Parallel Imports – Thunder From Under http://thunderfromunder.com/ Thu, 30 Dec 2021 23:46:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://thunderfromunder.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/thunder-from-under-icon.png Parallel Imports – Thunder From Under http://thunderfromunder.com/ 32 32 Car sales grow 24% in nine months in 2021 https://thunderfromunder.com/car-sales-grow-24-in-nine-months-in-2021/ Thu, 30 Dec 2021 18:11:06 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/car-sales-grow-24-in-nine-months-in-2021/

The Cambodian auto industry is largely made up of used cars, which account for nearly 72% of the market, but this trend is likely to change in the near future.


The Kingdom’s vehicle sector has seen notable growth in both sales and imports, by around 24% in the nine months of 2021, according to the Cambodian Automobile Industry Federation (CAIF).

The Cambodian auto industry is largely made up of used cars, which accounted for nearly 72% of the market at the end of 2021. However, this trend is likely to change in the near future.

Tan Monivann, President of the Cambodian Automobile Industry Federation said Khmer time that economic growth and the emergence of the middle class in Cambodia have boosted new car sales. The demand for new brands of cars in Cambodia is increasing by 15% per year, in line with the growth of the Cambodian economy.

According to Monivann, Cambodia’s national economic growth has increased by 4% in 2021 according to the World Bank’s Economic Outlook. Economic growth has helped Cambodians earn high income to buy new cars. Also, people choose to drive a new car because a new car has a long warranty of quality. In addition, a new car is equipped with the latest technology and security systems and has after-sales service. There are 40 official brands distributed by new cars by the end of 2021.

Aimed at meeting the growing demand for new cars in the local market, Cambodia attracts around nine automobile manufacturing plants to Cambodia in 2021.

According to a press release, Mikami Masahiro, Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, told Prime Minister Hun Sen on December 28 that Toyota is one of the largest auto distributors in the Kingdom which has unveiled an investment plan to establish a factory in ‘vehicle assembly which in turn will meet the demand for new cars in the local market.

Monivann is optimistic that the new auto manufacturing plant will bring more benefits to the people. He said the new factory promotes low-cost cars in the local market. Toyota Company is the big company that manages reputation and helps in job creation for Cambodians.

RMA Group CEO Ngorn Saing said Khmer time as the trend of new cars increases in market share because a Cambodian has a good understanding of the quality of new cars. “People are switching to new cars because the income is higher with the installment payment options,” he said.

Toyota Company has entered the market is a good opportunity for national economic growth with attracting more foreign investors for the supply of auto manufacturing spare parts

In the Cambodian automotive sector, there are many multinational companies that invest with strong competitiveness. The customer has a better choice with an attractive promotion. The number of newly registered vehicles in 2021 was 920,000 automobiles in total and 5.2 motorcycles in Cambodia, according to a report released by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

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Lanka prepares an agreement on an oil park with India; Wang to travel to Colombo after spitting, and may offer sweeteners https://thunderfromunder.com/lanka-prepares-an-agreement-on-an-oil-park-with-india-wang-to-travel-to-colombo-after-spitting-and-may-offer-sweeteners/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 01:17:16 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/lanka-prepares-an-agreement-on-an-oil-park-with-india-wang-to-travel-to-colombo-after-spitting-and-may-offer-sweeteners/ Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Sri Lanka next week amid a crippling economic crisis that has seen Colombo look to Delhi for help and swiftly execute the long-delayed India-Sri Lanka plan to the joint development of the Trincomalee petroleum reservoir farm.

Wang Yi’s two-day visit, scheduled for Jan. 7-9, will take place amid a row between the two countries over a contaminated shipment of organic fertilizers that has led to unexpected tensions between the two countries .

After Colombo cancels order to import 99,000 tonnes of fertilizer, Beijing blacklisted Sri Lankan People’s Bank and accused it of “vicious” default on letter of credit .

Explain

India Angle: 1987 Agreement

INDIA’S INTEREST in the petroleum tank farm dates back to the signing of the India-Sri Lanka Agreement of 1987, which stipulated in the annex that the renovation works of the tank farm located in the northeastern province of Trincomalee would be undertaken jointly by the two of the countries. The deal remained dormant as India and then Sri Lanka fought the Tamil Tigers. An attempted relaunch in 2003 came to nothing. In 2017, the two sides agreed to operationalize the long-standing deal, but opposition from unions at Ceylon Petroleum Corporation delayed any progress on the file.

