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US Pressures Saudi Arabia To Sell Oil In Dollars, Not Chinese Yuan

The United States is negotiating behind the scenes with Saudi Arabia, pressuring the country to keep selling its oil in dollars. Washington is concerned that Riyadh may price its crude in other currencies, particularly China’s renminbi. Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s top three oil producers. Since the 1970s, Riyadh has agreed to sell its crude in dollars, helping maintain the greenback’s hegemonic status as the global reserve currency. The Wall Street Journal reported that the US is working on a diplomatic deal in which Saudi Arabia would agree to normalize relations with Israel’s apartheid regime.

Peoples Summit Against APEC

Seattle, WA - A delegation from Workers World Party branches in Seattle, Portland and New York City attended the People’s Summit Against APEC on July 29 and 30, put on by Pacific Northwest-People Over Profit. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a neoliberal, free-trade conference where “government and big business collude to prioritize corporate profits at the expense of the global working class and poor”. The People’s Summit had over 350 people in attendance and was sponsored by nearly two dozen groups. Organizers included Anakbayan USA, Bayan Seattle, Oregon People Organizing for Philippines Solidarity, International Women’s Alliance and more.

Lula And Xi Jinping Pave The Way For Trade De-Dollarization

In September 2006, at the UN General Assembly, the foreign ministers of Brazil, China, Russia and India began to outline what would become a major trade and monetary support agreement. In 2010, during a meeting of the presidents of these countries in Brasilia and a year later in China, what is now known as the BRICS was ratified and began to take shape, with South Africa joining the group. Initially the BRICS countries showed their willingness to engage in closer dialogue with each other, but over the years the agenda began to include broader international cooperation and, above all, economic and financial partnerships in strategic sectors such as energy, agriculture, and scientific and technological development.

The Inevitable De-dollarization

Last week, we embarked on a journey along the de-dollarization process that was characterized as inevitable. Today we will continue the analysis, trying to reach some conclusions while considering that it is still unclear which currency will be the alternative to the US dollar as the main exchange currency. Several options are being considered. One of the options will come from the decision taken by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) at their summit meeting to be held in South Africa in August. The governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, said that any discussion aimed at establishing a common currency will inevitably lead to another debate around the creation and location of a central bank.

US ‘Exports Obesity’

The U.S. government has escalated its conflict with Mexico over that country’s restrictions on genetically modified corn, initiating the formal dispute-resolution process under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It is only the latest in a decades-long U.S. assault on Mexico’s food sovereignty using the blunt instrument of a trade agreement that has inundated Mexico with cheap corn, wheat, and other staples, undermining Mexico’s ability to produce its own food. With the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador showing no signs of backing down, the conflict may well test the extent to which a major exporter can use a trade agreement to force a sovereign nation to abandon measures it deems necessary to protect public health and the environment.

The Country Is Not For Sale

On May 3, Democratic U.S. lawmakers urged the U.S. Trade Representative and State Department to eliminate investor-state dispute settlement provisions from current and future trade deals and to intervene on behalf of Honduras against a U.S. company's nearly $11 billion claim against the country. In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Trade Representative Katherine Tai, 33 lawmakers said that investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) systems in trade deals constitute a "problematic corporate handout" that violates countries' sovereignty and democratic rights. ISDS mechanisms enable multinational corporations to sue the governments of foreign trading partners for profits they claim have been forfeited as a result of domestic policies designed to protect workers, consumers, and ecosystems.

Lula And Xi Jinping Sign 15 Partnership Agreements In Beijiing

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed, this Friday (14th), in Beijing, 15 trade and partnership agreements. Lula was received at the Great Hall of the People, seat of the Chinese government. The leaders participated in an expanded meeting with ministers and advisors from both countries and had a private meeting. In this conversation, in addition to bilateral issues, they discussed dialogue and negotiation to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A dinner in honor of Lula was also hosted by Xi Jinping. The terms signed between the two countries include space cooperation agreements, research and innovation, digital economy and fight against hunger, exchange of communication content between the two countries and trade facilitation.

Labor And Civil Society Groups Outline Shared Priorities For IPEF

Washington, D.C. — Over 400 labor and civil society organizations outlined shared priorities for the pending Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade agreement in a letter sent to President Biden.  The letter comes shortly before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is expected to introduce U.S. proposals for IPEF’s labor, environment and digital trade chapters during a key negotiating round being held later this month in Bali, Indonesia. “A wide range of organizations across the United States are ready to fight for an Indo-Pacific trade deal that furthers the President’s vision of creating a new model for trade and international cooperation that prioritizes working people, combats global climate change and reins in Big Tech abuses,” said Arthur Stamoulis.

