Trade - Global Security

Iran nuclear talks become more complicated

Amid diplomatic talks aimed at rebooting a 2015 nuclear pact with Iran that the U.S. abandoned in 2018, the White House unveiled a new round of Iran-related sanctions July 6. It said they target “an international network of individuals and entities” that the Treasury Department says facilitated the sale of U.S.-sanctioned Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products to East Asia. [node:read-more:link]

Switzerland an oligarch haven

Switzerland was accused by one of its own non-governmental organizations of having become a “safe haven” for Russian oligarchs and as a trading hub for Russian oil, grain and coal. Referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Public Eye urged the government to “use all levers at its disposal to stop the financing of this inhuman aggression.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian oil and gas for Europe?

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said today that Canada is discussing with European allies the potential for exporting oil and natural gas from Atlantic terminals as alternative to Russian imports. “It is important for Canada to be able to step up and to help our European friends that are dealing with very difficult energy realities,” she said. “We need to do it in a way that we’re also dealing with the climate change issue, and And this is exactly the conversations we’re having, particularly with the Germans and also with the Spanish.” [node:read-more:link]

Chinese “agents” target mining projects

Individuals described as pro-Chinese agents have been using social media to pose as local residents and environmental activists unhappy with rare earth mining projects in the U.S. and Canada, according to a Virginia-based threat intelligence consultancy. The misrepresentation is designed to give China, the largest producer of rare earth minerals, a competitive advantage. [node:read-more:link]

Beijing facing pushback from Canberra

Less than a month after being appointed Australia’s Minister for International Development & Pacific, Pat Conroy announced today that his country will set up a school to train Pacific island militaries amidst mounting competition for security ties in the region. He disclosed the plan ahead of a forum in Fiji at which regional leaders are expected to press for a trade and security pact with 10 countries which have diplomatic ties to China. [node:read-more:link]

Apple Inc. sues Israeli company

The Israeli surveillance company NSO Group is being sued by Apple Inc. in U.S. federal court in a bid to hold it accountable for surveillance and targetting the San Francisco-based giant’s customers with NSO’s Pegasus spyware. Seeking unspecified damages and costs, Apple said it would donate the proceeds its suit to organizations that expose spyware. [node:read-more:link]

More heavy weapons for Ukraine

The European Union is giving Ukraine another €500 million to buy heavy weapons to fend off the Russian invasion, the bloc's foreign policy head said today against the backdrop of a G-7 meeting in Germany. Also, Canada and the other bloc members are planning to examine how to gain access to millions of tonnes of globally-critical grain in the besieged country. [node:read-more:link]

Kiwis target Canadian dairy policy

Canada’s dairy supply management program can now add New Zealand to the roster of countries challenging its legitimacy. New Zealand’s trade minister, Damien O’Connor said May 12 that his government has initiated dispute settlement proceedings under the 2018 Trans-Pacific Partnership accord. “Our priority is to ensure that New Zealand exporters have meaningful access to the benefits negotiated under CPTPP, and that all parties fulfill the commitments they have made to each other.” [node:read-more:link]

Two perennial trade irritants revisited

Access to Canada's dairy market remains a “source of great frustration” which, together with the prolonged softwood lumber dispute, represent what U.S. International Trade Representative Katherine Tai calls “fundamental differences” in the countries’ approach to trade. Winding up a visit, which included meetings with International Trade Minister Mary Ng, she said May 8 that they are committed to “thrashing out the details for how we might be able to make some progress.” [node:read-more:link]

EU divided on Russian energy

The European Union is in step with many other countries in sanctioning Russia over its invasion of Ukraine but is split internally when it comes to dependence on Russian energy supplies. EU ministers met May 2 in Brussels to discuss the situation but remain divided as they pursue alternatives. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese economy near breaking point?

Chinese President Xi Jinping told senior officials April 26 that he wants “all-out efforts” on a massive infrastructure program he hopes will reboot his country’s economy which has been hit hard by coronavirus lockdowns. Among other things, he urged more projects in transportation, energy and water conservancy, as well as new supercomputing, cloud computing and artificial intelligence capabilities. [node:read-more:link]

Russia cutting gas supplies

Russia stopped supplying natural gas to Bulgaria and Poland today, ostensibly for refusing to pay in roubles but more likely in retaliation for European economies’ support for sanctions over the war in Ukraine. Accusations by European leaders of “blackmail” were immediately dismissed by the Kremlin. [node:read-more:link]

The global impacts of Russia's invasion

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a short-term spike in prices, prompting governments to rethink their energy plans, which could have profound impacts on issues ranging from a burgeoning food crisis to global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Potential solutions all come with potential repercussions that could play out over the coming years or even decades. [node:read-more:link]


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