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The U.S.-Israel relations is under pressure following the recent election results in Israel. President Reuven Rivlin has once again tapped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government. This will be the third attempt by the PM to form a coalition government with the opposition. Netanyahu’s nationalist Likud Party and the religious Blue and White Party failed on their previous two (2) attempts to form a power sharing agreement. This is troublesome to the United States as PM Netanyahu has been the bridge towards a greater relationship between the U.S. and Israel. Aside from this, Israel and the U.S. has been facing increased scrutiny from Iran. During his speech in the United Nations General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed that Israel backed the Islamic State. On the other hand, he accused the United States of committing a merciless economic terrorism against Iran.
U.S. crude oil inventories ticked higher in this week’s report. This was after last week’s report ended the four (4) consecutive weeks of decrease in the inventory. At the same time last week, the Federal Reserve cut the United States’ benchmark interest rate. A weak dollar and a high crude oil reserves is beneficial to the American economy. The stronger U.S. economy, however, was compensated by a weaker U.S. military. Under the leadership of U.S. President Donald Trump, the country has pulled out its military from countries that is not benefiting the United States. The U.S. military is now focusing on building its army and infrastructure in the eastern bloc (Hungary, Poland, Czechia, and Slovakia). The build-up was caused by rising Russian military activity in Eastern Europe. A higher U.S. crude oil inventory could also be used to end the European Union’s reliance on Russia’s crude oil and liquified natural gas (LNG).
New Zealand will create a trading pact that will use the original trading rules to tackle climate change and other environmental issues. The country will be joined by Norway, Iceland, Costa Rica, and Fiji to form the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (AACTS). The agreement will remove tariffs on environmental goods and make new commitments on environmental services. This is expected to benefit the country’s economy in addition to the recently ratified pacific rim trade pact, the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership). New Zealand currently ranks ninth place on the 2019 World Happiness Report, while Canada placed tenth. Canada was also a member of the CPTPP. However, political challenges within the country is preventing the advancement of its economy towards a more sustainable one.
Several reports showed that the removal of “equivalence” between the Swiss and EU markets has increased costs for buying and selling small or medium-sized companies on the Switzerland stock exchange. The removal was amid the narrowing relationship between the European Union and Switzerland. The Swiss government angered Brussels over its decision to sign a post-Brexit trade agreement with the United Kingdom while rejected the EU framework deal. The deal was supposed to incorporate all existing EU-Swiss agreement that can be the future of the EU-UK trading relationship. New Zealand, on the other hand, was able to please the European Union and the United Kingdom. New Zealand was the first country to express its willingness to sign a trading agreement with Britain once it officially leaves the European Union. This was despite the country having a trading agreement with Brussels.