Earlier this month, as the Chinese company launched arbitration proceedings for $ 8 million in compensation, Sri Lanka ended the controversy by agreeing to make a payment of $ 6.4 million. dollars.

Wang Yi’s visit will be important for the sweeteners he can offer the Rajapaksa government to recover the lost goodwill.

Meanwhile, Colombo continues to finalize plans for the joint development with India of a huge park of petroleum reservoirs in Trincomalee. Although neither country puts it so loudly, Delhi could in return offer financial assistance to help Sri Lanka overcome its current crisis.

“We said that the two issues should progress in parallel and that progress of one should strengthen the progress of the other towards strengthening economic ties,” an official source said, adding that the coming month may see major developments on the Trincomalee oil tank farm agreement. .

Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $ 1.6 billion at the end of November. The shortage has resulted in a drop in food imports, pushing up the prices of basic necessities in the country. An IMF bailout is the last option Sri Lanka is unwilling to take.

Earlier this month, international rating agency Fitch downgraded Sri Lanka’s rating from CC to CCC, warning that the country was likely to default on two international sovereign bonds, one to come in January 2022 for $ 500 million and the other maturing in July for $ 1 billion.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka called Fitch’s action “hasty” and said it had ignored Colombo’s diplomatic efforts with friendly countries to secure financial assistance. A statement from the bank said cash flow was expected by the end of December 2021 and March 2022.

“The government and the Central Bank remain confident that these flows will materialize and that the level of gross official reserves at the end of 2021 will remain above $ 3 billion. Fitch appears to have ignored the SWAP reserve facility with the People’s Bank of China of approximately $ 1.5 billion, ”the press release said.

In addition to loans and foreign currency term financing agreements with China during the year, Sri Lanka signed the three-year stand-by swap agreement with Beijing in March 2021. The governor of the Central bank said earlier this month that the government could take advantage of it to pay. for imports from China.

But Colombo has also asked India for help. Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who visited Delhi in November, was offered a “four-fold package” – a line of credit for fuel imports only from India; the early finalization of the joint India-Sri Lanka development plan for the Trincomalee oil park; a currency exchange offer to help Lanka pay off its external debt; and the facilitation of Indian investments in various sectors.

Earlier this week, the Sri Lankan weekly Sunday Times reported that Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila had tasked the chairman of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to form a subsidiary, Trinco Petroleum Terminal Ltd, which will be the ad hoc vehicle for India-Sri Lanka. joint development of the Trincomalee petroleum park.

The decision is expected to be approved at a cabinet meeting next week. The newspaper reported that President Gotabya Rajapaksa agreed to the formation of the branch.

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Prospects for India’s Strategic Relations in 2022: The Chinese Challenge | Latest India News https://thunderfromunder.com/prospects-for-indias-strategic-relations-in-2022-the-chinese-challenge-latest-india-news/ Mon, 27 Dec 2021 07:45:46 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/prospects-for-indias-strategic-relations-in-2022-the-chinese-challenge-latest-india-news/

Deep winter has arrived in the Karakoram Range with freezing winds blowing from the 25,171-foot-high Saser Kangri to the Indian Army outpost of Daulet Beg Oldi (DBO) in the Ladakh sector.

At the eastern end of the Himalayas, the 25,531-foot-high Namcha Barwa in Tibet’s Nyingchi Prefecture does the same thing, roughly across the entire Real Control Line (LAC) of 1126 km in Arunachal Pradesh.


Even in these frigid conditions, Indian Army troops are perched on the heights for the second winter running the length of the 3,488 kilometer-long LAC — from the Karakoram Pass to Kibithoo – to ensure that the The People’s Liberation Army of China does not repeat the unilateral aggression of May 2020 on the northern shores of Pangong Tso in an attempt to impose an alignment of the LAC as defined by the Chinese Communist leadership in 1959.

As Indian and Chinese military commanders eagerly await the 14th round of dialogue to ensure the PLA restores the ante April 2020 status quo at Patrol Point 15 in the Hot Springs-Gogra-KongKa La area, the problem is no longer the disengagement of troops from a certain patrol point because Beijing is simply militarizing the whole of the ALC on its side.


