Trade - Global Security

More U.S. sanctions on Russia

Banks and defence suppliers are among more than 100 entities within Russia and abroad targetted in new U.S. sanctions today, the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. also announced $2 billion in new aid for Ukraine as well as $550 million to help Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova to strengthen their energy infrastructure. [node:read-more:link]

Turkey under renewed pressure

Bipartisan forces in the U.S. Senate are pressing President Joe Biden to block a $20-billion arms sale to Turkey as long as it continues to block NATO membership for Sweden and Finland. “Once the NATO accession protocols are ratified . . . Congress can consider the sale,” the Senators say in a letter to Biden. “Failure to do so, however, would call into question this pending sale.” [node:read-more:link]

Europe competes for green business

Concern about losing investment and jobs, the European Commission has new plans to boost homegrown green industry and counter U.S. tax credits and rebates. Announced today, the latest package combines simpler subsidy rules, repurposed funds, faster approval of renewable projects, common production targets, trade deals and upskilling. “In the fight against climate change, what is most important is the net-zero industry,” said EC President President Ursula von der Leyen. “We want to seize this moment.” [node:read-more:link]

Europe trashing lax waste disposal

The European Parliament is supporting tighter rules on shipments of waste outside the bloc and cracking down on waste-related crime. “Our ambitious position in the coming negotiations with member states has just been endorsed by a broad majority,” says Danish MEP Pernille Weiss. “We have to turn waste into resources in the common market and thus take better care of our environment and our competitiveness.” [node:read-more:link]

Japan seeks to renew relationship

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, seeking closer ties with Canada, met in Ottawa with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said “we share a vision for peace and prosperity.” Ian Burney, a former Canadian ambassador to Japan, said January 12, that Kishida’s short visit was “absolutely critical” in that “there is a near-perfect alignment between Japan's desire to diversify its sources of imports . . . and Canada's desire to diversify our export markets.” [node:read-more:link]

Russia bleeding millions daily

As the world's largest oil exporter, has seen its daily revenues fall from €1 billion to an estimated €160 million daily due to a G7 price cap and a European Union embargo, says the independent Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. It also said January 10 that the loss could balloon to €280 million after February 5, an EU deadline for its 27 member states to phase out all seaborne imports of refined products. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. chip move challenged by China

The World Trade Organization has been asked by China to rule on U.S. export controls on computer chips. China’s commerce ministry announced the challenge through its mission in Geneva, saying December 12 that the controls announced in October threatened the stability of global industrial supply chains. [node:read-more:link]

Putin threatens oil sale restriction

Russia will not sell oil to countries heeding a $60-per-barrel cap agreed to by the G7, the EU and Australia in an attempt to undercut financing for Russia’s war on Ukraine. Rather, says President Vladimir Putin, calling the cap “harmful to global energy markets”, he is prepared to “consider a possible reduction in production if necessary” to put upward pressure on prices. [node:read-more:link]

Canada has “woken up” to China`

The U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Cohen, is welcoming what he says is a notable shift in Canada’s relations with China, manifested by, among other things, by considering the creation of a list of foreign agents. “Canada is not behaving toward China in the way in which it has historically behaved,” he says. “They have clearly woken up to a significant issue.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. defends trade protectionism

The World Trade Organization has found that U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium imports imposed in 2018 by the former U.S. administration “national security grounds” remain in violation of global trade rules. The sweeping tariffs initially impacted Canada, which negotiated a resolution the following year, but continue to be an issue for many other countries. Ruling on a challenge by China, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey, the WTO rejects the U.S. rationale, saying it did not come “at a time of war or other emergency.” The current administration is standing by the tariffs. [node:read-more:link]

India sticking with Russian oil

After talks December 4 with his German counterpart, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said his country will continue to buy Russian oil despite western governments’ price cap. He said it isn’t right for European countries to prioritise their energy needs while asking India “to do something else.” [node:read-more:link]

EU laments U.S. legislation

A U.S. plan to address climate change by incenting consumers to buy electric vehicles and generally convert to electricity from fossil fuels is seen by the European Union as distorting trade and a potential threat to European industries. [node:read-more:link]

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]


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