Trade - Global Security

Pentagon’s industry link upgraded

Congress is raising the profile of the Department of Defense official who liaises with industry to Assistant Secretary of Defense from a Deputy Assistant Secretary. This subjects appointees to Senate confirmation hearings at a time of growing administration concern about Chinese investment in U.S. supply chains. [node:read-more:link]

Bridge blockade hits manufacturers

The ongoing blockade of the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit by vaccine protesters forced Ford to shut down its engine plant in Windsor and reduce operations at its assembly plant in Oakville west of Toronto. The bridge carries 25 per cent of all trade and manufacturers on both sides of the border are reporting supply-chain issues. [node:read-more:link]

PEI potato exports resume on a limited basis

Nearly three months after Canada blocked shipments of Prince Edward Island potatoes to the U.S. due to concerns about a fungus found on a couple of farms, the U.S. is permitting shipments to Puerto Rico. The territory, which has no domestic potato farming, normally gets at least 80 per cent of its potatoes from PEI which, in turn, account for about a quarter of the province’s potato exports. Since the fungus can affect yields, the rest of the U.S. market remains closed for the time being. [node:read-more:link]

Lithuania in a Chinese black hole

Lithuania’s decision to accept a Taiwanese “representative” in Vilnius has backfired badly for the Baltic state which used to do more than $500 million in annual business with China. There was immediage diplomatic recalls but China also has delisted Lithuania from its customs register, which means, according to Deputy foreign Minister Mantas Adomėnas, that “anyone who tried to declare cargo coming from Lithuania would simply not find this country on the database.” [node:read-more:link]

Britain presses France on migrants

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on French President Emmanuel Macron to “take back” migrants who cross the Channel to Britain. Hoping to avoid a repeat of this week’s tragedy in which 27 people drowned when their inflatable boat sank, Johnson publicly proposed, among other things, joint patrols to prevent more departures from France as well as reciprocal maritime patrols of territorial waters, and airborne surveillance. [node:read-more:link]

Softwood retaliation considered

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the government is prepared to retaliate against the latest hike in U.S. protectionist duties on Canadian softwood lumber. She was not specific when she broached the prospect Nov. 24, but a previous trade dispute in 2018 resulted in countermeasures on a range of products. [node:read-more:link]

“Grim outlook” for global economy

The World Bank’s latest forecast is for global growth to slow to 4.1 per cent this year from 5.5 in 2021 due to ongoing coronavirus threats, unwinding government support programs and fading demand. Bank President David Malpass said Jan. 11 that as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on growth, especially in poor countries, the outlook is “grim.” [node:read-more:link]

Trade ruling favours U.S.

Canada has lost its first dispute under the new North American trade agreement as a tribunal agreed with a U.S. complaint that Canada broke a promise to allow slightly more dairy imports by imposing complicated rules. The U.S. says Canada now has several weeks to comply with the ruling but “the end goal is not to put retaliatory tariffs in place.” [node:read-more:link]

Google slapped with huge Russian fine

A Moscow court fined California-based Google the equivalent of US$98.4 million today over the company’s failure to delete locally-banned content. The penalty, based on Google’s revenues, is part of a campaign against large western technology companies, including demands that Russians’ personal data be stored on domestic servers. [node:read-more:link]

United front against U.S

Mexico’s economic minister is planning a multi-front effort with her Canadian counterpart against a proposed U.S. electric vehicle tax credit which poses a significant threat to Canadian and Mexican automotive industries. Both ministers say the plan, which seems stalled in Congress for now, say the proposal breaches the North American free trade pact. [node:read-more:link]

Canada threatens U.S. over electric vehicles

The U.S. is being pressed bb Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Trade Minister Mary Ng to back away from a proposed tax credit for electric vehicles made exclusively in the U.S. They say in a letter to Senators considering the draft legislation that it poses “a significant threat” to Canadian automakers and Canada is prepared to impose countermeasures on imports from the U.S. [node:read-more:link]

Britain threatens U.S over steel tariffs

Britain’s International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has warned the U.S. that it risks retaliation if it does not lift tariffs on imports of British steel. “We had a very frank conversation,” she said after talks in Washington with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. “I was very clear that the pressures we are under to use countervailing measures if we can't solve the problem are becoming more acute.” [node:read-more:link]

Softwood lumber dispute ramps up

One of Canada’s most enduring trade disputes, over softwood lumber exports to the U.S., ratcheted up Nov. 24 when the U.S. doubled its protective duties to an average 17.9 per cent. Now well into its third decade, the dispute is the result of the U.S. lumber lobby trying to protect domestic suppliers who have been historically unable to meet demand in the housing sector. [node:read-more:link]

International push to lower oil prices

The U.S. confirmed today that it would release 50 million barrels of crude oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of an international attempt to drive down prices. The initiative is being done in concert with releases by Britain, China, Japan and South Korea after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries opted not to increase output. [node:read-more:link]

G7 Summit next month in U.K.

Ministers responsible for foreign affairs and development in the G7 group of nations are scheduled to meet Dec. 10-12 in Britain Dec. 10 to Dec. 12 together with some ministers from countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations. The British Foreign Office’s draft agenda includes talks on economic resilience after COVID-19, global health and human rights. [node:read-more:link]


Subscribe to RSS - Trade - Global Security