Over the past 19 months, India and China have been heavily deployed in the LAC in the Ladakh sector, with a strength of 50,000 on both sides. Besides the infantry, both armies deployed tanks, rockets, missiles and drone regiments to deter the other side from taking unilateral action. Under the guise of the sinicization of Tibet and Xinjiang, the Chinese Communist Party led by Supreme Leader Xi Jinping is converting the entire command of the PLA’s Western Theater into a fort with new dual air bases. Use just across from ALC, like that of Burang County, north of Lipu Lekh Pass and only 400 km from New Delhi. Explosion enclosures and tunnels are dug into the mountain in Tibet to keep PLA fighter jets safe and ready to respond in sub-zero temperatures at Kashgar, Hotan, Yarkand, Ngari Gar Gunsa air bases , Lhasa and Nyingchi. Armed drones such as Wing Loong II are deployed just across the LAC to Ngari Gar Gunsa and Nyingchi air bases as part of the PLA’s plan to strike India’s border radars in a worst-case scenario.


The bilateral India-China toll, after the May 2020 aggression in Ladakh, appears all red with the 1993-1996 border agreements designed to allow peace and tranquility to prevail in the LAC having been thrown out the window by the APL. The spirits of the Wuhan and Chennai accords assiduously built by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Xi are also dead.

China’s footprint is rapidly expanding in the Afghanistan-Pak region with plans for an oil pipeline from the port of Gwadar in Balochistan to Urumqi in Xinjiang via the Khunjerab Pass to meet China’s massive energy needs without fear of l he energy supply is choked in the Strait of Malacca at the mouth of the South China Sea. Using its influence over Pakistan, China is now considering expanding its Belt-Road Initiative (BRI) to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to remove heavy metals from the conflict-torn country at very low rates and also enter in the Central Asian republics across Amu-Darya. . Even though China realizes the economic viability of trade between India and Nepal, Beijing is making great efforts to smear civilizational relations between the two neighbors by using pelf and power. The situation in Sri Lanka is no different with Colombo indebted to China and the latter using this leverage to secure contracts for road and port infrastructure projects.


Some may view the 22% of trade volume even during the military standoff, with bilateral trade reaching $ 102.28 billion in 10 months through October 2021 as positive, but the trade balance is tilted sharply towards Beijing. Imports from China amount to 78.33 billion dollars against 23.96 billion dollars of Indian exports to Beijing. It is not surprising that China still advocates parallel diplomacy with India so that the resolution of the border problem is the subject of endless and endless meetings between the two foreign ministries, but bilateral trade is growing for the benefit. from China. China has not ceded an inch of LAC ground to India; it blocked New Delhi’s entry into the Clean Energy Nuclear Suppliers Group; and is an ally of Pakistan in all conspiracies aimed at labeling Indians terrorists by the 1267 Committee of the United Nations Security Council and human rights violations in Kashmir. It is another matter that Pakistan is blind to the Muslim concentration camps in Xinjiang and the Communist indoctrination centers in Tibet.


Given this, the prognosis for Indo-Chinese relations is not all that good and India is poised to go through tough times at its northern borders. Global concern may stem from the impending Chinese invasion of distant Taiwan in the South China Sea – and rightly so – but the threat to India is upon its door.

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Spices increase farmers’ income https://thunderfromunder.com/spices-increase-farmers-income/ Sat, 25 Dec 2021 18:00:00 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/spices-increase-farmers-income/

A field of ginger in the village of Uttara Shoshi in the sadar upazila of the district of Nilphamari. Farmers bring more land to growing spices because growing them is more profitable than growing crops such as rice, wheat and jute. EAM ASADUZZAMAN

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A field of ginger in the village of Uttara Shoshi in the sadar upazila of the district of Nilphamari. Farmers bring more land to growing spices because growing them is more profitable than growing crops such as rice, wheat and jute. EAM ASADUZZAMAN

The cultivation of spices has improved the incomes of Nilphamari farmers through their higher yield and high prices, helping the producers to overcome the losses they suffered in previous years by producing traditional crops such as rice, wheat. and jute.

Popular varieties of spices preferred by farmers and adapted to the northern district soil are ginger, turmeric, onion, garlic, peeper, coriander seed, and cassia leaf.

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According to the Nilphamari Agricultural Extension Department (DAE), the goal is to cultivate 12,200 tonnes of ginger, 5,500 tonnes of turmeric, 7,500 tonnes of onion, 14,000 tonnes of garlic, 2,000 tonnes of chilli and 5,000 tonnes of other spices. This year.

The area cultivated in spices was 4,200 hectares in 2016 and it increased to 6,620 hectares this year as farmers turned to spices thanks to their promising economic prospects.

