iran
EU foreign ministers recently approved a so-called blocking statute, which “makes American court decisions and administrative actions regarding sanctions on Iran void in Europe. It also prohibits Europe-based firms from discontinuing their business ties to Iran due to foreign sanctions.”

Middle East

Dubai ranked among top five global shipping hubs
“Dubai made the top 5 spot in the index for the first time, behind Singapore at number one and Hong Kong and London in second and third place. Shanghai ranked fourth in terms of advanced shipping services and fast-growing logistical solutions.”
[Logistics Middle East]

Saudi car imports jump after ban on women driving lifted
[Saudi Gazette]


South African president urges Nigeria to sign African trade pact
“The AfCFTA is a project driven by the African Union to eliminate tariffs on intra-Africa trade of goods and services and create a single continental market with free movement of business people. It will only become effective once the parliaments of at least 22 members ratify it.”