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‘MADE IN NORTH AMERICA’: A NORTH AMERICAN REGIONAL SUPPLY CHAIN:

USMCA COULD SOLVE SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEMS
IFLR (International Financial Law Review), Nov 3, 2021 – The NAFTA replacement offers an opportunity for businesses to benefit from aspects of the agreement as Chinese trade routes become increasingly difficult to pursue.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH KLAUS SCHWAB’S REGIONAL SUPPLY CHAINS:

LOOK FAMILIAR? The proposed Canadian Pacific Kansas City (“CPKC”) railroad, the only railroad linking the United States, Mexico and Canada. Compare this map to the NASCO SuperCorridor illustration, circa 2007, at right.
REMEMBER THIS? The NASCO (North America SuperCorridor Coalition) map of the proposed North American transportation super corridor, including a “NAFTA superhighway,” circa 2007. Exposure of this key infrastructure component of a “North American Union” was derided as a “conspiracy theory” at that time.

CANADIAN PACIFIC AND KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN FILE MERGER APPLICATION WITH STB TO CREATE ONLY SINGLE-LINE RAIL NETWORK LINKING U.S.-MEXICO-CANADA – Yahoo! Finance, Oct 29, 2021 – “….This combination will also unlock new infrastructure investment and environmentally-friendly supply chain transportation options that will grow the USMCA economy.”
CP-KCS Executives Tout Merger Do-Over
‘Game Changer’: ‘We can bring some supply chain stability’ in USMCA Corridor
DTNPF.com, Oct 16, 2021 “We can bring some supply chain stability to North America, connecting three countries that provides the backbone platform for all those companies sitting there today pulling their hair out because their supply chains are upside down, pulling their hair out because their costs and their inflation’s went up because they have so much risk into supply chains that are off-shore,” Creel said.

NORTH AMERICA:
2021 NORTH AMERICAN LEADERS’ SUMMIT
To build back together as North America
WhiteHouse.gov, November 18, 2021
“To build back together as North America, and for our economies to enhance our competitiveness and propel our future growth, the Leaders affirmed the need for the right conditions for businesses and workers to thrive, and are committed to: 
“Strengthening North American supply chains by creating a trilateral supply chain coordination mechanism, with a goal to define essential industries to minimize future disruptions, recognizing that North America needs resilient, sustainable, diverse, and secure supply chains to ensure our economic prosperity and security….”
‘BUY NORTH AMERICAN’
Biden seeks common ground with Mexico, Canada at summit but tensions remain
Reuters, Nov 18, 2021 – Sounding an alarm about China, [Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador] said during the three-way meeting that greater North American economic integration, including “stopping the rejection of migrants” needed for the U.S. and Canadian labor forces, would be the best way to face “the productive and commercial expansion of China.” Lopez Obrador’s suggestion echoed Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier’s call for the United States to “buy North American” instead of adopting protectionist measures.
USMCA’s ‘Three Amigos’ Must Have a China Focus
Raul Gutierrez, WTMZ-TV, Nov 18, 2021 – ….We operate an extensive North American supply chain.  For example, we buy U.S. scrap metal, recycle it, and process it in our mills in Mexico to produce steel that is then shipped back to our U.S. facilities to make nails and other wire products. Others maintain even more elaborate supply chains to produce cars and trucks.In their deliberations today, the three leaders can deploy a powerful tool to meet the challenges of unfair economic practices. They can strengthen North American supply chains like ours and substitute them for longer and more fragile chains that extend to China and other distant parts of the world.“For the U.S., the most logical solution would seem to be to look to its North American neighbours,” said a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit. “Proximity is, naturally, a distinct advantage, with much shorter transportation times than those from Asian suppliers….
Is regionalization the solution in the face of global manufacturing uncertainty?
Robert Kenney, Butane-Propane News, November 18, 2021 – Another solution to explore is regionalization, which is when a trading bloc with close geographical and cultural ties cooperates to optimize the benefits each member of the bloc brings to the table. In the case of North America, the bloc has been cooperating for around 30 years, with the original passing of North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and the more recent iteration United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The idea is that the benefits of manufacturing in a low-cost, yet highly skilled and quality-focused market like Mexico can bring more value to U.S. and Canadian companies seeking to compete with the increasingly menacing commercial and political threat across the Pacific Ocean. It also ensures safeguards for economic fairness for all members across the bloc. Regionalization has since come to the forefront as a solution for the challenges that have been placed on the global manufacturing supply chain as raw material scarcity continues to be prevalent, costs continue to rise and public policy continues to skew green and nationalist….
Biden’s electric vehicle plans spark outrage in Mexico and Canada
US trading partners insist that EV incentives breach terms of USMCA pact   
Financial Times, Nov 14, 2021 – “It’s important to remember that the auto industry is the most quintessential North American, USMCA or Nafta industry,” said Tony Wayne, a former US ambassador to Mexico, referring to USMCA’s predecessor trade deal. “It’s more integrated than any other industry.”
….Ng’s letter reminded US officials that Canada was “the only country” in the western hemisphere to have stores of all of the critical minerals needed to build an electric vehicle battery, and that Canada was therefore “necessary for the United States to achieve its electric vehicle objectives in the future”.

