Good morning, today is Thursday April 27 and here are the stories that interest me.
Fallout from the US Administration’s threats on Lumber and Milk Tariffs is leading the US’s largest Milk buyer to look elsewhere. Mexico is beginning to look to the EU and New Zealand to lessen the country’s reliance on US milk. Mexico has begun talking with New Zealand, a major Dairy producer, to introduce New Zealand Dairy to the country. Originally under the TPP, which the US withdrew before ratifying. now the two countries are looking towards a bilateral agreement. While the initial shift is small, there is a sense that Mexico is begin to prepare for life post NAFTA.
Commentary: In response the the Lumber Tariff that Trump is imposing, Canada is basically saying “ok, we will go elsewhere,” It is talking with China and other asian nations, who already use Canadian lumber, to help mitigate the issue. Several provinces in the country have also begun to set up funds to assist logging companies affected by the tariffs. What is worse is that Canada is being blamed for the Milk issue (which… is there a milk issue?) when there is actually a surplus between the two countries. As a reminder, Canada is also a major dairy producer. I think that, once again, the US Administration is not prepared for the realities of world trade politics and it feels that the US will end up with more egg on its face.
Oh, fun fact, one of the major sticking points in the TPP was between New Zealand and Canada fighting over access to Dairy markets between the signatory nations. New Zealand wanted more access, Canada wanted to restrict that access. And yes, Dairy politics are serious business.
A Meningitis outbreak has killed 813 people in northern Nigeria so far this year. Earlier this month, a massive vaccination drive started in the country to help combat the disease, which strikes due to poor conditions in the country. Authorities have begun doing a house-to-house search in order to identify, vaccinate, and infected people.
Commentary: This is why vaccines are important.
China has launched its first domestically build aircraft carrier. The development shows China’s growing sophistication in its defence industry. The impact of this is being immediately felt across the region. As China flexes its muscles in the South China Sea, other countries like Japan, India, and Taiwan eye the situation closely. China is believed to be planning to make 2-4 more carriers rivalling the size of the US Nimitz class ships with the ability to launch planes with more weapons and longer missions.
Commentary: While plans began in 2013, there is no doubt that the world is responding to the US and its plans to raise its military spending. What is also important here is that this is a completely domestically built ship, meaning that we do not know what is actually in it, or how it is built. This level of competency means that China may just start churning out ships at an accelerated rate. With tensions in the South China Sea (Long story short, several countries claim the sea, and China is trying to bully its way into taking that territory by raising artificial islands and settling on them. Expect the US to use this as justification for more military spending in its budget.
and that is all for me on the news front, be back tomorrow, and enjoy your day!