#AceNewsServices NORTH AMERICA: On October 02 a new CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, North America: Time for a New Focus, asserts that elevating and prioritizing the Canada-Mexico-U.S. relationship offers the best opportunity for strengthening the United States and its place in the world.
“It is time to put North America at the forefront of U.S. policy,” the report says. “The development and implementation of a strategy for U.S. economic, energy, security, environmental, and societal cooperation with its two neighbours can strengthen the United States at home and enhance its influence abroad.”
The Task Force proposes a comprehensive set of recommendations for deepening North American integration, concentrating on four pivotal areas—energy, economic competitiveness, security, and community. These include:
Capitalizing on North America’s promising energy outlook. The North American countries need a regional energy strategy to strengthen the continent’s energy infrastructure, expand energy exports, support Mexico’s historic reforms, improve safety, and encourage harmonized policies to promote energy conservation and reduce carbon emissions.
“For economic, environmental, and diplomatic reasons, the Task Force recommends that the U.S. government encourage increased energy connections with Canada and Mexico. The U.S. government should approve additional pipeline capacity, including the Keystone XL pipeline,” the report says. “The Task Force also proposes that the United States end restrictions on energy exports, including oil and LNG (liquefied natural gas).”
Bolstering economic competitiveness through the freer movement of goods and services across borders. Upgrading infrastructure and policies across borders would interconnect national economies securely and efficiently. Recognizing trilateral economic interests, the United States should also include Canada and Mexico in its negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other free trade agreements.
“The United States’ ability to compete in a dynamic and competitive world economy would be strengthened by enhanced economic ties with Canada and Mexico,” the report explains. “The Task Force recommends working toward the free and unimpeded movement of goods and services across North America’s common borders.”
Strengthening security through a unified continental strategy and “continuous border innovation.” While working toward the goal of a unified security strategy for North America, the United States and Canada should support Mexican efforts to strengthen the democratic rule of law, dismantle criminal networks, contribute to the development of resilient and cohesive communities, and reduce arms smuggling and drug consumption.
“The United States should shift from border-centric security toward a strategy of combining perimeter protection with security in depth through the use of intelligence, risk assessment, shared capabilities, and joint actions throughout the region,” the report says.
Fostering a North American community through comprehensive immigration reform, workforce development, and the creation of a mobility accord to facilitate the movement of workers. The U.S. Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reforms. To better aid the movement of North American workers, the three countries should also create a North American Mobility Accord, expand visas for skilled workers, streamline recognition of professional credentials, and develop a regional educational innovation strategy.
“The Task Force strongly recommends the passage of comprehensive federal immigration reform that secures U.S. borders, prevents illegal entry, provides visas on the basis of economic need, invites talented and skilled people to settle in the United States, and offers a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants now in the United States,” the report says.
Chaired by David H. Petraeus, retired U.S. Army general and chairman of the KKR Global Institute, and Robert B. Zoellick, former president of the World Bank Group and chairman of Goldman Sachs’s International Advisors, the Task Force is composed of a diverse and distinguished group of experts that includes former government officials, scholars, and others. The project is directed by CFR Senior Fellow for Latin America StudiesShannon K. O’Neil.
#AceWorldNews – NIGERIA – March 28 – Nigeria has arrested two Britons and 10 of its own citizens on charges of trying to bribe a military officer to facilitate oil theft, Reuters reported, citing the military.
The suspects were immediately arrested for attempting to bribe the brigade commander for economic sabotage, said Major-General E.J. Atewe, commander of the military and police Joint Task Force for the oil-producing Niger Delta region.
Oil theft by armed gangs is rampant in Nigeria, Africa’s top crude-producing country.
#AceNewsServices – Budget 2014: Documents and Details.
This is the Budget in full. You can find supporting and related documents below.
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Also publishing alongside Budget 2014:
- Freedom and choice in pensions consultation and fact sheet
- Abolishing the 10% rate of tax on savings income – a fact sheet
- The New ISA – fact sheet
- Debt and reserves management report 2014 to 2015
- Charter for Budget Responsibility
- OTS competitiveness review: initial thoughts and call for evidence
- Tackling aggressive tax planning in the global economy: UK priorities for the G20-OECD project for countering Base Erosion and Profit Shifting
- Remit and recommendations for the Financial Policy Committee: 2014
- Monetary policy remit: 2014
- National Infrastructure Plan: finance update
Access HMRC’s collection of tax documents from today’s Budget.
#AceWorldNews A list has surfaced containing the names of more than 100 Russian businessmen and politicians allegedly targeted for European Union Economic Sanctions. German newspaper Bild reported Igor Sechin, CEO of the world’s largest-listed oil company is on the list.
Alexey Miller, head of state-owned Gazprom and Vladimir Yankunin, who runs Russian
Railways, are both rumoured to be on the ‘list’.
“This is stupid, petty and obvious sabotage of themselves most of all,” Rosneft spokesman Mikhail Leontyev said by phone, Reuters reports.
Rosneft’s official comment echoes that of Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, who warned any sanctions against Moscow will have a “boomerang” effect.
“I hope this all ends up as being empty rhetoric,” Leontyev said in response to the Bild’s report that Sechin is on the list of key targets.
The US and EU have warned that Russia’s actions in Crimea will be followed by economic sanctions, and it won’t be “business as usual” with Russia.
More precise actions are expected on March 17, following a referendum vote in Crimea taking place this Sunday.
Reuters – RT – News Sources
News about events in Syria took a nosedive the moment the Russians stepped in to take on the job of destroying Bashar Assad’s arsenal of poison gas. It’s not as if Syrians aren’t still dying.
One of the few reliable journalistic enterprises, The Wall Street Journal, put Syria on its front page on December 3. “U.S., Allies Reach Out to Syria’s Islamist Rebels.” One is tempted to wonder out loud whether the U.S. still has any allies given the way Obama has betrayed those who stuck with us through the Cold War and since, along with the Gulf State nations for whom the U.S. has provided an umbrella of military protection.
“The U.S. and its allies held direct talks with key Islamist militias in Syrian, Western officials say, aiming to undercut al Qaeda while acknowledging that religious fighters long shunned by Washington have gained on…
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