EUROPEAN UNION:
Bosch wants to build European supply chain for semiconductors
electrive.com, Nov 9, 2021 – A new project called ‘Transform’ is dedicated to building a resilient European supply chain for silicon carbide semiconductor technology. Under the leadership of Bosch, 34 companies, universities and research institutions from seven European countries are working together on this project.
‘Transform’ stands for ‘Trusted European SiC Value Chain for a greener Economy’. Under the consortium leadership of Bosch, the project participants are dedicated to building a supply chain that extends from the starting materials and wafers to the SiC power semiconductors and complete power electronics.

SOUTHEAST ASIA – CHINA, ASEAN:

RCEP WILL USHER IN AN ‘ASIA ERA’
To expand regional supply chains
China Daily, Nov 24, 2021 – The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement will come into effect on Jan 1, 2022, since six member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations including Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and four non-ASEAN member countries, China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, have ratified it.
Covering nearly a third of the world’s population and accounting for about 30 percent of GDP, the new free trade bloc will be bigger than both the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union, and is likely to become the most influential free trade zone in the world….
The RCEP is expected to lead and promote free trade, and boost economic globalization at a time when globalization is facing headwinds and the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown. The regional free trade agreement is also likely to shift global industrial technology and human capital to the East….
Given its Cumulative Rules of Origin, the RCEP is expected to further expand the regional industrial and supply chains, and help the member states build mutually beneficial industrial and supply chain partnerships, as well stabilize the chains.
CHINESE ENTERPRISES EMBRACE OPPORTUNITIES WITH RCEP TAKING EFFECT
Xinhua, Nov 12, 2021 – “This has fully demonstrated the urgency of economic integration in East Asia and the determination of countries in the region to maintain stable and secure supply chains in the post-pandemic era,” said Zhou of Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. The trend of defending multilateralism and free trade in a large number of countries is irreversible, he added.


REGIONAL SUPPLY CHAINS:
COVID TURBULENCE STILL STRAINS OVEREXTENDED SUPPLY CHAINS
‘Strategic momentum to regionalise access to critical components’

Financial Times, Nov 14, 2021 – Even so, many say that supply chains are becoming more regional by sourcing more goods closer to consumers in order to reduce the future risk of freight bottlenecks and long lead times, as well as emissions…. Parag Khanna, managing partner of advisory FutureMap, says that a psychological shift has taken place to diversify the geographical production of some vital parts such as semiconductors.
“This time is different because of the geopolitics,” he says. “There’s a genuine strategic momentum to regionalise access to critical components.”
THE GREAT REBOOT: RETAILERS LOSE LOVE FOR ASIA: Snarled supply chains force manufacturing exodus to Balkans, LatAm
Reuters, Nov 9, 2021 – Major clothing and shoe companies are moving production to countries closer to their U.S. and European stores, smarting from a resurgence in cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in Vietnam and China that slowed or shut down production for several weeks earlier this year….
Similarly, U.S. shoe retailer Steve Madden (SHOO.O) on Wednesday said it had pulled back production in Vietnam and had shifted 50% of its footwear production to Brazil and Mexico from China….

