Russia-Ukraine: Two years of war
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Paige Fusco

Graphic Truth: Trade across the pond

The UK has struggled to rebuild its trade relationships with partners across the pond post-Brexit. Since leaving the EU in 2020, new trade agreements with Canada or the US have stalled, forcing it to accept many of the same terms it had under the EU.

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A striking member of the union Unifor walks to a picket line


Seaway strike hits both sides of the border

A strike by 361 workers at the St. Lawrence Seaway is impeding trade in Canada and the United States. Workers from five Unifor locals are asking for better pay amid the affordability crisis and have cited recent wins by autoworkers as inspiration.

The walkout, which began Sunday, affects the Seaway system connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic, facilitating trade from provinces and states, including the Canadian prairies and US Midwest, as well as Ontario, Quebec, and northern states such as New York.

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line graph of shipping volume through the arctic

Paige Fusco

The Graphic Truth: Shipping volume through the Russian Arctic

Climate change has opened Arctic shipping channels that can be navigated by freighters without icebreakers for several months a year – and year-round with icebreakers. Canada and Russia dominate the region, but Moscow is much more aggressively exploiting the economic opportunities there.

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Jörg Prophet, AfD candidate for mayor in Nordhausen, stands in the city center.

DPA/Picture Alliance via Reuters

Hard Numbers: German far right comes up short, Ukraine dreams of drones, a space rock arrives on earth, world trade slows

54.9%: In an upset, Jörg Prophet, of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, lost a promising bid for mayor of Nordhausen the office on Sunday, as incumbent Kai Buchmann kept his job, winning 54.9% of the vote. The AfD has been polling at 21.5% nationwide, but has even more support in Thuringia, which is where Nordhausen is located.

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Fish and sashimi imported from Tokyo are displayed for sale at a market on August 24, 2023 in Hong Kong, China.

Hou Yu/China News Service/VCG via Reuters

Fish fight: China vs Japan

Why did China’s annual imports of Japanese seafood fall 67.6% in August? Surely it’s no coincidence that Japan began its long-awaited 30-year discharge of treated wastewater from the hobbled Fukushima nuclear power plant on August 24.
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Taiwanese soldiers stand guard as a Chinook Helicopter carrying a tremendous Taiwan flag flies over a military camp, as part of a rehearsal for the flyby performance for Taiwan’s Double-Ten National Day Celebration, amid rising tensions between Beijing and Taipei and threats from China, in Taoyuan, Taiwan 28 September 2021.

Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Reuters

China tries to shape Taiwan’s Elections

As Taiwan’s election season gets into swing, China is attempting to use its economic clout to swing the vote away from the ruling, independence-minded Democratic Progressive Party and toward the more Beijing-friendly Kuomintang.

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Former US President Donald Trump, flanked by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, at the White House.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Tariff Man’s main man: How Robert Lighthizer changed US trade policy

Former President Donald Trump delighted in calling himself “Tariff Man.” But Trump’s own Tariff Man was Robert Lighthizer, who led the Office of the US Trade Representative as the president’s top trade negotiator. Lighthizer’s new book, “No Trade Is Free: Changing Course, Taking on China, and Helping America’s Workers,” sets out his black-and-white views on trade, prosecutes his case against China as an existential threat to the US, and recounts his trade battles with foreign counterparts.

My career as a trade negotiator at USTR spanned the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations. My experience during the Trump years, when Lighthizer was at the helm, can be summarized as: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Those years were the best of times because the top priority for Trump was trade policy — it was his obsession. As a result, USTR staff members were extraordinarily busy negotiating deals with China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and others. For a career federal government official, it was a rare privilege for one’s work to be a top White House priority.

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Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Russia vs. US trade ties in Africa

On the one-year anniversary of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the UN General Assembly last week held a vote calling on Russian troops to leave Ukrainian territory. Those who opposed the resolution included the usual suspects that have aligned themselves closely with the Kremlin like Syria and Belarus, as well as Eritrea and Mali, which have close links to the Russian military.

Perhaps more interesting, however, is a look at those countries that abstained in a bid to reinforce their neutrality. Crucially, most of last week’s abstentions came from African states, which can be seen as a reflection of Russia’s growing political and economic clout in the region. But a look at bilateral trade relations between these African nations with Russia and the US, separately, shows that in most cases, two-way trade in goods with the US is way more lucrative.

Indeed, this suggests that Russia’s political leverage across the continent is multifarious. It comes from Russia’s vast reserves of oil, wheat and fertilizer — as well as its position in the global weapons trade, accounting for around half of all arms exports to Africa. We take a look at two-way trade between African states that abstained from the recent UN vote with the US and Russia, respectively.

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