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Trump bans U.S. investment in Chinese military-linked firms – CTV News

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BEIJING —
U.S. President Donald Trump has stepped up a conflict with China over security and technology by issuing an order barring Americans from investing in companies that U.S. officials say are owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

The impact of the order Thursday wasn’t immediately clear but it could add to pressure on companies including telecom equipment giant Huawei and video surveillance provider Hikvision that already face U.S. export bans and other sanctions.

It is Trump’s first major action toward China since he lost his re-election bid to challenger Joe Biden. Economists and political analysts have said even if Trump was defeated he was likely to launch more actions Beijing before he leaving office on Jan. 20.

Political analysts expect little change in policy under Biden due to widespread frustration with China’s trade and human rights records and accusations of spying and technology theft.

U.S. officials complain China’s ruling Communist Party takes advantage of access to American technology and investment to expand its military, already one of the world’s biggest and most heavily armed.

Thursday’s order complains the companies targeted “directly support” the Chinese military, intelligence and security apparatus. It said Beijing “exploits United States investors” to finance military development by selling securities in American and foreign financial markets.

The order bars American investors from conducting any transactions in publicly traded securities issued by any Chinese companies designated by the secretary of defence as being linked to the Communist Party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army.

The Pentagon earlier designated 31 companies as being owned or controlled by the Chinese military. Many are military contractors or state-owned companies such as phone carrier China Telecom Ltd. But the list also includes Huawei Technologies Ltd. and Hikvision Digital Technology Co., which say they are private and deny they are controlled by the military.

Most of those companies have no shares traded in the United States but many sell stocks, bonds and other securities in markets outside mainland China that are accessible to American investors.

Sales made to divest securities of those companies will be allowed until one year from now on Nov. 11, 2021.

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Without investment, universities and colleges heading for a crisis – Toronto Star

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Universities and colleges employ hundreds of thousands of people, educate and train over two million students annually and drive research that improves the lives of all Canadians. In cities and communities across the country, they are regional economic drivers and social and cultural centres. Our world-class post-secondary education system is critical to our prosperity, underpins our democracy and finds solutions to key challenges, be it COVID or climate change.

All of this is in peril — and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public funding for post-secondary education has been stagnant for more than a decade. COVID-19 has brought the system closer to the edge. Strategic investments in universities and colleges must be made now to ensure a strong economic recovery and a more resilient future for Canadians.

COVID-19 has strained resources and reduced revenues, especially from international student fees. For decades, in the absence of sustainable government funding, students and their families have been asked to pay more. Private sources of funding now make up over half of university revenues, up from just 20 per cent when the parents of students may have once been on campus.

Since the last recession in 2008, provincial government spending in the sector has decreased by one per cent in real terms. Meanwhile, student enrolment has grown by more than 20 per cent over the same time, and income from tuition by nearly 70 per cent. With more than half of all university students already taking on an average of $28,000 of debt to get an education, reliance on student fees to solve the funding crisis simply isn’t sustainable.

There are three areas that need immediate action from the federal government to put post-secondary education on stable footing and improve quality, affordability and accessibility.

First, we need a national strategy for post-secondary education with goals to tackle education inequality, enhance affordability and strengthen research capacity. The last time the federal government increased the base funding to the provinces and territories for post-secondary education was in 2008 under Stephen Harper and this came with no plan of action to address key challenges.

Secondly, we need to accelerate research through enhanced investments in fundamental research. The government’s own advisory panel recommended funding levels 40 per cent higher than what we are investing today to keep Canada competitive.

The pandemic has also put much research on hold. In a survey of Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) members, two out of three have seen their research stop or stall as a result of the pandemic. This hiatus in research will have a significant downstream impact on the innovation and knowledge that supports Canada’s economy.

Finally, we need to secure opportunities for youth and the unemployed by decreasing upfront costs and moving to a free tuition model for working- and middle-class Canadians. The government’s temporary doubling of the Canada Student Grant this year will help students cover costs this term, however it is still less than the average tuition.