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ARAB GULF – GCC:
GCC Takamul launched as e-gateway for common market queries
Saudi Gazette, Nov 14, 2021 – Gulf Cooperation Council finance ministers met at Bahrain’s capital on Sunday to launch GCC Takamul, bringing the six-nation bloc a step closer to a common market and economic unity by 2025. GCC Takamul is an electronic gateway for complaints and enquiries related to the Customs Union and the Gulf Common Market, Bahrain’s finance minister Sheikh Salman Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa said during the talks.

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ASEAN:
Cambodian PM urges integration of ASEAN community in new normal
Daijiworld, Nov 12, 2021 – Covid-19 will continue to disrupt global transport operations and supply chains for a long term. Therefore, ASEAN Transport Ministers should continue to closely monitor and examine the process of carrying out the Implementation Plan of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework by focusing on reinforcing regional connectivity to strengthen the potential of ASEAN markets and socio-economic resilience, Hun Sen added…. ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
ASEAN supply chain links with China and the perils of decoupling
East Asia Forum, Nov 10, 2021 – China’s global value chain (GVC) links with ASEAN are both less dominant and more beneficial than they appear at first sight. But there are major challenges ahead for ASEAN. With ASEAN public opinion seeking more alignment with the United States and less with China, ASEAN’s GVC dependence on China might be seen as a cause for concern.

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EUROPEAN UNION:
EU values, laws under threat amid standoff at Belarus border
AP News, Nov 11, 2021 – Fears that the authoritarian leader of Belarus is using migrants and refugees as a “hybrid warfare” tactic to undermine the security of the European Union are putting new strains on some of the values and laws in the 27-nation bloc. The crisis at the eastern frontiers of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia is fueling calls for the EU to finance the construction of something it never wanted to build: fences and walls at the border.

NEW WORLD ORDER
130 nations support PM Modi’s vision on Internationalization of Education during Diplomatic Conclave in Chandigarh University
Role of education in ‘post-COVID new world order’
Free Press Journal (Mumbai, India), Nov 12, 2021 – [Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi] said that the coming together of Ambassadors and Diplomats of SAARC countries, ASEAN countries, nations of African Union, European Union, OIC and several other countries at the Conclave will facilitate a vibrant exchange of thoughts, leading to a roadmap for mutual partnerships between nations in the field of Education. “I am sure that the discussions at the Conclave will lead to preparation of a strategic blueprint for greater synergy internationalisation of higher education,” he said.
[Union Minister for Education, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan] spoke about India’s inherent strength as a knowledge centre of the world and the role of education in shaping India’s place in the post-COVID new world order. … Mentioning India’s age-old belief in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbukam’, he called for working towards preparing global citizens and working together with common understanding to address common global challenges and achieve common goals.
China may join Korea, Japan, Asean on ambitious global power grid
One Sun One World One Grid
China may become a part of the ambitious One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG), with a Northeast Asia power interconnector being examined to connect the power grids of China, Korea, Japan, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). This comes against the backdrop of the global grid declaration adopted at COP26 in Glasgow, with the Green Grids Initiative (GGI)—OSOWOG launched by [India] Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the World Leaders Summit that aims to connect 140 countries to round-the-clock solar power.

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EUROPEAN UNION:
EXPLAINER: Why some fear a ‘Polexit’ from European Union
AP News, Oct 19, 2021 – This month Poland’s constitutional court challenged the notion that EU law supersedes the laws of its 27 member nations with a ruling saying that some EU laws are incompatible with the nation’s own constitution.

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SAARC:
India urged to resume dialogue with Pakistan ‘amid threat of regional isolation’
Express Tribune (Pakistan), Oct 14, 2021 – The experts also lamented India for holding back the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) in a bid to isolate Pakistan. This has led to less than 7% of overall trade and just 3% of investment that comes from within the region.
“If New Delhi continues to spurn Saarc, there is a distinct danger that other countries may remain committed to it and move ahead without India. This could open the door for China being invited to join a SAARC without the presence of India – a development that will reinforce Chinese penetration in South Asia.”

