Banana DisputeEU, Latin American Countries End Banana Dispute – After a 20-year dispute, the European Union (EU), Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela and Peru have signed an agreement on banana import tariffs. Maximum tariff rates will decline to 114 euros per ton by January 1, 2017.

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China Joins RCEP – China is joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to create a 16-nation trade bloc along with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. China’s admission will be formally announced at the next ASEAN summit later this month. The RCEP will effectively lower trade barriers and customs duties across the region by 2015.

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Japan Looking to Join TPP – Japan is seeking entrance into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and will aid in creating a free-trade zone in the Asia-Pacific region. With Japan’s economic weight, the TPP could potentially surpass the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in global importance.

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Chile and India Expand FTA – Chile and India have agreed to replace their current partial scope agreement with a full free trade deal that is set to be in place within two years. The Chilean government is targeting new free trade agreements (FTA) in Asia aiming to boost the nation’s economic growth potential.

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