Canada and the United States failed to reach a deal on NAFTA Friday, casting doubts on the agreement’s future. In truth, the legal framework and negotiation path for moving forward on a new deal have never been cut and dry. But the idea that the U.S. and Canada would reach a deal in a matter of days was never realistic. The government must present the full text of any new trade agreement to Congress within 30 days. Questions remain, though, over Canada’s participation, the legality of approving a bilateral agreement instead of a trilateral one and whether the terms of the new deal will be acceptable to Congress. Tellingly, for all the drama surrounding the talks, they haven’t ended, so there is still room for a deal to be reached.
Recent tensions between Russia and Ukraine show no sign of abating. Russia has launched a criminal investigation in response the killing of the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, a rebel territory in eastern Ukraine that is supported by Russia. Moscow has also canceled its participation in the Normandy Four, a group of four countries trying to resolve the conflict there. On Saturday, the U.S. special envoy for Ukraine said anti-Russia sentiment was growing in Ukraine and that the U.S. was ready to discuss ways to help improve Ukraine’s naval and air defense capability. Some of the more optimistic rumors circulating on the internet suggest that the recent deaths are Russia’s way of cleaning house, an act of “good faith” to help reach a deal on Ukraine with the European Union.
- Iran will hold talks with the EU on ways to uphold the nuclear deal and to circumvent U.S. sanctions.
- Brazil’s electoral court voted 6-1 against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s request to register as a presidential candidate despite being in jail. His lawyers have 10 days to file an appeal.
- Pakistan’s finance minister said the government is taking steps to address money laundering and alleged terror financing. The moves are aimed at getting the country off the Financial Action Task Force gray list and avoiding being placed on the blacklist.
- Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force and the Royal Australian Air Force will hold joint exercises Sept. 5-Sept. 30 in Japan for the first time. Exercises are expected to simulate combat near Misawa and Chitose air bases.
- The USS Newport News, a fast attack submarine, entered the Mediterranean Sea by way of Gibraltar. Its presence there, along with fears that another chemical attack may be launched in Syria, raises speculation of a possible U.S. assaul on Syria.