World pandemic treaty; US sanction threat over digital tax; Brazil cabinet reshuffle

In today's episode, we look into the possibility of world leaders formulating an international pandemic treaty, examine US threats to impose trade sanctions on six countries over their digital tax policies, and discuss Brazil’s cabinet reshuffle.
Today on The Leaders' Brief -
  • Acknowledging that COVID has posed the biggest challenge since World War 2, with a casualty of over 2.7 million, 24 world leaders, including the heads of all G7 countries said that the world must now "be better prepared to predict, prevent, detect, assess and effectively respond to pandemics in a highly coordinated fashion". Given the developments over the past year, the call for action to put in place preventive measures against future pandemics undoubtedly holds the highest priority for every country. 

  • The USA has threatened tariffs on six countries, including the United Kingdom and India over their digital tax policies. The other four countries include Austria, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement last week that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) would initiate steps to impose potential tariffs, including filing public notices and collecting public comments as part of investigations launched by the erstwhile Trump administration into taxes aimed at American internet companies and e-commerce platforms. Under the provisions of Section 301 of the US Trade Act, the USA would hold rights to levy tariffs of up to 25% on goods being exported from the said countries. Brazilian.

  • President Jair Bolonaro announced Monday, a major cabinet reshuffle after several ministers resigned over the COVID crisis. The development comes days after the country’s former defence minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva and foreign minister Ernesto Araujo tendered their resignations. Former Attorney General Andre Levi also resigned immediately after. Notably, the new shuffle puts more military personnel in ranks closer to the Brazilian President as he prepares to fight federal elections next year.

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