Australia cancels two China BRI deals; US tax proposal for wealthy; Iran Nuclear Deal

In today’s episode, we discuss Australia’s decision to pull out of two deals signed with China, as part of its Belt and Road initiative, examine the impact of US President Joe Biden’s proposed capital gains tax as high as 43.4% for wealthy individuals, and revisit the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Today on The Leaders' Brief -
  • In a move that would worsen the already deteriorating relationship between Australia and China, Canberra has cancelled two bilaterals between Beijing and the state of Victoria. The deals were among four projects the Australian federal government vetoed to cancel under legislation that gives the government power to overrule international agreements by lower-level administrations that violate national interest. Two deals were signed in 2018 and 2019 by the Victoria government and China’s National Development and Reform Commission. The other two deals vetoed were agreements signed by the Victoria Education Department with Syria and Iran in 1999 and 2004 respectively.

  • US President Joe Biden plans to almost double the capital gains tax rate for wealthy individuals to 39.6% to help pay for a series of social spending that addresses long-standing inequality, according to American media reports. Under the plan, applicable for those earning $1 million or more, wealthy individuals could find themselves paying federal taxes of over 40%. The plan, if rolled out, would be in line with Mr Biden’s desire to equalize the capital gains and income tax rates for wealthy individuals. Mr Biden, has on a few occasions, had called the present tax rates unfair. 

  • After weeks of indirect talks with Iran that western powers labelled ‘constructive’, the United States of America has shared with Tehran details of sanctions it is prepared to lift under a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action. The development comes at a time Iran has threatened to continue enriching weapons-grade uranium to a purity of over 60% after an explosion and power cut at its Natanz plant. Iran says Israel was responsible for the outage.  

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