Trade - Global Security

Tariff fight over – for now

Less than three hours before Canada was set to announce an estimated $3.6 billion in countervailing tariffs, the U.S. agreed 15 September to scrap President Donald Trump’s 10 percent import tariffs on Canadian aluminum. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said the reversal is a sign of common sense in Washington, but the U.S. administration promises monthly reassessments. [node:read-more:link]

New Iran and Venezuela sanctions

The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on 27 individuals in Iran’s defense ministry and elsewhere in its nuclear program, a move rejected by key European allies as well as Russia and China. It also imposed new sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, accusing him of having conspired with Iran “to flout the UN arms embargo.” [node:read-more:link]

Tension at UN General Assembly

U.S. President Donald Trump,  whose own handling of COVID-19 is under scrutiny as his country’s deaths from the pandemic pass the 200,000 mark, used his speech to a mainly virtual UN General Assembly today to demand that China be held “accountable” for having “released this plague on to the world.” China has dismissed Trump’s accusations as a distraction and Chinese President Xi Jinping shifted the exchange to the rising military tensions between the countries by insisted that China has “no intention to enter a Cold War.” [node:read-more:link]

Trudeau challenges UN

An already shaky global order will deteriorate further if leaders fail to come together on human rights, climate change and other challenges, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned. “The world is in crisis, and not just because of the last few months,” he said in a recorded message to the UN General Assembly. “Not just because of COVID-19, but because of the last few decades -- and because of us.” [node:read-more:link]

Rare earth minerals targeted

An executive order by President Donald Trump is designed to increase domestic U.S. production of rare earth minerals while reducing dependence on China. The order states that the current situation “constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat . . . to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.” [node:read-more:link]

China to sanction U.S. aero industry

The Chinese foreign ministry is planning to impose sanctions on Boeing’s defence division?, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and “relevant American individuals” for supplying weapons to Taiwan. However, a ministry spokesman gave no further details. [node:read-more:link]

USCG cutter heading north

Rather deploying to Antarctica to support an annual resupply mission to the U.S. research stations, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Polar Star will be in the Arctic this winter in what the USCG says is a mission to protect maritime sovereignty and security. “The Arctic is . . . a region of growing national importance,” says VAdm Linda Fagan, commander of USCG Pacific. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. move to protect sensitive sectors

The aerospace and security sectors are among 17 chosen by the British government for tighter regulation which would block foreign direct investment by potentially hostile interests. The measure is part of a National Security and Investment Bill designed to review mergers, acquisitions and other considered a threat to national security. [node:read-more:link]

“After you” on Iran nuclear program

Iran will not accept preconditions on its nuclear program from the incoming U.S. administration of President-elect Joe Biden, saying the U.S. must rejoin a 2015 multinational agreement before any new talks. Biden has said he will rejoin the agreement and and lift sanctions if Tehran returns to “strict compliance” but Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has counted that the U.S. has its own “commitments” to implement. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. extends China blacklist

Seventy-seven companies, mainly in China, have been added to a U.S. list of companies the Department of Commerce considers a threat. More than 275 Chinese companies were already on the list and two of the most prominent additions are drone manufacturer DJI and SMIC, a chip manufacturer the U.S. says has worked on military programs. [node:read-more:link]

NAFTA 2.0 clears Congress

The U.S. Senate voted 89-10 on final congressional approval 16 January of a revised North American Free Trade Agreement, rebranded by President Donald Trump as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Trump is expected to sign the bill next week.  [node:read-more:link]

Canada-China relationship fragile

Dominic Barton, Canada’s ambassador to China, told a special parliamentary committee meeting in Ottawa 05 February that in the immediate aftermath of a senior Huawei executive being detained in Canada and China’s arrest of two Canadians, there was virtually no dialogue between the two countries. Rather, he said, the anger on both sides was such that the first conversation was probably one of his most unpleasant experiences as a diplomat. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. bans visitors from EU

Effective at midnight 13 March, travel to the U.S. from Europe is being prohibited for 30 days in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19. Announcing the initiative 11 March, President Donald Trump said the restrictions would be subject to change depending on “conditions on the ground.” [node:read-more:link]

New Canadian envoy in Washington

Career diplomat Kirsten Hillman was confirmed 26 March as Canada’s new Ambassador to the U.S. A former assistant deputy minister at Global Affairs Canada, she was appointed Deputy Ambassador in 2017 and had been acting ambassador since the resignation last summer of her predecessor, David MacNaughton. Hillman was central in the 13 months of negotiations for the new North American trade pact. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. 5G strategy confirmed

A seven-page document released by the U.S. administration sets out its strategy for 5G telecommunications infrastructure “arm-in-arm with closest partners and allies.” Its release marks the administration’s initial move to meet requirements in new legislation President Donald Trump signed earlier this week. [node:read-more:link]


Subscribe to RSS - Trade - Global Security