Trade - Global Security

Energy minerals market soars

Volatile prices, supply chain snarls and geopolitical tensions remain a challenge in global market for minerals crucial to development of “clean energy” options. Reporting this today, the International Energy Agency said that the global value of the market for minerals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper has doubled since 2017. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. Navy ships in Vietnam

A U.S. aircraft carrier and two guided missile cruisers visited Vietnam June 26, a rare port call that comes as the U.S. and China vie for influence in Southeast Asia. China’s sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea have led to increasing friction with its neighbour and other countries in the region. [node:read-more:link]

Coke and meth demand booming

The UN says cocaine demand and supply are booming and methamphetamine trafficking is expanding beyond established markets. In annual report released June 25, it says the number of people taking drugs rose by 23% to 296 million in 2021, the latest year for which data are available, and that only half the increase is due to population growth. [node:read-more:link]

Emissions tax shortfall in Paris

A two-day meeting of political and financial authorities ended today in Paris without coming to an agreement to tax the international shipping industry for its carbon emissions. However, the notion of potentially generating $100 billion in annual revenues could be adopted at a July meeting of the UN International Maritime Organization. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. buying Russian uranium

U.S. companies pay approximately $1 billion a year to Russia’s state-owned Rosatom for enriched uranium needed to fuel reactors in its expanding power grid. The U.S. used to dominate the market but that began to decline decades ago, partly due to an agreement to buy cheaper Russian uranium after the Soviet Union collapsed, the result being that Russia has cornered half the market. [node:read-more:link]

West Coast ports ranked poorly

The Port of Vancouver ranked second-last on a global list of 348 ports compiled by the World Bank and S&P Global Markets and based on the length of time ships have to wait for unloading last year due to inadequate infrastucture. The Port of Prince Rupert ranked seventh-last and two California terminals also finished in the bottom 14. [node:read-more:link]

China not wanted in trade bloc?

A government document released in response to an Access to Information Act request suggests that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants China excluded from a Pacific Rim trade bloc. China has been trying since 2019 to join and while Trade Minister Mary Ng says Canada would be receptive if China improves its labout and environmental standards, the document quotes the PM as saying last fall that high standards could be helpful if they hinder China’s chances. [node:read-more:link]

Saudis to cut oil output

In a bid to prop up global crude oil prices, Saudi Arabia announced June 4 that it will cut daily production by at least 11% to some nine million barrels in July atop a broader OPEC deal to limit supply. “This market needs stabilisation,” said its energy minister. A UN database indicates that Canada imported some US$2.77 billion worth of Saudi crude in 2022. [node:read-more:link]

New era of Cuba-Russia relations

Russian officials and business leaders signed deals with their Cuban counterparts at a forum in Havana last week, including cooperation on refurbishing tourism infrastructure and a steel mill as well as committing to deliveries of Russian wheat and crude oil. Trade Minister Ricardo Cabrisas called the agreements “a milestone in the history of our bilateral and business ties.” [node:read-more:link]

EU fines Meta €1.2 billion

The European Union has fined Facebook’s Meta, €1.2 billion for how it transferred subscribers’ data between the U.S. and Europe. The California-based company says it will appeal what is the largest fine imposed under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation privacy law. [node:read-more:link]

China chips away at U.S.

Idaho-based Micron Technology, the largest U.S. memory chip manufacturer, has been banned from major Chinese infrastructure projects on grounds that it poses “serious network security risks.” It is the first major retaliation for a series of similar U.S. measures against China’s chip sector. [node:read-more:link]

PM in Hiroshima for G7

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Japan today for the opening of a G7 summit in Hiroshima. Japanese PM Fumio Kishida chose his hometown for the meeting to highlight the risk of a nuclear confrontation as Russia ramps up its rhetoric about Ukraine and its allies. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. envoy backtracks on accusation

Reuben Brigety, the U.S. ambassador to South Africa, has “apologized unreservedly” for claiming that the country exported weapons to Russia, the host foreign ministry said today. Brigety said on social media that he was “grateful for the opportunity to […] correct any misimpressions left by my public remarks” which prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to order a judicial inquiry. [node:read-more:link]

Putin pushes back economically

A suggestion last October that the European Union could sell seized Russian assets to help to rebuild Ukraine has prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to take what he says is temporary control of the Russian subsidiaries of German and Finnish energy companies. Putin’s decree today suggested that the EU notion is “unfriendly and contrary to international law.” [node:read-more:link]


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