It is also an unsustainable approach.

While we have seen increases in student financial assistance, we have also seen increases in tuition. As some provincial officials half-joke, the best way to leverage federal funding for post-secondary education is to raise tuition, as this will increase demands for federally funded student financial assistance.

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Some of the necessary changes to the funding model for post-secondary education could be met by redirecting the $900 million in unused federal funding from the failed Canada Student Service Grant program. The government could also repurpose the Canada Training Benefit to ensure that Canadians have more meaningful and timely access to educational opportunities.

There are many public services and sectors that need strengthening to get us out of the current crisis and be better for it. Post-secondary education is an essential foundation for social cohesion, science, innovation and economic success in Canada, and must not be taken for granted. We cannot let it languish now, when it is so critical to the well-being of our country.

Brenda Austin-Smith is a film studies professor and head of the English, theatre, film and media department at the University of Manitoba. She is also president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, which represents 72,000 academic staff at universities and colleges across the country.

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Glimmer of hope for investment in Europe: EY survey – The Journal Pioneer

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By Mark John

LONDON (Reuters) – Global executives see a smaller hit to their investment plans for Europe than they did earlier this year and are somewhat more upbeat about the continent’s future appeal, a questionnaire by professional services group EY found.

The survey, conducted in October before a series of COVID-19 vaccine trial breakthroughs, showed that 42% of executives now expect a decrease in their 2020 investment plans and 31% plan to delay them to 2021.

That compared with 66% who expected decreases and 23% who saw delays when asked the same question back in April. This time around, a small number – 10% – even saw an increase to their 2020 investments, something no one did in April.

While that still means a big overall hit to foreign direct investment after 2019’s record year, EY noted that 21% of those surveyed believed Europe would be more attractive for investment post-Covid compared to just 8% in April.

“It is promising that investors believe that over the next three years, Europe will become a much more attractive destination for investments than before pandemic,” EY Area Managing Partner Julie Teigland said.

The findings were based on interviews with 109 global executives across 14 industries in October.

Upbeat news from vaccine trials are starting to support economic sentiment. The monthly eurozone Purchase Managers Index (PMI) for November saw a rise in its “future output” component in November to its highest level since February.

Among the other takeaways from the EY survey, 63% expected faster roll-out of digital customer access to surveys in the next three years (versus 55% in April) but only 37% now saw a reversal of globalisation (versus 56%).

(Reporting by Mark John, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Glimmer of hope for investment in Europe: EY survey – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Mark John

LONDON (Reuters) – Global executives see a smaller hit to their investment plans for Europe than they did earlier this year and are somewhat more upbeat about the continent’s future appeal, a questionnaire by professional services group EY found.

The survey, conducted in October before a series of COVID-19 vaccine trial breakthroughs, showed that 42% of executives now expect a decrease in their 2020 investment plans and 31% plan to delay them to 2021.

That compared with 66% who expected decreases and 23% who saw delays when asked the same question back in April. This time around, a small number – 10% – even saw an increase to their 2020 investments, something no one did in April.

While that still means a big overall hit to foreign direct investment after 2019’s record year, EY noted that 21% of those surveyed believed Europe would be more attractive for investment post-Covid compared to just 8% in April.

“It is promising that investors believe that over the next three years, Europe will become a much more attractive destination for investments than before pandemic,” EY Area Managing Partner Julie Teigland said.

The findings were based on interviews with 109 global executives across 14 industries in October.

Upbeat news from vaccine trials are starting to support economic sentiment. The monthly eurozone Purchase Managers Index (PMI) for November saw a rise in its “future output” component in November to its highest level since February.

Among the other takeaways from the EY survey, 63% expected faster roll-out of digital customer access to surveys in the next three years (versus 55% in April) but only 37% now saw a reversal of globalisation (versus 56%).

(Reporting by Mark John, editing by Ed Osmond)

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