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EU adopts rebalancing measures in reaction to US steel and aluminium tariffs
“The list of US imports that will now face an extra duty at the EU border includes steel and aluminium products, agricultural goods and a combination of various other products.”
[European Commission]

EU and Australia launch FTA talks 
“The opening of talks with Australia … follows the conclusion of negotiations with Japan last year and Mexico this past spring, as well the entry into force of the EU-Canada trade agreement in September of last year.”
[EU Reporter]

EU extends sanctions against Russia for a year
“The sanctions include bans on imports of products from Crimea into the EU; direct investment into the region, meaning that Europeans and EU-based companies are barred from buying real estate or entities in Crimea, and cannot finance companies or supply related services to that are owned or operate on the peninsula. … Exports of goods and technologies to Crimean companies or for use in Crimea by the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors and related to the exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources have also been embargoed.”
[New Europe]

Mercosur looking for other FTA partners as EU talks drag on
“The last round of EU-Mercosur talks in April ended with limited progress and finger-pointing about who was holding up a deal. Key gaps remain on how far to open each other’s markets to industrial goods and farm products, such as Latin American beef and EU cars and dairy.”

Middle East

Turkey starts implementing retaliatory tariffs against U.S.
“The tariffs will be imposed on imports of U.S. coal, paper, walnuts/almonds, tobacco, unprocessed rice, whisky, automobiles, cosmetics, machinery equipment and petrochemical products.”
[Hurriyet Daily News]

EU urged to end trade in Israel diamonds
“A global coalition of organisations working for justice and peace in Palestine have called on the EU to seek the suspension of Israel from the Kimberley Process and a ban on Israel diamond exports at next week ’s meeting of the diamond regulatory body in Antwerp.”
[Middle East Monitor]


Congo Republic joins OPEC
“The government of Congo said in January that it wanted to join OPEC as it moves ahead with new projects that could help it become sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest oil producer with a target of 350,000 barrels per day this year.”

Somalia, Ethiopia to jointly invest in four Red Sea seaports