Americas

  • Venezuela on the edge

    November 30, 2017

    After months of political and economic turmoil, Venezuela has defaulted on its sovereign debt following a series of late bond payments and missed interest payments. How much of their money that investors recoup now depends largely on political developments. 

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  • The Jones Act: Has that ship sailed?

    October 23, 2017

    After a devastating hurricane season in the Caribbean, damage to the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico has once again triggered the debate around the Jones Act. Officially named the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act was created in an effort to rebuild the American merchant shipping fleet after the first world war. The protectionist law requires cargo being moved between U.S. ports to be transported by U.S.-built, U.S.-owned, and U.S.-flagged vessels manned by a primarily American crew. The perennial Jones Act debate has resurfaced as Puerto Rico struggles to receive and distribute disaster relief aid.

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  • Ticking clock: Mercosur and the E.U. race towards a trade deal

    September 28, 2017

    After decades of talks Mercosur, a four-nation bloc that is South America’s nearest equivalent to the European Union, is nearing a free trade agreement (FTA) with the E.U. Amid protectionist clouds gathering on both sides of the Atlantic, the clock is ticking to reach a deal, with agriculture assuming its perennial place as the main bone of contention.

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  • Political risks bedevil Trump’s American coal dream

    August 30, 2017

    The current administration in the United States is attempting to revive the nation’s struggling coal industry and fulfil President Donald J. Trump’s campaign promise to restore coal jobs. The plan, consisting of a rollback in regulations to allow mining on federal land, is likely to increase both political and protest risk rather than spur meaningful resurgence for the industry. A trade dispute with Canada and environmental concerns in the U.S. pose obstacles to Trump’s coal goals.

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  • Situation report: Increasing violence in Jamaica

    August 2, 2017

    Jamaica has seen a major increase in murders over the past several months, likely as a result of shifts within the country's criminal underworld that threaten to seriously impact business and the country's large tourism sector.

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