EU, South American countries agree on draft free trade treaty
11 July 2019 | 3:11 pm
The European Union and the Mercosur bloc of South American countries have agreed on the draft text of a free-trade deal. Both sides have been negotiating the agreement for almost 20 years.
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Cigarettes in Indonesia are already among the world's cheapest, but in times of economic hardship, a boom in illegal cigarettes is continuing.
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In an interview with FRANCE 24, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai insisted the country was not in a new Cold War with China despite lingering tensions over trade. She also stressed that the US was keen to repair ties with France and Europe after a recent Australian submarine dispute, which led to the first-ever recall of a French ambassador to the United States.
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Beijing is seeking the elimination of US tariffs, while Washington sees the discussions as a test of bilateral engagement between the two major economic powers.
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Less than a year since the EU and UK struck a post-Brexit deal, the sides are apparently preparing for a trade war. Tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol have pushed things to the brink.
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces a comprehensive in-principle free trade agreement with the UK, arrived at after 16 months of talks. London said the deal ends tariffs on British exports such as clothing, footwear, ships and bulldozers. It estimated that trade between the two countries last year was worth £2.3 billion ($3.2 billion, 2.7 billion euros).
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The two countries join the ASEAN nations, China, South Korea, and Japan. The pact will cover 30% of the world's population and 53% of last year's exports.
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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke to his Chinese counterpart amid rising international concern over Beijing's recent military incursions into Taiwan's air defense zone.
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For years, Vietnamese children and teenagers have been disappearing in Germany. Those responsible are unscrupulous human traffickers whose networks span continents. The young Vietnamese are smuggled into Germany via Russia and Eastern Europe. Many end up in the world of crime, working as slaves for the Vietnamese mafia. This film tells their story. One high-ranking investigator describes the phenomenon as "modern slavery". This is how many children and young people are brought from Vietnam to Germany: They are crammed into vans, loaded into refrigerated trucks, on the road for months, held along the way in abandoned warehouses or apartments. They are beaten, raped, exploited, they fear for their lives. They are lured by the prospect of a better life, as promised to their families by the criminals.
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More Afghans facing extreme poverty are turning to opium production as a means of survival. Despite promises to the contrary, the Taliban are unlikely to oppose cultivation of the narcotic cash crop.
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Africa's free trade area started a year ago amid much fanfare. But its impact has been low amid the coronavirus pandemic and an economic downturn on the continent.
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In an interview with DW, the president of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, confirms her commitment to EU integration and NATO. She also emphasizes the country's full support of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers war crimes court.
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Australia's vocal criticism of China's human rights record has long angered Beijing. When Canberra called for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus in 2020, Beijing slapped high tariffs on some Australian products.
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Pension problems: French workers strike over government's retirement plans. As many as 2.8 million people hit the streets across France on Tuesday in a second day of walkouts designed to protest the latest pension reform proposals.