Trade - Global Security

Japan aims to protect oil imports

The Japanese government is preparing to send its own assets to ensure safe transport of oil through Middle East chokepoints, but not as part of a U.S.-led coalition. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says that while his country, which has maintained relations with Iran, will cooperate with the U.S., has “decided to pursue our own measures separately.” [node:read-more:link]

EU faces new U.S. tariffs

Some $7.5 billion on additional tariffs on imports from the European Union have been announced by the U.S. as part of an ongoing spat centered around Airbus and Boeing. The World Trade Organization cleared the way for the tariffs when it ruled that the EU had violated trade rules by supporting Airbus. [node:read-more:link]

China-Russia cooperation

Faced with external pressures on access to export markets, China and Russia are extending their economic, military and technological ties. The apparent appeal on the Chinese side is Russia’s military engineering and mathematical skills while in the other directiion it’s Chinese products, services and experience which could help Russia curb western imports. [node:read-more:link]

Tariffs threaten global trade

For the third consecutive year, the World Trade Organization has cut its global trade growth forecast for 2019, to the weakest level in a decade. It also warns that piling on tariffs in an uncertain economic environment could spark a “destructive cycle of recrimination.” It expects the volume of merchandise trade to rise 1.2 per cent this year and 2.7 per cent in 2020, compared with three per cent growth in 2018. The WTO had previously predicted 2.6 and 3.0 per cent gains this year and next. [node:read-more:link]

Telecom “cleansing” in U.S.

Congress is being urged by legislators from both political parties to purge the U.S. telecom infrastructure of equipment manufactured by any foreign company the government considers a threat to national security. The proposed $1 billion cost of compensating small and rural service providers for replacing alternate equipment would be covered through the newly-proposed Secure & Trusted Communications Networks Act. [node:read-more:link]

Bigger European fleet sought

Adm. James Foggo, the U.S. commander of Naval Forces Europe, says he needs more ships to provide presence, training and crisis response capability in his area of responsibility. He says there have been more Russian surface vessels, submarines and aircraft in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans and the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean seas even as political tensions increase. The U.S. 6th Fleet within NFE has four destroyers, two fast transports and a command ship. [node:read-more:link]

Israel threatened anew by Iran

Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, says his country’s goal of destroying Israel is “achievable.” Reiterating earlier threat by various Iranian leaders, he says “this sinister regime must be wiped off the map.” He also has broached “the global mobilization of Islam." [node:read-more:link]

Iran-U.S. mediation fails

An attempt by French President Emmanuel Macron to mediate in the escalating dispute between the U.S. and Iran has fallen flat. While President Donald Trump waited on a phone line Macron had arranged during the leaders’ recent visit to the UN, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani decided not to follow up on the offer of a secure conversation. [node:read-more:link]

Antarctica sheds huge berg

The Amery Ice Shelf in Antarctica has calved its largest iceberg in more than 50 years, a 1,636km 2 block which must be monitored as a potential hazard for shipping in the South Atlantic. The third largest ice shelf on the continent, Amery is a key drainage channel. [node:read-more:link]

British-flagged tanker freed

The Stena Impero, a tanker owned bu a Swedish company but flagged in Britain, has been released by Iran two months after it was seized in the Strait of Hormuz. It was headed for Dubai for crew debriefing and medical checks. [node:read-more:link]

Washington v. Beijing

As China has become more authoritarian even as it prospers economically, its militarization of the South China Sea and its trade practices have helped to persuade many that President Donald Trump has spurred an essential U.S. policy debate. However, a Rand Corp. “policy currents” commentary suggests Trump’s stance may be unlikely to engender much third-country support. [node:read-more:link]

Betanyahu chosen to form government

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has given incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tied with former army chief Benny Gantz after the country’s second election in five months, a chance to put together a coalition government. Netanyahu needs the support of at least 61 of the 120 seats in the Knesset; failing that Rivlin has the option of choosing someone else, most likely Gantz. [node:read-more:link]

Iran open to conciliation?

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he is opten to “small changes, additions or amendments” to his country’s 2015 nuclear agreement with six wetern powers if the U.S. lifts economic sanctions. President Donald Trump, immediate rejected the offer when both leaders were at United Nations headquarters in New York. [node:read-more:link]

NATO’s value growing

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says that in times of global uncertainty, the military alliance and other international institutions can only grow in value. U.S. President Donald Trump, once again lamenting NATO funding by other alliance members, has said that the future “does not belong to globalists.” [node:read-more:link]


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