Khatizar Rahman, a 64-year-old farmer from Uttara Shoshi village in sadar upazila, had grown aman and boro rice for years but rarely made a profit.

He has been cultivating ginger for two years in a row and has made good profits.

This year he grew ginger on 11 bighas and hopes to get 15 tons of yield. Harvesting can earn him an income of 6.5 lakh Tk at the current market price of the spice against the cost of production of 2 lakh Tk.

“Seeing my success, farmers in many neighboring areas started to cultivate it,” Rahman said.

This is because the cultivation of spices brings higher income.

For example, a harvest of aman and boro together will yield a profit of 30,000 to 35,000 Tk per bigha, while ginger can yield 60,000 to 65,000 Tk on the same area, according to Anwarul Islam, agricultural non-commissioned officer. assistant to Kishorganj upazila. .

Another popular spice that is cultivated is turmeric, which is an essential ingredient used in cooking because it is less labor-intensive and less expensive, but brings a lucrative profit.

For better color and flavor, local turmeric is in great demand. For example, companies set up makeshift centers during harvest to source the spice directly from farmers.

The price of onion and garlic is increasing almost every year, making many farmers rich overnight, the growers said.

Bhanu Chandra Roy, a 50-year-old farmer from Dhobadanga village in Sadar Upazila, now grows onion and garlic.

He hopes to receive 400 maunds of onions from 10 earth bighas and 100 maunds of garlic from three bighas while he has grown them in mid-November. He will harvest the crops in March and April.

He plans to build a house out of bricks after selling them.

“A favorable soil and climate and good prices make farmers enthusiastic about growing spices,” said Md Rafiqul Islam, agricultural extension agent in Sadar Upazila.

The government has launched a project to encourage farmers to grow pulses and spices, according to Abu Bakkar Siddique, deputy director of DAE in Nilphamari.

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The future of brand exhaustion is still unclear for brands after Brexit https://thunderfromunder.com/the-future-of-brand-exhaustion-is-still-unclear-for-brands-after-brexit/ Thu, 23 Dec 2021 16:04:48 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/the-future-of-brand-exhaustion-is-still-unclear-for-brands-after-brexit/

The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union has brought about a series of legal and procedural developments – and still imminent changes – which are expected to have a significant impact on the functioning of fashion brands and luxury product groups. Among the key legal principles which the new post-Brexit reality is still being decided by UK lawmakers is the issue of trademark exhaustion – or in other words, limiting the ability of a trademark holder to exercise control over a product bearing a trademark once it releases – or authorizes the release of – that product on the market.

A fairly rare issue, brand exhaustion (better known as the First Sale Doctrine in the United States) has been cited in a range of fashion and luxury-focused cases in light of the rise in power. of the secondary market. Earlier this year, for example, the Crepslocker dealer pushed back the since trademark case that Chanel filed against it, arguing that Chanel had “no proper basis” for its objections to Crepslocker’s sale of Chanel products. authentic and to the use of the Chanel trademarks, because its “rights in the goods have been exhausted by the sale made in its authorized points of sale in the United Kingdom or in the EU”. The issue has also been raised in an interesting case concerning the Ferrari Testarossa brand, and in a number of cases focusing on the distribution of high-end cosmetics and perfumes in the EU. (In the United States, the first-sale doctrine has recently been used as a defense against trademark cases by Chanel, Nike, and iPhone accessories maker OtterBox, among others.)

Under EU law, trademark rights are considered exhausted when a product is placed on the market by the trademark owner (or an authorized agent) anywhere in the European Economic Area, an approach which allows the free movement of goods between EU member states. With the UK having left the EU, it “has the opportunity to decide on its future regime for the exhaustion of intellectual property rights,” said the UK Intellectual Property Office (“UKIPO”) in a released statement. in June.

As UKIPO stated earlier this year, the issue of depletion is “vitally important” because it “underpins parallel trade” – or trade in gray market products (that is, i.e. genuine branded products obtained in one market (i.e. country or economic zone) which are then imported into another and sold). At present, the pre-Brexit rule that the importation of goods into the UK that were originally sold in EU countries is still in effect, meaning that trademark holders whose goods have been placed on the market in the EU cannot prevent their subsequent importation. in the UK and sold there. At the same time, however, products bearing a trademark cannot be imported into the EU from the UK without the consent of the rights holder. “The effect of this is that right holders can prevent goods that have been placed on the market in the UK from being imported into the European Economic Area at the same time,” according to Bristows LLP lawyers Jeremy Blum and Jake Palmer.

