Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Canadian Dollar Whipsawed as Spat With Saudi Arabia Intensifies

Canadian Dollar Whipsawed as Spat With Saudi Arabia Intensifies

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia executed a man by crucifixion in the holy city of Mecca on Wednesday, while it was trying to attack Canada on its human rights record.

Saudi Arabia called that "unfortunate, reprehensible, and unacceptable in relations between states".

On Monday, Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said her government - which has come under fire previously for signing off on the sale of more than 900 armoured vehicles to Riyadh - would continue to call for the release of the detained activists.

Several countries have expressed support for Saudi Arabia, including Egypt and Russian Federation, which both told Ottawa it was unacceptable to lecture the kingdom on human rights. "A mistake has been made and a mistake should be corrected", the Saudi minister said.

The first Canadian source said Ottawa shared the view of foreign policy experts who believe the Saudi reaction reflected internal strains inside the kingdom, where 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is trying to push through domestic reforms.

Some analysts perceive the move as both a power play for the kingdom's young leader and a demonstration put on for the benefit of countries with stronger ties to Saudi Arabia than Canada.

Saudi Arabia has directed asset managers to sell off Canadian equities as part of an escalating response to criticism from Canada according to a report by the Financial Times.

China plans tariffs on $60B of U.S. goods
The escalating dispute, with no settlement in sight, has fueled fears it might chill global trade and economic growth. The 25 percent duty would be applied to the proposed list of $200 billion of Chinese products announced on July 10.

Tourist plane crashes in Swiss Alps, all 20 on board dead
He said it had its full annual service during the winter, and "we know of no technical problems with this aircraft". The plane was operated by Ju-Air, a Swiss company that offers tours with vintage former Swiss military aircraft.

Trump proposes car-mileage rollback; states sue in protest
The new guidelines will keep standards at 2020 levels until 2026, instead of mandating that they improve over this time period. Trump administration wants to freeze Obama-era requirements that force automakers to manufacture more fuel-efficient vehicles.

And, a tweet from Saudi Arabia's state airline said all flights from and to Toronto would be suspended starting from August 13th.

Riyadh also froze new trade with Ottawa and made plans to relocate thousands of Saudi students and patients in Canada to other countries.

"Saudi Arabia simply can not afford to alienate any other sections of the global community in the midst of its unpopular military engagement in Yemen, its indirect confrontation with Iran", commentator Jamal Khashoggi wrote in the Washington Post.

Saudi scholarship recipients to Canadian universities were ordered to other countries.

The dispute looks set to damage what is a modest bilateral trade relationship worth almost $4 billion a year.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's main state wheat-buying agency, Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), issued a notice to exporters that it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley. Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia were about $1.12 billion in 2017, or 0.2 percent of the total value of Canadian exports.

Like this: