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Democracy Now!

Capitalism Without Accountability at Root of Suez Canal Shipping Crisis, Says Scholar Laleh Khalili

A Suez Canal service firm now says the huge container ship blocking the canal has been refloated and is on the move. The 200,000-ton ship, the Ever Given, got stuck on March 23, blocking one of the world’s most important trade routes, which is used for about 12 percent of all global trade. The impact of the canal shutdown has raised new questions about global trade practices, including the reliance on massive cargo ships, the conditions of workers on the vessels, and environmental degradation.

“As years have gone by, the ships have gotten bigger and bigger and bigger,” says Laleh Khalili, professor of international politics at Queen Mary University of London. She notes that it was an earlier closure of the canal, during the Suez Crisis in the 1950s, that led shipping companies to build ever larger “megaships” like the Ever Given.

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