To date, the UK government has said it has no preference on the issue of what trademark exhaustion regime to adopt in the future. – with four main avenues raised: (1) the continuation of the current regime at EU level; (2) a national regime in which exhaustion would occur after the goods were first offered by the rights holder (or authorized party) in the United Kingdom; (3) a mixed regime under which the UK could apply different exhaustion standards for different types of IP goods, sectors and / or doctrines; and (4) an international regime in which exhaustion in the UK would occur as soon as the goods are placed on the market anywhere in the world by the rights holder (or authorized party).

Following a consultation period this summer, it is understood that most rights holders are opposed to the implementation of an international system, which would see trademark rights run out in the UK once that a product is marketed anywhere else in the world, thus, largely limiting the ability of rights holders to largely prevent parallel importation. More likely is the continuation of the current EU-wide system, or what is known as the unilateral or UK + regime.

Reflecting on UK options after Brexit, Emily Roberts of Burges Salmon LLP says there is a good chance the country will continue to observe the current system, which would mean “no change in the position on parallel imports “. This option, she asserts, “could be the least expensive for companies dependent on the European Economic Area for the supply of goods and raw materials, although parallel exports from the United Kingdom to the European Economic Area may be prohibited, with a corresponding impact on prices. . It would also allow rights holders to avoid any ‘change in their business models’ that would result from adopting any of the other regimes.

Blum and Palmer echo this, stating that they expect the future trademark exhaustion regime “to look like what it seems most rights holders prefer: a continuation of the current regime with a fallback position of national exhaustion, potentially with bilateral extensions in the event that the United Kingdom accepts trade agreements with other countries. Nevertheless, they warn those who are waiting for a decision on the grounds that “this government has not always acted in the interests of companies”.

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Eurofer says climate regulations will encourage “dirty” steel imports • Recycling International https://thunderfromunder.com/eurofer-says-climate-regulations-will-encourage-dirty-steel-imports-recycling-international/ Tue, 21 Dec 2021 10:03:19 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/eurofer-says-climate-regulations-will-encourage-dirty-steel-imports-recycling-international/

European steelmakers have warned that the industry’s decarbonization efforts are threatened by prohibitive energy prices coupled with “skyrocketing” carbon prices.

The warning from the European Steel Association (Eurofer) coincides with a meeting of the European Council and ahead of the Environment Council next week. “Key European industries such as steel cannot bear all of the energy and climate costs we face today and are likely to face all of the energy and climate costs in the years to come as well if policymakers do not make the right decisions now “, said Eurofer Managing Director Axel Eggert.

“The EU must pursue its decarbonization target of a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030 through a sustainable transition that allows industry to invest and secure the livelihood of its workforce and millions of households that depend on it, ”he says. “If the transition is not sustainable, we risk flooding the European market with cheap ‘dirty’ steel from third countries such as China, Russia or Indonesia.”

Eurofer says energy-hungry companies already exposed to price spikes have been forced to respond by cutting production or temporarily closing factories. Gas and electricity prices have risen exponentially, he complains, registering up to five times higher than last year. At the same time, carbon price peaks of up to 80-90 euros are having an increasing impact on electricity prices.

“As this unprecedented crisis in energy markets requires additional urgent initiatives, EU leaders must also take into account the implications of future climate legislation, in particular the border adjustment mechanism carbon (CBAM) and the revision of the EU ETS, ”Eggert adds.

An impact assessment by Eurofer suggests that the additional direct carbon costs for the steel industry, with the combined effect of CBAM / ETS on the phasing out of free allowances, will reach nearly € 14 billion in 2030 with “business as usual” broadcasts. The figure will be 8.4 billion euros if the sector manages to reduce its emissions by 30% by 2030 thanks to the proposed investment of 25 billion euros in clean technologies.

It is argued that this means that by 2030 an average EU steel company modernizing its plant with clean technology will face carbon costs of € 400 million, while a non-EU company similar exporting its own steel to the EU market will only incur costs of € 30 million. , despite the CBAM direct debit.

