Trade - Global Security

Ukraine’s NATO application still stalled

Shortly after Russia invaded in late February, Ukraine announced it had signed an accelerated application to join NATO and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in September that “we are de facto allies.” But there is continued reluctance by a couple of members to agree as well as concern within the alliance about being drawn into a broader conflict. “We recognize and respect Ukraine’s aspirations,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says. “However, our focus now is on providing immediate support as Ukraine defends itself.” [node:read-more:link]

Zelenskyy says oil cap not low enough

Reacting to the decision by the G7 countries and allies to cap their price for Russian crude oil at US$60 a barrel, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said today that $30 would be a more effective way “to destroy the enemy’s economy faster.” Meanwhile, the Russians say the cap would reshape “the functioning of free markets” and lead to “a widespread increase in uncertainty and higher costs for consumers of raw materials.” [node:read-more:link]

Russia facing oil price cap

The G7 group of countries and its allies have approved a cap of $60 a barrel on Russian crude oil, effective December 5 or “very soon thereafter. The European Union had already signed off on the same cap after some internal difference were resolved. The stated rationale is to “prevent Russia from profiting from its war of aggression against Ukraine.” [node:read-more:link]

OttawaU under fire over press freedom

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other federal politicians are criticizing the University of Ottawa for banning cameras during a speech November 28 by China’s ambassador Canada. Cong Peiwu requested that no cameras be present when he spoke at a conference on “China and the World” and the university’s immediate compliance sparked a barrage of criticism about freedom of the press. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. eases sanctions on Venezuela

The U.S. Administration has eased some petroleum-related sanctions on Venezuela for an initial six months after the government and its political opponents signed a broad “social accord” to create a UN-administered fund to provide humanitarian aid to Venezuelans. The agreement was signed in Mexico City on the weekend by representatives for President Nicolas Maduro and U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. bans Chinese 5G companies

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced unprecedented rules today designed to ban several Chinese telecom companies it considers an “unacceptable risk to national security” because of how their products could be used to interfere 5G wireless networks and collect sensitive information. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the move against Huawei and four other companies had “broad, bipartisan backing” among congressional leaders. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. and Chinese military leaders meet

In what was widely seen as a renewed effort to ease tensions between their countries over trade and Taiwan, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and General Wei Fenghe met in Cambodia earlier this week. It came just over a week after U.S. President Joe Biden the U.S. is willing to “compete vigorously, but I’m not looking for conflict.” [node:read-more:link]

Freeland testifies at convoy inquiry

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said today that an “exponential” economic threat posed by border blockades last February was a key factor in the government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act.  She told the inquiry into the government’s decision that Canada was already facing several serious economic challenges when the situation erupted, including supply-chain problems and U.S. protectionism. [node:read-more:link]

Iran renewing tanker attacks?

Debris recovered from an Israeli-owned oil tanker attacked in international waters off Oman last week has prompted the U.S. Navy to say today that it was the same type of Shahed-136 drone that Iran has supplied to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The drone’s explosion caused minor damage to the Liberian-registered ship’s stern above the waterline. There was a similar attack on another Israeli tanker off Oman in July 2021 but Iran denied responsibility. [node:read-more:link]

Champagne charged up by research

Federal Innovation Science & Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne plans to use a visits to Japan and South Korea this week to tout Canada’s battery supply chain potential after a New York-based strategic research firm ranked Canada second only to China. “We have what Asia needs,” he says. Canada moved up the ranks over the past 10 months by announcing more than $15 billion in investments in areas ranging from critical mineral mining and processing to battery component and electric vehicle production. [node:read-more:link]

Xi says concerned about confrontation

As he and other leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, gathered today in Bangkok for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said his country wants to be seen as a driver of regional unity. In an apparent dig at the U.S. – and despite China’s own aggressive expansionism – he said the region is “no one’s backyard” and should not become “an arena for big power contest.” [node:read-more:link]

Stronger ties with Southeast Asia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner as a bloc, to unveil a $333-million array of funding announcements. “This is a generational shift,” he said November 12 at the Phnom Penh summit, calling the funding as “concrete investments that are part of our commitment to this relationship.” [node:read-more:link]

Asian meetings globally important

World leaders have converged in Cambodia for the first in a series of international summits in Southeast Asia over the coming week. Globally-critical geopolitical divisions not seen in decades continue to evolve as the U.S. and China compete for leverage. [node:read-more:link]

Putin won’t be at G20 summit

Russian President Vladmir Putin will not attend next weeks’ G20 leaders’ summit in Bali, opting instead to send Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The decision was confirmed today by officials in Moscow and Indonesia who left open the possibility that Putin could participate remotely. [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy confirmed

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Jolie said today that while Canada must continue to trade with an increasingly autocratic and assertive China because of the country’s global economic clout, there’s a clear need to be careful because of its disregard for human right and international trading rules. These are key elements of a speech on Indo-Pacific strategies scheduled to be delivered today to the Asia Pacific Foundation and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy in Toronto. [node:read-more:link]


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