January 19, 2020

Boris Johnson should negotiate trade deals with individual US states, an ex-trade secretary will say today
Britain should negotiate trade deals with individual US states as a backstop while Boris Johnson tries to seal a post-Brexit free trade agreement with America, a former trade secretary will say on Monday.  Liam Fox will point out that four US states - California, Texas, Florida and New York - would be members of the G20 if they were independent nations, and that many deals could be struck with states, rather than the US as a whole. While tariffs on goods can only be negotiated by Washington, deals on services, which account for the majority of Britain’s transatlantic trade, can be sealed on a state level, unlocking billions of pounds of business for the UK economy. Dr Fox will tell a conference in Geneva that free trade agreements are not “the only mechanism” to generate huge volumes of business between countries such as the UK and the US. He will say that a comprehensive free trade agreement with the US will encounter “unavoidable difficulties” because “the US will, quite correctly, negotiate hard for its own interests” and “is likely to focus on better access for its agricultural products”. Liam Fox Many commentators have warned that the Government’s insistence that it will not allow products such as chlorine-washed chicken or hormone-fed beef into the country from the US is incompatible with a free trade agreement (FTA), meaning it will be difficult to convince Donald Trump to sign one. However, Dr Fox, who served as International Trade Secretary until last summer, will tell business leaders that Britain should concentrate on removing non-tariff barriers to trade with the US, which would not need an FTA. He says regulatory autonomy after Brexit - as promised by Mr Johnson - will be key to removing long-standing trade barriers. One example he cites is a mutual recognition agreement negotiated by the Government between the Institute for Chartered Accountants of Scotland and two US accountancy bodies covering every US state, which made professional qualifications on either side of the Atlantic compatible with each other and opened up the American market to accountants from Scotland. US trade negotiations | Britain can make deals with individual states over services Services already account for £50bn of exports to the USA, around 60 per cent of the total export market, and similar deals would open up the US market still further. Speaking to The Telegraph ahead of his speech, Dr Fox said: “There are other things in the toolkit apart from FTAs. “We should be concentrating on market access restrictions rather than solely FTAs with countries like America.” An FTA would cover tariffs, quotas and fees on goods being traded across the Atlantic, but Dr Fox says that as well as mutual recognition agreements, the removal of regulatory barriers can be done outside an FTA. Dairies in Northern Ireland, for example, were unable to export yoghurt and other dairy-based products to China because of regulations that meant that although China imported milk from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, it would not import Northern Irish yoghurt that incorporated milk from the Republic. The Department for International Trade negotiated the removal of the regulatory glitch, which was worth £250 million to Northern Irish producers. Dr Fox will tell the Spinoza Foundation think tank that such side deals represent “enormous potential for Britain to trade more with the US, beyond the concept of an FTA”.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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