Eggert insists that such a situation would be unsustainable and threatens the low carbon projects of its members. “The EU steel industry should become the primary industrial engine and flagship, rather than the collateral damage of EU climate policy. “

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LA movie critics choose ‘Drive My Car’ as best of the year https://thunderfromunder.com/la-movie-critics-choose-drive-my-car-as-best-of-the-year/ Sun, 19 Dec 2021 20:46:24 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/la-movie-critics-choose-drive-my-car-as-best-of-the-year/

It was a showdown between “Drive My Car” by Ryusuke Hamaguchi and “The Power of the Dog” by Jane Campion for members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, but the group managed to hand the honors back to both on Saturday.

The Japanese film “Drive My Car” was named best picture and “The Power of the Dog”, a Western drama set in 1925, was a finalist. Campion, meanwhile, received the award for best director with Hamaguchi as a finalist.

Simon Rex chose Best Actor for her turn as a former pornstar in Sean Baker’s “Red Rocket” and Penelope Cruz was named Best Actress for playing a photographer and a new mother in Pedro’s “Parallel Mothers” Almodóvar.

The supporting actress went to Ariana DeBose, who plays Anita in “West Side Story”, while the supporting actor was a connection between Vincent London for “Titanium” and Kodi Smit-McPhee for “The Power of the Dog” .

The non-fiction film “Flee”, about an Afghan refugee, won the award for best animated film, while the documentary award went to Questlove’s “Summer of Soul,” which chronicles a widely held music festival. forgotten in the summer of 1969.

“Our awards span many fields and genres and they span the globe as well,” said Claudia Puig, president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. “We are delighted to spread our love and appreciation for this line of exceptional films.”

The LA group aren’t the first to single out “Drive My Car,” about a widowed actor and director and the relationship he develops with his driver, who made his Cannes Film Festival debut earlier. This year. The New York Film Critics Circle and the Boston Society of Film Critics also awarded Best Picture to “Drive My Car”. It also won the Best International Feature Film award at the Gotham Independent Film Awards.

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How Congress plans to ban goods produced by Uyghur forced labor https://thunderfromunder.com/how-congress-plans-to-ban-goods-produced-by-uyghur-forced-labor/ Fri, 17 Dec 2021 21:30:08 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/how-congress-plans-to-ban-goods-produced-by-uyghur-forced-labor/

Congress eventually came to a compromise on a law to tackle China’s use of forced labor among the country’s Uyghur population. Tuesday, Sens. Marco rubioMarco Antonio RubioHow Congress Plans To Ban Goods Produced By Uyghur Forced Labor Rick Scott Says White House Hangs Up On Him The Hill’s Morning Report – Brought to you by Charter Communications – BBB on the Ropes MORE (R-Fla.) And Jeff merkleyJeff Merkley Senate confirms Rahm Emanuel to serve as ambassador to Japan (D-Ore.) With Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) And Chris smithChristopher (Chris) Henry Smith Democrats, Republicans call on Biden to support Tibet’s autonomy Lawmakers who opposed their parties on the infrastructure bill T House Democrats reintroduce the bill to empower the public sector unions PLUS (RN.J.) announced new bipartisan legislative language that reconciles parallel Senate and House proposals. With the White House signaling its willingness to enact the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Compromise Law (UFLPA), the Senate unanimously passed it on Thursday. Here are five key aspects of the bipartisan compromise:

Complicated background

There is general agreement that governments should not allow companies to import products made by victims of human trafficking into the United States, as it enriches the companies that profit from the exploitation and n do not improve the lives of victims of forced labor. Contaminated products are also in unfair competition with products produced by workers paid at market wages. UFLPA focuses on Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic minority in China’s Xinjiang region. Reports of human rights abuses, including forced labor, have complicated already thorny geopolitical concerns between China and the West.

Blocking imports from this region creates disruption in the supply chain and increases tensions between human rights, environmental and trade priorities. In this complicated context, it is worth noting the rare bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill around a major human rights concern.

Rebuttal of the presumption of forced labor

The heart of UFLPA is that it creates a presumption that all goods mined, produced or manufactured in whole or in part in Xinjiang are made with forced labor and therefore prohibited from entering the United States.

The presumption can be rebutted if a company can prove with “clear and convincing” evidence that the establishment in Xinjiang did not use forced labor. Many companies find it difficult to access the region and fear that it will be very difficult to meet the “clear and convincing” standard.

Additionally, the UFLPA requires the government to report to Congress whenever it finds sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption and allow goods from Xinjiang to enter the country. Some observers believe that this reporting requirement will have a chilling effect on entry decisions.

