Sept 3: Venezuelan crisis worsens, Myanmar faces UN reprisal, and NAFTA’s uncertain future

North America

  • US agrees deal with Mexico to revamp NAFTA, with minimum wages for car workers in place to prevent auto companies relocating to Mexico for lower wages.
  • Time running out for Canada for NAFTA. Canadian failed to agree terms past Trump’s deadline last Friday, though it is unlikely a NAFTA without Canada will make it past Congress.
  • Trump threatens to pull US out of WTO because of perceived anti-American bias.

South America

  • Peru and Brazil tighten borders in response to influx of Venezuelan migrants as economic crisis worsens, with the latter stationing troops on borders. Last month, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro caused confusion when he introduced a new currency – the strong bolivar – to replace the sovereign bolivar in a bid to deal with runaway inflation.
  • Argentina government asks for early release of $50bn IMF loan amid worsening economic crisis as peso plummets to new low. Central bank increases interest rates to 60% in response.
The Venezuelan Crisis


  • UN releases damning report on Myanmar on Rohingya crisis, calling it a “genocide”. The use of such strong language is unusual in UN reports, and the report also goes on to highlight the names of responsible individuals in the military command. Facebook has since banned the accounts of stated individuals.


  • French president Macron causes public outcry by accusing his own people of being resistant to change, comparing them to “Lutheran” Danes. The comments came in a foreign visit to Denmark. The centrist’s labour reforms have been impeded in the months after his election, with many protesting his attempt at an “overhaul” of French labour laws.
  • Brexit sees another casualty as Panasonic Europe moves its headquarters away from London to Amsterdam. While the UK have cut corporate taxes to attract businesses post Brexit, an unwanted corollary for Japanese businesses is the fear that Tokyo may consider Britain a tax haven and levy heavier taxes in return.
  • Theresa May’s second in command David Lidington tells EU to accept the current Brexit plan or risk no deal. With seven months to the end of article 50, both parties are looking to negotiate a deal by the next EU summit on 17 October, but as the date looms closer a deal looks unlikely.
  • Germany’s far right marches en masse after news circulated that a Syrian and an Iraqi man were responsible for the stabbing of a German carpenter on the streets. Thousands were seen chanting Nazi slogans and performing Nazi salutes.

Middle East

  • Saudi led coalition dismisses UN report alleging war crimes in Yemen. It is believed that the Saudi coalition has been responsible for mass civilian casualties in their military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
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