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EURASIAN UNION:
Putin recognizes development of integration in EAEU
TASS, Oct 14, 2021 – Russian President Vladimir Putin recognizes the development and deepening of integration in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), despite the difficulties related to the pandemic…. The member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

ASEAN:
Asean defence meeting retreat to discuss regional stance over Aukus, says Hisham
The Star (Malaysia), Oct 12, 2021 – The upcoming Asean Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) retreat next month will be an important platform to strengthen regional defence cooperation in light of the controversial trilateral security pact between Australia, United Kingdom and the United States (Aukus).
….[Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein] said the government’s stand on Aukus is clear, that it viewed the regional security pact between Australia, UK and the US as having the potential to undermine peace and stability in South-East Asia.
….Aukus is the trilateral security agreement involving Australia, UK and the US, which was announced on Sept 15 for the Indo-Pacific region. Under the pact, the US and UK will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
Caught between China and the US, Asean must be louder and brasher about peace
South China Morning Post, Oct 7, 2021 – Most Southeast Asian nations have traditionally preferred not to have to choose between the US and China. But with US-driven security partnerships potentially endangering peace, particularly in the South China Sea, Asean should speak up and ask both sides to restrain themselves.
….The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and related summits will be held on October 26 to 28 in Brunei, followed by the East Asia Summit in November. It is not hyperbole to ask if this upcoming round of high-level meetings will be Asean’s last chance as an organisation to assert itself and avert a clash in the South China Sea.

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USMCA-UK?
UK considers joining existing US-Mexico-Canada trade deal as hopes of standalone post-Brexit agreement fade
Sky News, Sept 22, 2021 – A senior government figure suggests an alternative route to boosting trans-Atlantic trade could be the UK joining the existing free trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada, known as USMCA.

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SAARC:
SAARC Meet Cancelled As Pak Insists On Taliban Participation: Report
NDTV (New Delhi, India), Sept 22, 2021 – meeting of foreign ministers of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, slated to be held on Saturday in New York, has been cancelled.
It is learnt from reliable sources that Pakistan wanted the Taliban to represent Afghanistan in the SAARC meet.

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SOUTH AMERICA:
European Union-style bloc pitched for Latin America, Caribbean
Reuters, Sept 19, 2021 – Latin American and Caribbean nations should aspire to a bloc like the European Union, Mexico’s president and other leaders said at a summit on Saturday, in a bid to wrest influence away from the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS).
AMLO Wants a United Latin America
Jacobin Magazine, Aug 16, 2021 – Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has called for a union of Latin American countries. Drawing on the revolutionary vision of Simón Bolívar, it aims for regional integration as a bulwark against foreign interference.

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EURASIAN UNION:
Belarus, Russia ready to develop political integration if people desire — Lukashenko
TASS, Sept 9, 2021 – Belarus will be ready to develop the economic integration with Russia, if people of both states will so desire, President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday….
“We will do everything that is in the interest of our peoples. If we ever need an even closer military, political or other dimension, an economic integration, we will do it immediately, as soon as we feel our people in Belarus and Russia,” the president underscored.
Lukashenko Agrees to Tightly Integrate Belarus with Russia
Breitbart, Sept 10, 2021 – Putin said after the meeting that Lukashenko and his negotiators agreed to programs including the integration of currency, indirect taxes, counterterrorism programs, and energy policies, including a single electric power market for both countries.

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‘MADE IN NORTH AMERICA’:
Canada Joins Mexico in Seeking Consultation with U.S. Over USMCA Content Rules
AgWeb|Reuters, Aug 30, 2021 – The USMCA, the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement, requires 75% North American content for a vehicle to be considered as being from North America.
Obama judge rules that borders are racist
Washington Examiner, Aug 20, 2021 – An Obama-appointed judge has ruled that a law criminalizing illegal reentry is racially discriminatory. Judge Miranda Du of the federal District Court of Nevada decided that Section 1326 (which makes it a felony to reenter the country after deportation) was unconstitutional. She argued that the law was “enacted with a discriminatory purpose” and “has a disparate impact on Latinx persons.” Thus, it violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution….  The Biden administration might not appeal the decision, given how badly it has enforced our immigration laws.

