Working with Trump ‘not always simple,’ says Trudeau

Ahead of his upcoming campaign for next year’s elections, Trudeau vowed to tackle climate change. (AFP)
Updated 22 October 2018
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Working with Trump ‘not always simple,’ says Trudeau

  • Trudeau said he had done his job of “standing up for Canadians” in agreeing the USMCA trade pact with the US, Canada and Mexico
  • Relations between the two leaders took a hit in June, when Trump taunted Trudeau as “very dishonest & weak” and “meek and mild”

MONTREAL: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said working with US President Donald Trump is “not always simple,” as he welcomed the successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Speaking on an episode of Quebec’s most popular talk show, “Tout Le Monde En Parle,” broadcast Sunday Trudeau said he had done his job of “standing up for Canadians” in agreeing the USMCA trade pact with the US, Canada and Mexico.
Asked about his relationship with Trump, Trudeau cautiously acknowledged it is “not always simple.”
“He knows it and so do I. We are not aligned on many things and it is sometimes difficult to find common ground, but we managed to do it fairly well,” Trudeau said.
Relations between the two leaders took a hit in June, when Trump taunted Trudeau as “very dishonest & weak” and “meek and mild” as he left a G7 summit in Canada that the prime minister had hosted.
Trudeau also defended cannabis legalization during the interview, a key campaign promise that came into effect October 17.
He argued 90 years of prohibition had not worked, and only lined the pockets of organized criminals.
Meanwhile, ahead of his upcoming campaign for next year’s elections, Trudeau vowed to tackle climate change.
“The reality is that we must protect the environment while creating economic growth that is sustainable and responsible,” he said, going on to accuse the opposition Conservative party of having “no plan” on environmental issues.


Davos organizer WEF warns of growing risk of cyberattacks in Gulf

Updated 27 min 7 sec ago
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Davos organizer WEF warns of growing risk of cyberattacks in Gulf

  • Critical infrastructure such as power centers and water plants at particular risk, says expert
  • Report finds that unemployment is a major concern in Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Oman and Tunisia

LONDON: The World Economic Forum (WEF) has warned of the growing possibility of cyberattacks in the Gulf — with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar particularly vulnerable.

Cyberattacks were ranked as the second most important risk — after an “energy shock” — in the three Gulf states, according to the WEF’s flagship Global Risks Report 2019.

The report was released ahead of the WEF’s annual forum in Davos, Switzerland, which starts on Tuesday.

In an interview with Arab News, John Drzik, president of global risk and digital at professional services firm Marsh & McLennan said: “The risk of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure such as power centers and water plants is moving up the agenda in the Middle East, and in the Gulf in particular.”

Drzik was speaking on the sidelines of a London summit where WEF unveiled the report, which was compiled in partnership with Marsh and Zurich Insurance.

“Cyberattacks are a growing concern as the regional economy becomes more sophisticated,” he said.

“Critical infrastructure means centers where disablement could affect an entire society — for instance an attack on an electric grid.”

Countries needed to “upgrade to reflect the change in the cyber risk environment,” he added.

The WEF report incorporated the results of a survey taken from about 1,000 experts and decision makers.

The top three risks for the Middle East and Africa as a whole were found to be an energy price shock, unemployment or underemployment, and terrorist attacks.

Worries about an oil price shock were said to be particularly pronounced in countries where government spending was rising, said WEF. This group includes Saudi Arabia, which the IMF estimated in May 2018 had seen its fiscal breakeven price for oil — that is, the price required to balance the national budget — rise to $88 a barrel, 26 percent above the IMF’s October 2017 estimate, and also higher than the country’s medium-term oil-price target of $70–$80.

But that disclosure needed to be balanced with the fact that risk of “fiscal crises” dropped sharply in the WEF survey rankings, from first position last year to fifth in 2018.

The report said: “Oil prices increased substantially between our 2017 and 2018 surveys, from around $50 to $75. This represents a significant fillip for the fiscal position of the region’s oil producers, with the IMF estimating that each $10 increase in oil prices should feed through to an improvement on the fiscal balance of 3 percentage points of GDP.”

At national level, this risk of “unemployment and underemployment” ranked highly in Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Oman and Tunisia.
“Unemployment is a pressing issue in the region, particularly for the rapidly expanding young population: Youth unemployment averages around 25 percent and is close to 50 percent in Oman,” said the report.

Other countries attaching high prominence to domestic and regional fractures in the survey were Tunisia, with “profound
social instability” ranked first, and Algeria, where respondents ranked “failure of regional and global governance” first.

Looking at the global picture, WEF warned that weakened international co-operation was damaging the collective will to confront key issues such as climate change and environmental degradation.