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The US announced enhanced sanctions against Caracas last week targeting Venezuela’s central bank, cutting off its access to the US financial system. The move, intended to further isolate Nicolas Maduro’s regime, comes after months of tough talk to end his grip on power. More sanctions are expected in May to further curtail Venezuela’s trade in oil, their main export and foreign currency earner.

As the US and China get closer to a possible trade deal, the World Trade Organisation is set to lose its principal role as an arbiter of disputes. That has significant consequences for global trade, and underlined the re-emergence of bilateral agreements that once hindered global trade and development for decades. 

US President Donald Trump had been uncharacteristically quiet since his failed meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in Hanoi. That silence ended with a confused tweet at the end of last week overturning some unannounced, but apparently new, sanctions his Treasury Department was about to impose on Kim’s government.


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