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CENTRAL ASIA: ‘PRAGMATIC’ REGIONALIZAION
Afghanistan and Central Asia’s ASEAN Moment
The Diplomat, Aug 10, 2021 – What is required is a new approach toward cooperation in Central Asia able to foster a stable regional political environment. Rather than relying on states external to the region, the Central Asian republics should take their future into their own hands. In this, they should turn to the example of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
This pragmatic approach to cooperation is precisely what is required in Central Asia. Previous attempts at cooperation failed because they did not unite all the regional states in a comprehensive partnership based on consensus. They also failed to regularize regional diplomacy between the regional states to resolve disputes and diffuse conflict. This is only possible if such an institution, like ASEAN, follows a strict policy of noninterference in the affairs of the five states of the region — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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AFRICAN UNION:
East African Community to conclude review of common external tariff in 2021
News Ghana, Aug 12, 2021 – The East African Community (EAC), a regional intergovernmental organization, plans to conclude a comprehensive review of the uniform tariff rate, the Common External Tariff (CET) in 2021, an official said Wednesday.
Peter Mathuki, secretary general of the EAC, told a virtual forum that the six member states — Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda — have agreed to increase the number of tariff bands to four from the current three in order to boost the region’s industrialization agenda.
REGIONAL Vaccine Pass:
EAC calls for a coordinated approach on Covid-19
The East African, Augst 13, 2021 – The East African Community wants a coordinated approach by all partner states in combating Covid-19.
The EAC Secretary General Dr. Peter Mathuki wants Covid-19 testing charges and quarantine administrative procedures harmonised across the region, to ease free movement of people.
“We are also pushing for the adoption of the EAC Pass, which integrates all EAC Partner States’ negative test results for Covid-19, and those already vaccinated to ensure safe and seamless travel across the region.”
REGIONAL Education System:
East Africa: Partner States Make Progress in Adopting Competency Based Education
The East African, August 8, 2021 – In 2016, EAC Heads of States meeting in Dar es Salaam, declared the EAC as a Common Higher Education Area. This means national higher education and training systems are to operate and are guided by the common regional framework under which curricula, examinations and certification as well as academic and professional qualifications, and the quality of the educational and training output in higher education would be harmonised.
This is in addition to the Standards and Qualifications rolled out in 2015 by the East African Community, which each university in the region is expected to adhere to.
Israel’s African Union status is as important as Ben & Jerry’s – analysis
Jerusalem Post, July 26, 2021 – Last Thursday, as Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop sales beyond the Green Line and reassess its relationship with Israel continued to reverberate, Jerusalem regained its observer status on the 55-nation African Union (AU) some 19 years after it was revoked…. Those who pressed Ben & Jerry’s to change its business practices toward Israel want to cast Israel as a racist, colonialist, apartheid regime that should be shunned, much as South Africa was during the days of apartheid. Africa knows something about racist, colonialist, apartheid regimes, and yet rather than continuing to boycott Israel, it is extending a hand.

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SAARC:
China aims to create an alternative regional bloc in South Asia
Kathmandu Post, July 11, 2021 – China’s attempts to make inroads into South Asia continue.
The latest one is the establishment of the China-South Asian Countries Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative Development Center in Chongqing City on Thursday.
Of the eight members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which is almost in a coma, five have joined the Beijing-led initiative. India, Bhutan and the Maldives are conspicuous by their absence.
Diplomats and security experts say that the initiative launched by Beijing, which is a minus India alliance created when the SAARC process is stalled, is to counter India and aims to build China’s inroads into the region and that it carries a significant underlying geostrategic meaning.

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EURASIAN UNION:
Iran hails ties with Eurasian Union
‘Positive assessment’ for Iran’s membership in Eurasian regional bloc
Tehran Times, July 11, 2021 – Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali has praised the level of ties between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union, underlining the importance of the economic body….
Emphasizing Iran’s commitment to a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Union, he praised the approach of the union secretariat and member states to this issue and added, “In the approach of Russia and Mr. Putin himself, we see a positive assessment for the expansion of relations with Iran in the form of the Eurasian Economic Union and Iran’s membership in this union.”
Iran, Eurasian Economic Union, and the World’s Politics
DND (Pakistan), March 11, 2021 – The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is flashing in international news after Iran indicated that it would like to become a full member of the EAEU….
Although the Office of Chairman of the Board of Eurasian Economic Commission said that no official request from Iran has been received for full membership but shockwaves of this news can be felt in Middle Eastern, Israeli and NATO allied media and the serious US Think Tanks like Jamestown Foundation have reacted sharply. A number of newspapers of the GCC countries have indicated that such development would create bitterness among the EAEU states and the GCC states.

