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Hard numbers: Vancouver port peril, bye-bye biofuels?, US-Mexico corn clash, smuggler feels the cold

Aerial view of the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

Aerial view of the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

REUTERS/Jason Redmond

99.24: Amid fraught labor contract negotiations at ports up and down the West Coast, an overwhelming 99.24% of ILWU Canada members voted to support a strike that could begin as soon as June 24. If that happens, operations at Vancouver, Canada’s largest port, could grind to a halt, dealing a blow to commerce on both sides of the US-Canada border: Some 15% of Vancouver’s container trade moves to or from the US.

10 billion: Canada’s biofuels producers are mulling a move south of the border in an exodus that could cost Canada as much as $10 billion in renewables investment. The culprit? You guessed it: the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which offers massive subsidies. Biofuels, as a reminder, are renewable, low-carbon energy sources derived from organic matter — ethanol, for example, which comes from corn.

3 billion: Speaking of corn, Canada has taken Washington’s side in a US-Mexico dustup over the crop. The Mexican government wants to ban genetically modified corn, which it says is harmful to humans and animals. That would upend some $3 billion in annual US corn exports to Mexico. Washington has asked for a dispute resolution panel to resolve the issue. Canada isn’t a big corn player itself, but as the world’s largest canola exporter, it worries about backlash against genetically modified crops more broadly. Fun fact: Corn was first domesticated 9,000 years ago in what is today … Mexico!

1.5: A Georgia man has been sentenced to 1.5 years in a US prison for trying to smuggle 7 suspected illegal Mexican immigrants into Canada last year. His plan fell apart in North Dakota when freezing temperatures forced him to call the local sheriff for help.


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