Nothing Good Will Come From The New Cold War For Australia

On 15 November 2022, during the G20 summit in Bali (Indonesia), Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told journalists that his country ‘seeks a stable relationship with China’. This is because, as Albanese pointed out, China is ‘Australia’s largest trading partner. They are worth more than Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea… combined’. Since 2009, China has also been Australia’s largest destination for exports as well as the largest single source of Australia’s imports. For the past six years, China has largely ignored Australia’s requests for meetings due to the latter’s close military alignment with the US. Now, in Bali, China’s President Xi Jinping made it clear that the Chinese-Australian relationship is one to be ‘cherished’. When Albanese was asked if Xi raised the issue of Australia’s participation in several military pacts against China, he said that issues of strategic rivalry ‘[were] not raised, except for in general comments’.

Global Climate Talks Spark Action Against Investment Treaties

In advance of the global climate negotiations taking place in Egypt, several countries announced important actions to curb the power of the fossil fuel industry. For decades now, a global web of international investment agreements has given corporations excessive powers to block government policies they don’t like. Through “investor-state dispute settlement” mechanisms, these agreements grant corporations the right to sue governments in unaccountable supranational tribunals, demanding huge payouts in retaliation for actions that might reduce the value of their investments. Corporations are able to file such lawsuits over a wide array of government actions — including actions designed to protect people and the planet.

Labor, Groups Demand Transparency In Indo-Pacific Trade Negotiations

Los Angeles, California - As trade ministers from fourteen countries meet in Los Angeles today for behind-closed-door negotiations on the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) trade agreement, labor and other civil society organizations rallied outside urging that proposals for the pact be released for public scrutiny and that the deal not be rigged in favor of Big Tech monopolies and other corporate interests. “Our message today is very simple: the public deserves the right to know what IPEF negotiators are proposing in our names,” said Will Jamil Wiltschko, director of the California Trade Justice Coalition, which helped organize the demonstration.

China Forgives 23 Loans For 17 African Countries

The Chinese government has announced that it is forgiving 23 interest-free loans for 17 African nations, while pledging to deepen its collaboration with the continent. This is in addition to China’s cancellation of more than $3.4 billion in debt and restructuring of around $15 billion of debt in Africa between 2000 and 2019. While Beijing has a repeated history of forgiving loans like this, Western governments have made baseless, politically motivated accusations that China uses “debt-trap diplomacy” in the Global South. The United States has turned Africa into a battleground in its new cold war on China and Russia. And Washington has weaponized dubious claims of Chinese “debt traps” to try to demonize Beijing for its substantial infrastructure projects on the continent. For its part, China has pushed back against the US new cold war.

Automation And The Trade Deficit Are Decimating US Ports

Growing up in San Pedro Bay near Los Angeles, California, Sal DiCostanzo, an executive board member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 13 and a dock worker for over 20 years, has seen jobs in numerous industries at the ports disappear, many of which were exported. “The last remaining jobs that are here that are good paying union jobs with benefits are longshore and other related supply chain jobs,” said DiCostanzo. “Automating these jobs would be taking away the only jobs left for this community.” DiCostanzo also pushed back on proponents of automation using clean technology as an incentive to do so, saying manual equipment that is electric can be introduced as well, and that environmental justice can’t be achieved at the expense of economic justice.

100 Groups Call For Transparent Negotiations On Trade Deal

Ahead of next week's key meeting between the United States and 13 Asian and Australiasian nations, more than 100 civil society groups told the Biden administration on Friday that transparent negotiations and increased public input are necessary to prevent an embryonic trade deal from being perceived as the latest iteration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. "We share your goal of creating a new model for U.S. trade policy that prioritizes the interests of working people, communities of color, the environment, consumers, and family farmers instead of just big corporations," the coalition wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden. "The launch of your administration's Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) may be a test case for what this model looks like and what it can achieve."

Reject CPTPP, Stay Out Of New Cold War

’US President Barack Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ after his 2012 re-election sought to check China’s sustained economic growth and technological progress. Its economic centerpiece was the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But the US International Trade Commission (ITC) doubted the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) and other exaggerated claims of significant TPP economic benefits in mid-2016, well before US President Donald Trump’s election. The ITC report found projected TPP growth gains to be paltry over the long-term. Its finding was in line with the earlier 2014 findings of the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, many US manufacturing jobs have been lost to corporations automating and relocating abroad.
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