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AFRICAN UNION:
Africa Will ‘One Day Have a Common Currency’ Says Secretary General of African Continental Free Trade Area
Bitcoin.com, July 13, 2021 – The secretary-general of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) secretariat, Wamkele Mene, says Africa will “one day have a common currency” via a proposed “Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS).” He adds that such a currency will help “ease constraints of settling intra-African trade in foreign-denominated currency.”
ECOWAS: West African bloc aims to launch single currency in 2027
DW (Germany), June 19, 2021 – The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday announced 2027 as the new date to launch its single currency, the “eco.”
The bloc had planned to launch a common currency this year but postponed the plan due to challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

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SOUTH AMERICA:
Cracks Emerge In South America’s Mercosur Trade Bloc
International Business Times, July 8, 2021 – Uruguay has said it wants to negotiate its own trade deals, while Brazil wants to lower tariffs on imports from abroad to boost competitiveness, threatening Argentina’s exports in particular.
Argentina’s leftist President Alberto Fernandez on Thursday urged respect for Mercosur’s so-called “consensus” principle — a construct Brazil and Uruguay said they considered “archaic” and economically paralyzing.

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ASEAN, CHINA:
RCEP Asia Trade Pact Draws US Allies Toward China – Analysis
Eurasia Review, July 7, 2021 – U.S. trade experts are watching warily as the world’s biggest free trade pact advances slowly toward ratification and brings some of America’s closest Asian allies into an economic bloc that includes China but leaves the United States on the sidelines…. Concluded in November 2020 after eight years of negotiations, RCEP embraces all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as well as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. Collectively the countries account for about 30% of global GDP.

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ARAB LEAGUE:
How the Pan-Arab electricity market can promote regional cooperation
Brookings, Feb 19, 2021 – Working with the World Bank, the LAS and Arab countries have made a strong economic case for greater integration among the power systems in the region, underpinned by establishing and operating the PAEM. The agreements of the PAEM are designed to become legally binding to any Arab country that signs them—by facilitating electricity trade transactions….
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the need to limit the region’s vulnerability to global oil price volatilities, has added a new sense of urgency and a renewed political commitment to rethinking regional supply chains and integration.

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ASEAN:
The ASEAN harmonization of technical standards on health supplements – An industry perspective
RAPS (Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society), June 28, 2021 – Although it is recognized there is much to be done, harmonization of the proposed 10 sets of technical standards is expected to be a major first step forward in enabling regulatory submissions and reviews of health supplements in the ASEAN region.

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EURASIAN UNION
Plans to set up Eurasian medical agency in Eurasian Economic Union
BelTA, June 3, 2021 – “The EEC believes that we need to seriously consider the idea to set up a universal Eurasian mechanism for assessing the quality, effectiveness and safety of medicines,” [Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Board Chairman] Mikhail Myasnikovich said. “I am talking about an Eurasian medical agency similar to the one in the European Union.”

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EURASIAN UNION, ASEAN:
Glazyev: Eurasian Economic Union prepared to consider preferential trade regime with ASEAN  BelTA (Belarus), June 3, 2021 – “Our integration associations are so mature and developed that we are willing to consider launching the preferential trade regime between the two integration associations: the EAEU and ASEAN,” [Minister for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC)] Sergei Glazyev said.

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ASEAN:
Asean needs own laws to curb China in South China Sea, say experts
Free Malaysia Today, March 16, 2021 – Asean countries must come up with their own legislation to balance the “maritime power” if it is concerned about China’s hold on the South China Sea, said a think tank. Collin Koh of S Rajaratnam School of International Studies said proper legislation will allow Asean countries to have their own coast guard law in direct response to China’s coast guard law.

