EP 078: SMP trucks delayed and President Trump and NAFTA

In this episode, delivery of new SMP trucks delayed, Canada is convinced that President Trump will pull out of NAFTA, and Lockheed Martin enhances the capability of its Aegis Missile-Defense System.

Show Notes:

There has been a delay in the delivery of the Standard Military Pattern or SMP trucks from Mack Defense. The Canadian Armed Forces was supposed to start receiving the first of its new SMP trucks by the summer of 2017 but that was pushed to the end of 2017.

But now the truck delivery has been delayed once again.

This is due to issues with certain aspects on the trucks that have to be dealt with.

“The qualification testing has led to necessary changes in the vehicle that will be incorporated prior to delivering the equipment to the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Department of National Defence spokesman Andrew McKelvey.

NAFTA

Canada is increasingly convinced that President Donald Trump will soon announce the United States intends to pull out of NAFTA.

One of the Canadian government sources also said later it was not certain that Trump would move against the treaty and that Ottawa was prepared for many scenarios.

But even the prospect of potential damage to the three nations’ integrated economies sparked market concerns.

The Canadian dollar weakened to its lowest this year against the greenback on Wednesday as the NAFTA concerns tempered bets that the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates next week. Mike Archibald, an associate portfolio manager at AGF Investments in Toronto, cited “a tremendous amount of uncertainty on the horizon”.

Canadian government bond prices rose across the yield curve and railway, pipeline and other trade-sensitive stocks weighed on the country’s main index.

Mexico’s currency also weakened and stocks extended losses.

Royal Bank of Canada’s Chief Executive Dave McKay said on Tuesday he believed there was now a greater chance that NAFTA could be scrapped.

Separately, a U.S. source close to the White House quoted Trump as saying “I want out” as the talks drag on with little sign of progress.

Aegis Missile-Defense System

Lockheed Martin Corp said on Thursday it had connected key components of its new long-range discrimination radar (LRDR) with its Aegis Ashore missile-defense system to enhance Aegis’s capabilities.

With this technology, the Aegis missile-defense system – a collection of radar stations and interceptors – will be simultaneously able to detect threats from longer distances and combat targets with reduced reaction time, the U.S. weapons maker said.

Author: Marcello Sukhdeo

Marcello is the managing editor of Vanguard, IT in Canada and Canadian Government Executive and the host of Vanguard Radio and WRLWND Radio podcasts. He is an avid technology and security enthusiast, who has worked on content leadership strategies for a number of industries including the public sector, life science, technology and defence.

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