There’s concern in Washington – even consternation – over December’s conclusion of the European Union-China investment treaty, with some commentators saying it was engineered by China to create a political wedge between the United States and its European allies, coming at a sensitive juncture that can only embarrass the incoming Biden administration. Whether this is the case remains to be seen. But the fact is that a tough position on China has strong bipartisan support in Washington. Foreign initiatives seen to be cozying up to China would be looked upon negatively by the White House – at the very least, complicating life for the new president and his team. Erroneously described as a trade agreement, the deal is a more restricted...
ll est grand temps que nos entreprises accélèrent leur numérisation. Celles qui ne mordront pas la carotte des appuis offerts par les gouvernements et les institutions financières goûteront au bâton des concurrents qui redoublent d’ardeur. La COVID-19 agit en accélérateur de changement, que l’on pense seulement au télétravail et aux achats en ligne qui ont grimpé en flèche. Or, ce ne sont que deux manifestations parmi plusieurs de la numérisation de l’économie, un concept large qui englobe aussi la bande passante à haut débit qui livre les séries de Netflix ou l’accès internet aux services bancaires, par fibre optique ou par les ondes de nos téléphones. Dans les entreprises innovatrices, l’information numérisée lubrifie tous les...
Along with much of the world, Canada’s economy has suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic and other events in 2020, notably the shock to global oil markets. How badly? An examination of the immediate data and longer trends indicates significant damage, with a lengthy recovery period ahead. Let’s start with labour markets, where there are signs of recovery but also growing evidence of damage. The unemployment rate exploded to nearly 14 per cent from 6 per cent during the shutdown from March to May. The rate has dropped steadily since as many displaced workers have been re-engaged, but the second pandemic wave and renewed shutdowns in many provinces have meant more job losses. Employment fell by 63,000 in December, and the...