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Cuba, Dominican Republic set up WTO fight over Australia tobacco law

Attempts by tobacco-producing nations to sink a landmark law in Australia requiring plain packaging for cigarettes and cigars gained pace Tuesday as Cuba and the Dominican Republic stepped up their fight at the World Trade Organization. The WTO said that its disputes settlement body would on April 25 hear formal requests from both countries for the establishment of a panel to assess whether the Australian legislation breaches the rules of global commerce.

Ireland's official trade surplus widens in February

Ireland raised its trade surplus by 4.0 percent in February from the January level as exports grew and imports fell in the country's fightback from crisis, official data showed on Monday. A trade surplus is one of the main factors of growth in an economy, and eurozone nation Ireland is counting heavily on exports to fuel its economic expansion since emerging from an international bailout programme in December.

Britain urges 'further sanctions' on Russia over Ukraine

Britain called Monday for "further" European Union sanctions against Russia in response to its "dangerous" escalation of the crisis in eastern Ukraine. "I will be arguing today that further sanctions have to be the response to Russia's behaviour," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers. "There do have to be consequences," Hague said, adding that the events of the last 48 hours are "clearly a further escalation of the crisis ... and clearly a very dangerous one."

WTO raises outlook for global trade in good sign for economy

Global commerce is set to grow by 4.7 percent this year, the World Trade Organization said on Monday, with recovery in rich economies expected to mitigate risks in developing nations. The WTO previously had forecast that trade would expand by 4.5 percent in 2014, up from an estimated rate of 2.1 percent in 2013. So the latest forecast points to substantially more than a doubling of the growth achieved last year. Trade is a key measure of the health of the global economy which it both stimulates and reflects.

World trade picture improves but 2014 still below trend: WTO

By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization slightly raised its 2014 forecast for growth in global goods trade to 4.7 percent on Monday, saying it did not expect a return to the historical trend level of 5.3 percent until 2015. "If GDP forecasts hold true, we expect a broad-based but modest upturn in the volume of world trade in 2014 and further consolidation of this growth in 2015," WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo told a news conference in Geneva.

WTO raises 2014 global trade growth forecast to 4.7%

Global commerce is set to grow by 4.7 percent this year, the World Trade Organization said on Monday, as a recovery in rich economies is expected to help balance out risks in developing nations. The WTO previously had forecast that trade would expand by 4.5 percent in 2014, up from an estimated rate of 2.1 percent the previous year. jwf/nl/hd

Korea seeks to remove non-tariff barriers set by its main trade partners

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- The trade ministry said Sunday that it is seeking ways to remove non-tariff barriers set by its main trade partners on concerns they may sap Seoul's overseas shipments. China topped the list with 35 cases of non-tariff barriers, followed by the U.S. with 31 and Japan with 31, according to the trade ministry and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). The number of the European Union's non-tariff barriers reached 29, trailed by Indonesia with 22 cases and Vietnam with 19.

U.S. proposes abolishing tariffs on Japanese autos over 30 yrs

The United States has proposed eliminating its tariffs on Japanese motor vehicles over 30 years in bilateral talks related to a wider Pacific free trade pact, but Japan has rejected the proposal as the period for tariff elimination is unusually long, sources close to the matter said Friday. The proposal was made as Japan is resisting pressure to eliminate its tariffs on U.S. beef in the bilateral talks related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade liberalization negotiations.

Shock fall in industry output, exports deepen India's economic gloom

By Rajesh Kumar Singh and Manoj Kumar NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's economic gloom deepened on Friday with a surprise contraction in industrial output, a fall in exports and a jump in the trade deficit, underscoring the enormity of challenges awaiting a new government that takes over in May. Economic growth in Asia's third largest economy has almost halved to below 5 percent in the past two years on weak investments and consumer demand, in the worst slowdown for the south Asian nation since the 1980s.

Japan, U.S. trade chiefs to meet again next week over TPP

Japan's minister in charge of ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks said Friday he will meet with his U.S. counterpart in Washington next week, as they accelerate efforts to solve outstanding issues before a Japan-U.S. summit later this month.
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