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SAARC:
Taliban vows to guarantee safety of trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline
Eurasianet, Feb 6, 2021 – A Taliban delegation has paid a surprise visit to Turkmenistan to pledge support for a planned natural gas pipeline across Afghanistan, providing welcome reassurance for a project whose viability has long been rendered doubtful by security concerns. Signs point to the trip having been brokered by the U.S. government, which has long championed what is known as TAPI, named after the four countries the pipeline would cross: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

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SOUTH AMERICA:
The Complex Task of Reviving Multilaterals in Latin America
Oliver Stuenkel, Americas Quarterly, Feb 1, 2021 – ….Furthermore, after four years of Donald Trump’s America First policy, the election of a U.S. president committed to multilateralism and international rules and norms seems to present an ideal moment for strengthening regional institutions. And yet, formidable obstacles stand in the way. To begin with, Trump may have left the White House, but the leaders of the hemisphere’s second- and third-largest countries hold a profoundly Trumpian view of world affairs. Both Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro [Globalists Freak as “Tropical Trump” Bolsonaro Wins in Brazil] and Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador are deeply skeptical of institutions that limit their countries’ sovereignty, and neither of the two has articulated a coherent vision for the future of Latin America or hemispheric cooperation….
In this challenging regional scenario, five guiding principles stand out in the quest to revive multilateral institutions in the Americas. First, given high levels of polarization, the more cooperation can be kept at the bureaucratic and technical level, the better. Attempts at collaboration must be shielded from populist rabble-rousers who would seek to use them for political purposes….

Oliver Stuenkel is a contributing columnist for Americas Quarterly and teaches International Relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo. He is the author of The BRICS and the Future of Global Order (2015) and Post-Western World: How Emerging Powers Are Remaking Global Order (2016).

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SAARC:
The BIMSTEC and issue of regional integration
Observer Research Foundation, Jan 15, 2021 – …Also, a majority of the BIMSTEC member countries are members of another regional cooperation — the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). SAARC is in a coma after it couldn’t hold its regular summit, which was to be held in Pakistan in November 2016. It is the SAARC that has a very good organisational structure and many excellent study reports, decisions and declarations. Yet, it has been pushed to this comatose state despite the long commitment of the member states to make it a live and vibrant regional forum. It is said that all that is lacking in SAARC is proper implementation of its decisions and commitments. Unless the countries which are members of both SAARC and BIMSTEC identify and realise the causes behind the failure of the SAARC, a similar scenario is likely to be repeated by them with BIMSTEC as well.

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ASEAN:
New Currency Union Possible
Numismatic News, Dec 29, 2020 – The world has its newest and largest trading block. Along with this new trading block comes the possibility the 15 countries involved may consider using a common currency.
On November 15 Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea joined the 10 Association of Southeastern Asian Nations or ASEAN members to form the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership….
Common currency proposals on the drawing board that have yet to become a reality include the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, West African Economic and Monetary Union, Gulf Cooperation Council, East African Community, Caribbean Single Market and Economy, South African Customs Union, Southern African Development Community, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Union of South American Nations, Economic Community of Central African States, Economic Community of West African States, African Economic Community, Union States of Russia and Belarus, Arab League, and the Eurasian Economic Union….

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SAARC:
In sickness and in health
Himal Southasian, Dec 21, 2020 – In many ways, the call for the regional revival of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 was designed to fail. After all, the geopolitical red tape that followed the creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund played to a predictable pattern of gridlocked regionalism, with India and Pakistan at loggerheads about how the funding was to be disbursed. Plagued by chronic trust deficit, weak institutionalisation and stasis, Southasia once again finds itself between a rock and a hard place.

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NORTH AMERICA, ASEAN, EU:
Post-pandemic: welcome to the multi-speed world of regional disparities
Global Geneva, April 26, 2020 – It is important to note that these trends were underway before the pandemic. Owing to the US-China trade war, by 2019 America’s trade with each Canada and Mexico had risen to above US$300 billion per year, while US-China trade had fallen to $270 billion. Meanwhile, China’s trade with its Southeast Asian neighbors in ASEAN had nipped $300 billion, showing how Asia continues to integrate…. For its part, Europe had also announced in 2019 an EU-wide strategic industries initiative to support more national champions in clean-tech and other industrial areas to stave off competition from China.

