Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Global Markets: Malaysian minister claims forced labour ‘an old issue’

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, Oct. 22 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Amid ongoing allegations of forced labour being used in the Malaysian palm oil industry coming from worker groups, as well as the United States, Malaysian Minister of Plantations Industries and Commodities Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali stated on Thursday this was “an old issue.” The minister added it had been resolved by halting the recruitment of new foreign workers due to COVID-19. Last month, the U.S. banned the import of palm oil from FGV Holdings in Malaysia on the suspicion of the company using forced labour. The U.S. is Malaysia’s second largest agri-commodity trading partner, amounting to US$3.4 billion so far in 2020.

– With the possibility of a snap federal election still looming in Canada, the governing Liberals lead the national opinion polls. An average of polls compiled by the CBC gave the Liberals 36.4 per cent support, followed by the opposition Conservatives at 30.5. The NDP trails behind at 17.9 per cent and the Greens lag well back at 5.8 per cent. On a national basis, the Bloc Quebecois sit at 6.9 per cent and 2.4 per cent went to ‘other.’ The Conservatives’ proposed an anti-corruption committee be struck to investigate dealings between the Liberal government and the We charity. On Wednesday, the NDP and Greens supported the Liberals to defeat the motion 180 to 146.

– In Thursday evening’s presidential debate between incumbent Republican Donald Trump and Democrat challenger Joe Biden, Trump is said to be seeking a dramatic comeback. With his campaign rife with vitriol and unfounded allegations made towards Biden, Trump has been trailing the former vice-president in the polls by around 10 points. The two go head to head in the second and last televised debate in Nashville, Tenn. However, Trump suggested he could pull out at the last minute. Election Day is Nov. 3, but record numbers of U.S. voters have already cast their ballots at advance polls or by mail.

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