New sanctions

In addition to highlighting the existing ability to use the sanctions of the Global Magnitsky Law to combat forced labor, the UFLPA is also creating a separate sanctions regime via an amendment to the Uyghur Law on Human Rights Policy. of 2020. These new sanctions can apply to individuals, entities and Chinese. government officials responsible for serious human rights violations related to forced labor.

New national strategy and list of entities

Within 180 days of the UFLPA taking effect, the US government is to provide a “strategy” to Congress on how to deal with the importation of forced labor goods from Xinjiang.

This calendar represents a compromise between 300 days in the Senate version and 120 days in the House version of the bill.

The “strategy” document will follow a period of public comments and public hearings to gather recommendations from business leaders, advocates and the general public. The “strategy” should include a list of entities in Xinjiang that produce, transport or export goods made in whole or in part by victims of human trafficking.

Urgent action is imperative

With a current crescendo of supply chain disruption, businesses must act quickly to protect themselves from the risks associated with shipments of parts, products or products stranded at U.S. ports of entry due to forced labor. Now is the time for companies to review their current supply chains, contracts with Xinjiang-based entities, as well as compliance procedures related to human rights violations. Early action will allow business continuity as these new legal tools are used to help victims of forced labor find freedom.

John Cotton Richmond is a Dentons partner and former United States Goodwill Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking.

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Kenyan shilling to weaken, Zambian kwacha also penalized by demand from importers https://thunderfromunder.com/kenyan-shilling-to-weaken-zambian-kwacha-also-penalized-by-demand-from-importers/ Thu, 16 Dec 2021 14:41:19 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/kenyan-shilling-to-weaken-zambian-kwacha-also-penalized-by-demand-from-importers/

KENYA

The Kenyan shilling is expected to face pressure in the coming days, but traders said they expected demand for dollars to decline as the Christmas and New Year season progressed.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 112.90 / 113.10 per dollar, from last Thursday’s close at 112.85 / 113.05.

NIGERIA

The Nigerian naira was seen flat next week in the unofficial market where it trades more freely, after Nigeria was removed from Britain’s travel “red list”, which could boost trade inflows. the diaspora, traders said.

The currency traded Thursday at 575 naira to the dollar in the parallel market, down slightly from 573 naira last week. In the official market, commercial banks quoted the currency in a range of 409 to 415 against the dollar.

Britain has removed https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-remove-all-countries-covid-travel-red-list-wednesday-2021-12-14 Nigeria and other countries Africans from its COVID-19 redlist trip after adding them following the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“I don’t see much appreciation for the withdrawal,” said one trader. “There might be a bit of movement that could create a bit of FX impact.”

TANZANIA

The Tanzanian shilling is expected to experience limited downward pressure next week amid continued demand for hard currencies.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at an average of 2300/2310 on Thursday, slightly lower from an average of 2295/2305 recorded a week earlier.

“With year-end demand for dollars likely to continue, we expect moderate pressure to persist on the shilling in the coming days,” said Terry Karanja, Treasury partner at Nairobi-based AZA. , adding that the greatest demand for dollars came from the manufacturing and energy sectors.

UGANDA

The Ugandan Shilling is expected to be stable over the next few days with demand mostly stable and some economic activity declining as the holiday season kicks off.

At 11:45 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,560/3 570, unchanged from last Thursday’s close.

“Demand is generally expected to decline as some businesses in sectors such as manufacturing and imports decline,” said an independent forex trader in Kampala.

The currency is expected to trade around 3,560, he said.

ZAMBIA

The kwacha is likely to come under pressure against the dollar. Commercial banks on Thursday listed the copper-producing country’s currency at 16.2301 per dollar against a close of 16.0000 a week ago.

“We expect the Kwacha (…) to trade with a depreciating tone next week,” the National Commercial Bank of Zambia (ZANACO) said in a note.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Chris Mfula; Elias Biryabarema; Nuzulack Dausen; Chijioke Ohuocha; compiled by Elias Biryabarema; edited by Bernadette Baum and Edmund Blair)

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‘Restraint, de-escalation and dialogue’ are needed to stem war in Yemen | https://thunderfromunder.com/restraint-de-escalation-and-dialogue-are-needed-to-stem-war-in-yemen/ Tue, 14 Dec 2021 18:16:01 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/restraint-de-escalation-and-dialogue-are-needed-to-stem-war-in-yemen/

“Even though the parties to the conflict all profess to me their desire for peace, their focus remains on military options…[which] will not lead to lasting solutions, ”he said.