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GCC:
Former Qatari Premier: Israel and Gulf States to Sign Non-Aggression Pact
Between Israel, GCC nations, Egypt, Jordan,  possibly Morocco
The Algemeiner, February 13, 2020 –

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Qatar’s former prime minister said on Monday that Israel and the Persian Gulf states would soon sign a non-aggression pact that could also include Morocco.
“Now it [Trump’s peace plan] will be followed by a non-aggression agreement between Israel and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in addition to Egypt, Jordan and possibly Morocco,” wrote Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani on Twitter, according to i24 News.

VIDEO CLIP: GLOBAL SHAKEDOWN (2015)
The world’s developing and projected regional blocs. (clip will start at 20:15)
A woman rides the beast, “having seven heads, and ten horns.” (Revelation 17:3)
The Tower of Babel (Bruegel) c. 1563
European Parliament Building, Strasbourg, France
Council of Europe’s promotional illustration. Note the EU’s circle of stars as inverted luciferian pentagrams.
Council of Europe’s direct mockery and denial of God’s judgment on the tower of Babel, when “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” (Genesis 11:1)
European Union (EU)
USMCA
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)
African Union (AU)
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Arab League (AL)
Southern Common Market (Mercosur)
Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)

Henry Kissinger: World Order and the New Cold War (2014) 4:05
BLOC HEADS: Builders of the New World Order (2013) 1:48:01
BLOC HEADS Part 1 of 10: Intro, European Union (2013) 13:32


NEW WORLD DISORDER:

Elites favor federations like the European Union. Non-elites revolt
EU exception prioritized ‘free trade’ economic integration before attempting political fusion
By Jason Parker, Washngton Post, Feb 10, 2020 – ….But in a largely forgotten part of the story, the “federal moment” in postwar global history, according to historian Michael Collins, saw nearly a dozen federated entities proposed or attempted between 1945 and 1970. These experiments grouped together colonial units into larger, multiethnic federations. Most — the West Indies Federation, the Central African Federation and Malaysia, for example — were vehicles for decolonization. Others, such as the United Arab Republic and the “beta version” of the European Union, were the initiative of already independent states….
What they had in common was that, in virtually all cases, insularity and identity trumped solidarity and cooperation as local non-elites rebelled against the elites who favored federations….
The story echoed in most of the other attempted unions of the federal moment in Africa and the Middle East. The exception to this failure of the federations was the early version of the European Union. The E.U.’s durability stemmed in part from its slower, piecemeal process of integration, reversing the sequence of the other 1950s federations. Rather than prioritizing political integration as a means to economic cooperation, the then-European Economic Community first reorganized trade and economic arrangements long before attempting any meaningful political fusion — an understandable approach, given the herculean task of rebuilding the European economy after the war.
Jason Parker is professor of history and Cornerstone Faculty Fellow at Texas A&M University.
Even so, the theme was given renewed impetus by the creation of the [British] Round Table Movement in 1909, with the journal of the same name founded in 1910. The Movement initially pressed for organic union, but ultimately for a Commonwealth of independent nation states, ironically the antithesis of such a union. The Round Table Movement consisted largely of acolytes of Lord Milner, his so-called “kindergarten” men such as Lionel Curtis. The union in South Africa prompted thinking about a wider conception of union. In his more lofty and idealistic moments Curtis envisaged “an organic union to be brought about by some establishment of an Imperial government, constitutionally responsible to all the electors of the Empire, and with power to act directly on individual citizens.” 10 ….
There were numerous federations or mooted federations across the British Empire during this period, including the Malay Federation, 1948–1963; the East African High Commission, 1948–1961; the previously discussed Central African Federation, 1953–1963; the West Indies Federation, 1958–1962; and the Federation of South Arabia, 1962–1967. These were not always British initiatives, with nationalists and other agents in the colonies themselves thinking through the possibilities of federation for their own ends….
Moreover, that canvas was in fact far bigger than the British Empire. The decolonising federal moment was a genuinely trans-national, world historical one, which deserves deeper, comparative historical analysis. 
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From Decolonisation and the “Federal Moment” by Michael Collins, Published online: 25 Feb 2013

NORTH AMERICA:
We Don’t Need a North American Union!

The New American, Thursday, February 6, 2020 – Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) joins The New American’s Christian Gomez to discuss his vote against the USMCA trade scheme and the need for a U.S. “Amexit” from the United Nations and Iraq.

 

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