Trade - Global Security

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]

Chinese forced labour a headache

A coalition of 28 human-rights groups is asking the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise to investigate allegations that some products sold by 14 Canadian companies are made in whole or in part with forced labour in China. Almost all the companies are subsidiaries international corporations. [node:read-more:link]

Germany prepares for gas rationing

Amid growing concerns about a possible suspension of Russian natural gas deliveries, Germany began gearing up today for possible rationing due to a dispute over Moscow’s insistence that it be paid in rubles. It activated an “early warning” phase” of emergency legislation, setting up a “crisis room” in the energy ministry. [node:read-more:link]

G7 Rejects “rubles for gas” plan

Russian President Vladimir Putdin’s insistence that “unfriendly countries’ must pay for natural gas in rubles is unacceptable to the G7 countries, says Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck, calling on “the companies concerned not to comply.” Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the U.S. are the other G7 members. [node:read-more:link]

Global grains supply at risk

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its fifth week, highlights the fragility of the global food supply at a time when sustained investment is needed. Between them, Ukraine and Russia account for nearly a third of global wheat and barley exports as well as some 20 per cent of corn exports and the fate of some six million hectares planted to wheat in Ukraine remains uncertain. [node:read-more:link]


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