Rules of war

Mr Grundberg expressed concern over the increased use of artillery, missiles and airstrikes – putting people, infrastructure and services at risk.

Referring to the summary execution of ten members of the local security forces, he recalled that wars should always be subject to rules of engagement.

“All actors in the conflict … have obligations under international humanitarian law”, including the protection of civilians and the humane treatment of prisoners of war.

Mr Grundberg said that during his first three months of work he engaged with Yemenis on “how to reverse the current escalating trajectory and initiate a political process”, and to establish “close relations and trustworthy ”with states in the region, advance peace talks.

“As the conflict escalates… I am convinced of the need for a comprehensive approach,” said the Special Envoy.

Building lasting peace

Stressing that piecemeal solutions can only provide temporary relief, the UN envoy stressed the need to address immediate needs and priorities towards “a comprehensive political settlement”.

We must work for a just and lasting peace, not just the absence of war“Said Mr. Grundberg, which requires coordinated international and regional support, to build a” political process owned by Yemenis and supported by the international community “that will result in greater stability.

“The support of this Council will be essential,” said the UN envoy.

The process is expected to defuse violence, prevent further deterioration of the economy, and mitigate the impact of the conflict on civilians while reaching consensus on a political settlement to end the war sustainably, establish inclusive governance, and ensure human rights. civil, political, economic and cultural rights of Yemenis. .

A just ending

The UN official said the engagement has already started and will be stepped up.

While escalating the fighting was a challenge, he stressed that it should not be allowed to stop the process, saying that “in fact it makes the work we do all the more essential”.

Belligerents can and must speak out, even if they are not ready to lay down their arms“Said Mr. Grundberg, calling for opening channels of communication” without preconditions and in priority “.

He called for the Council’s support to “establish an inclusive and comprehensive process to finally end this conflict in a just and lasting manner”.

Escalation of hostilities

Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ramesh Rajasingham said humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate “due to conflict and economic collapse”.

He said that the intensification of the fighting and the displacement of the front lines forced civilians to flee, some for the second or even the third time.

In Marib, offenses by the Houthi forces, formerly known as Ansar Allah, have displaced more than 45,000 people since September and last Thursday missiles struck an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp .

In addition, intensifying fighting in southern Hudaydah and Taizz has displaced more than 25,000 people, leaving more civilian casualties, including five dead in an airstrike on December 3.

At the same time, hostilities continued along nearly 50 front lines across the country, with further bombing in Sana’a and violent clashes in Sa’ada resulting in civilian casualties and damaged infrastructure.

“All parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law … including the obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and to facilitate impartial humanitarian assistance,” Rajasingham stressed.


A displaced family in Marib, Yemen, brings a winter aid package to their shelter.

IMO

A displaced family in Marib, Yemen, brings a winter aid package to their shelter.

UN detainees

The UN official also expressed disappointment that two UN personnel Ansar Allah arrested last month in Sana’a remain in detention, despite assurances from management that they will be quickly released.

“To date, we have had no access to the detained personnel and have not received any official information regarding their arrest,” he said. “We are also deeply concerned about the arrest several weeks ago of a United Nations subcontractor in Marib.”

“We are calling for immediate access to staff and the sharing of official information regarding the arrests,” Rajasingham said.

The deputy chief of relief said the biggest challenge for Yemen’s aid operations was the “free fall” state of the economy, which is pushing millions of people to depend on humanitarian aid.

“Corn humanitarian aid is not the way to solve these problemsHe stressed, arguing instead for the UN economic framework to increase purchasing power, reduce the cost of imported goods and improve macroeconomic stability.

Requiring a combination of financial and political investments, political commitments and the lifting of restrictions on commercial imports, the framework would help lower commodity prices.

“The income from imports could then be used to pay civil servants’ salaries,” Rajasingham said. “As the economy improves, humanitarian needs will start to decline. Ultimately, the size of the aid operation could also start to decrease ”.

‘Not there yet’

He recalled that Yemen still needs a “massive humanitarian response” at least until next year, saying “we are not there yet”.

Calling on everyone to “do more to help Yemen end this crisis for good”, he called for the implementation of the UN economic framework alongside the humanitarian response while moving towards a solution policy as quickly as possible.

“Peace is the only lasting solution in Yemen, and to achieve peace, everyone must be ready to talk“, Concluded the UN official.

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