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Striking United Auto Workers members picket outside the Stellantis Jeep Plant in Toledo, Ohio.


Autoworkers’ strike highlights Biden’s union problem ahead of 2024 vote

Bad news for US President Joe Biden: as the United Auto Workers’ strike enters its fifth day, labor and climate priorities are colliding in a crucial election year.

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U.S. President Joe Biden gives a fist bump salute to the audience during an event to celebrate the anniversary of his signing of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act legislation, on Aug. 16, 2023.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Viewpoint: Challenges facing Biden’s IRA one year later

Key to President Joe Biden’s agenda, the Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law on Aug. 15, 2022, contains about $400 billion in new spending and tax breaks aimed at jumpstarting the transition to a low-carbon economy in the US. Alongside the Chips+ Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the IRA also aims to reinvigorate US manufacturing to allow the country to better compete with China.

Biden’s embrace of industrial policy to achieve these aims has been controversial because of its expense and the concerns of trading partners that the massive government assistance gives US firms an unfair advantage. So, is the bet paying off? We sat down with Eurasia Group expert Milo McBride to ask him what the IRA has achieved in its first year.

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Luisa Vieira

Can Canada woo techies from the US and become a digital nomad hotspot?

The battle for tech talent between the United States and Canada is heating up. Last week, Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced a suite of reforms aimed at attracting technology sector workers from around the world, including the US. The move comes as Canada struggles to respond to American green subsidies for energy and transportation as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Canada has long been wary of its global hegemon neighbor pipping it to the talent post. Brain drain – or “human capital flight” – has obsessed governments and commentators up north for decades. With Fraser’s new, multipronged immigration strategy, the country hopes to reverse the drain, and the US may be ill-positioned to fight back.

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Luisa Vieira

Canadian companies green with envy over US cleantech push

Canada has been wringing its hands over brain drain for decades. The appeal of a bigger market and higher wages in the United States has long wooed educated Canadians to move south. It’s also drawn the attention of policymakers concerned by those ditching their homeland and taking their businesses with them.

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Hannah Sylvestre

Trudeau jammed in EV trade war

International automaker Stellantis recently ordered workers to down tools at a CA$5-billion EV battery plant it is building in Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit – an unwelcome surprise for PM Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

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Luisa Vieira

Electric vehicle wars

Ahead of the G-7 summit in Japan, PM Justin Trudeau stopped in South Korea to chat with President Yoon Suk Yeol about security and economic ties. At the top of Trudeau’s list of priorities? Convincing South Koreans that Ottawa remains committed to Canada’s first electric-vehicle battery plant in the state of Ontario that, according to the companies building it, is currently on the chopping block.

But what does an EV mega factory in Windsor, Ontario, have to do with … South Korea?

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Luisa Vieira

Hard Numbers: Hitting IRA tax break pedal, wooing VW, riding the transcontinental rail, weeding through a lot more weed

7,500: Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act took effect on Tuesday and seeks to encourage electric vehicle adoption by offering a $7,500 tax credit for purchases of 10 EV models, benefitting American brands like Tesla and General Motors most. The IRA also makes any vehicle with battery components from the US, Canada, or Mexico eligible for half the credit, or $3,750, in an attempt to reduce the industry’s reliance on China.

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Russian reservists recruited during a partial mobilization of troops attend a ceremony before departing to the Russia-Ukraine conflict zone, in the Rostov region, Russia October 31, 2022.

REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov

What We're Watching: Russian draft goes online, abortion pill ruling, US inflation slows, Taiwan gets new presidential candidate, Biden bets big on EVs

Russia’s digital draft

If you’re a young male citizen of Russia, it just got harder for you to hide from the war in Ukraine. The State Duma, Russia’s parliament, approved legislation on Tuesday that allows the government to send a military summons online instead of serving the papers in person. The upper house swiftly passed it into law on Wednesday.

“The summons is considered received from the moment it is placed in the personal account of a person liable for military service,” explains the chairman of the Duma’s defense committee, though the Kremlin insists no large-scale draft is imminent. If the person summoned fails to report for service within 20 days of the date listed on the summons, the state can suspend his driver’s license, deny him the right to travel abroad, and make it impossible for him to get a loan.

The database that provides names of potential draftees is assembled from medical, educational, and residential records, as well as insurance and tax data. Thousands of young Russians have already fled their country. Many more may soon try to join them.

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