The North America Section of IR Insider publishes breaking news reports and analysis from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Topics covered in the North America section may range from trade negotiations between the United States, Canada, and Mexico to U.S relations with Russia and beyond. Our section editor is Esha Bajaj.
On Sunday, May 5th, U.S. President Donald Trump reignited a simmering trade feud with China with a promise on twitter to raise tariffs until a favorable deal was reached. The surprise threat came at a time of importance for both nations, as a delegation of senior Chinese officials is due to visit Washington, D.C. later this week to finalize negotiations and put an end to the trade war.
On Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, answering questions about his handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report. Following the testimony, Barr was expected to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning for more questioning. However, it was announced shortly after the Senate hearing that the attorney general would not testify with the House Committee.
Canola oil is not often considered to be a precious resource and is rarely fought over by communities outside of the cooking industry, but in recent days canola has become a major sticking point in Chinese-Canadian relations.
On Monday, April 22nd, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a major step in ratcheting up oil sanctions against the nation of Iran.
On Thursday, the Department of Justice released a redacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, bringing in new questions to whether or not President Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government in the 2016 presidential election. The report also raised questions surrounding possible obstruction of justice on the part of the president.
On Sunday, April 7th, Kirstjen Nielson, the Director of the Department of Homeland Security, announced her resignation. Soon after, more than 5 other high-level members of the Department also stepped down from their post in what is being considered a cleaning of the house by President Donald Trump.
As the Democratic primary pool grows, candidates vying for the nomination are hitting the campaign trails to discuss their platform and message with potential supporters. In this election cycle, Democratic candidates are emphasizing the importance of their fundraising numbers, especially small-dollar contributions, as an indicator of how much support they have among the general public.
On April 1st, 2019 the Liberal Canadian Government introduced a federal tax on carbon, finally forcing the four conservative provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan into implementing the regulation. The carbon tax is meant to help reduce Canada’s reliance on fossil fuels as well as help the nation fulfill its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
On Tuesday, Education Secretary Betsy Devos announced that the Department of Education would cut funding for the Special Olympics and other youth programs.
In a resounding victory for United States President Donald Trump, an in-depth investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has determined that the President did not coordinate with Russia during his election in 2016.
On Monday, March 11th, United States President Donald Trump unveiled a record-breaking budget which includes billions of dollars of funding for the border wall, the military, and veterans affairs. The budget, which is unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, also has intense cuts to environmental, education, and social security funding within the government.
On Friday, the House of Representatives passed H.R 1, a sweeping government ethics and anti-corruption bill. Among the many provisions included in this bill, some measures aim to expand voting rights for citizens, crack down on lobbying, and increase transparency in donations for political campaigns.
The Chief Financial Officer of the Chinese cell phone giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, has filed charges against both the Canadian Government and two of its security agencies. Ms. Meng has alleged that she was illegally held, interrogated, and had her devices taken without being informed of her arrest. The lawsuit comes as the United States has attempted to speed up the extradition of Ms. Meng, where she is facing numerous charges relating to Huawei’s corporate practices.
Late on Sunday, the 24th of February, United States President Donald Trump postponed the enactment of increased tariffs against Chinese imports. The action comes as an important signal that the two countries are working hard to negotiate a compromise and prevent a trade war. World markets jumped in response to the delay, providing hope for many that the damaging economic effects of new tariffs may be prevented.
On Thursday, a Maryland federal court judge ordered Christopher Hasson, a lieutenant in the Coast Guard, to remain behind bars for allegedly planning a mass murder plot on prominent Democratic politicians.
Early Monday of this week, the 18th of February, 16 U.S. States filed lawsuits against President Donald Trump’s plan to use a declaration of emergency to secure funding for his border wall. The States hope to block the President's ability to appropriate money from other sections of the United States government and prevent him from spending over 5 billion dollars to construct the wall along the border with Mexico.
On Monday, February 5th, the leaders of 11 nations in both North and South America met in Ottawa, Ontario and pledged their support for Democratic change in Venezuela. Led by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Countries of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Canada released a Declaration endorsing Juan Guaidó as the real President of Venezuela and the necessity of a peaceful regime change.
On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States intends to withdraw from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a pact made between the United States and Russia that has played an integral role in preserving the safety of their surrounding nations.
Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, made a surprise announcement early on the morning of Monday, January 27 announcing the resignation of John McCallum, the Canadian Ambassador to China. The firing of Mr. McCallum came after the Ambassador made a series of controversial remarks regarding Canada’s rift with China over the arrest of telecom executive Meng Wanzhou.
Directly after the Trump Administration pushed for the adoption of fossil fuel energy sources at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland, the White House announced a sweeping overhaul of federal laws protecting wetlands, streams, and rivers. The move comes as a further assault on environmental protections by President Trump, who has made clear his commitment to unraveling regulations in favor of economic development.
On the morning of November 30th, two massive back to back earthquakes struck the remote U.S. State of Alaska. The quakes, which were 7.0 and 5.7 in magnitude, were the largest since the devastating 1964 earthquake which wiped out most of the capital city of Anchorage. Despite the strength and central location of the earthquakes, not a single serious injury or death was reported.
The American car manufacturer General Motors (GM) made a stunning announcement on Monday that it will be closing five plants in both the United States and Canada, costing thousands of jobs. The decision comes as a bid to buoy slowing sales and invest in producing the types of vehicles currently demanded by consumers across the world. For President Trump, the move by General Motors came as unwelcome news and caused doubt at the effectiveness of his aggressive stance on global trade.
With President Donald Trump elected into office two years ago, this midterm serves as an indicator of whether or not the balance of power has shifted from the GOP to the Democrats.
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