National Newswatch

A progressive trade agenda with China?

Aug 23 2017 — — A recent poll found that Canadians are keen to link human rights with a trade deal — an attitude likely to have been strengthened by the recent death of Nobel Peace Prize winner and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo. Should we be talking trade at all with the Chinese, some Canadians ask? Yes. Even if the […]

The opportunity of green trade

Aug 22 2017 — — As part of the discussion around climate change and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, there’s been growing interest in the trade of clean technology and services, or “green trade.” The focus so far has been on the domestic market for the production and consumption of low-carbon energy, but there’s a much larger business opportunity awaiting […]

Understanding the NAFTA rules of origin negotiations

Aug 17 2017 — — NAFTA’s rules of origin (ROO) are poised to be a key element in the Trump administration’s pursuit of its NAFTA negotiating objectives, including reducing the US goods trade deficit with the other NAFTA parties. The US is seeking to strengthen rules of origin in order to “incentivize the sourcing of goods and materials from the […]

NAFTA 2.0 and the workforce of the future

Aug 16 2017 — Christopher Smillie — North American businesses have the moving of industrial goods, raw materials and final products down to a science. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, over recent decades NAFTA has “fundamentally reshaped North American economic relations, driving an unprecedented integration” of the three countries. The caveat to this success, however, is that despite NAFTA and […]

Canadians’ opinions mixed on supply management

Aug 15 2017 — Shachi Kurl — “We do not have to worry about Canada, we do not even think of them.” So said Donald J. Trump to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto during a phone call on January 27 of this year, according to transcripts obtained by the Washington Post. And while this writer cannot begin to fathom what’s going on […]

Digital provisions turn farmers into hackers

Aug 14 2017 — — Upheaval in the global trading system is forcing Canada, and many other countries, to contemplate the appropriateness of a wide range of trade provisions. And while much has been said about how we should update trade agreements — including in NAFTA renegotiations — far less attention has been paid to the unintended consequences of existing […]

International trade and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region

Aug 11 2017 — — Over the last decade, world trade in goods has increased dramatically from US$10 trillion in 2005 to US$16 trillion in 2015, while trade in services has doubled, from US$2.5 trillion to US$5 trillion. Much of this trade occurs within regional trade agreements (RTAs), of which there are currently over 600 around the world.

Team Canada should pull the NAFTA agenda toward a postcarbon world

Aug 8 2017 — — One of the early pieces of advice Canada is receiving as it prepares its strategy for renewed NAFTA negotiations with the United States is that when you’re up against a schoolyard bully who is determined to win at all costs, the best defence is a good offence. So could Donald Trump’s decision to pull his […]

Overcoming Canada’s trade complacency

Aug 8 2017 — — I had the impression that Canada was a player in international trade when I went to work for the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) in the late 1990s. But that’s not what I observed during a short stint with Canada’s main farm lobby. Gone were the days when Canadian negotiators set the global trade agenda […]

TPP 2.0 a complex solution for challenging times

Aug 7 2017 — — Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) rise from the dead? It’s a question that will preoccupy Canadian officials as they sit down at the table this summer with the US and Mexico to discuss revising NAFTA. In mid-July, negotiators for the 11 remaining TPP countries (the US withdrew in January) agreed at a meeting in Japan […]

Four ways to keep our eyes on the prize in NAFTA talks

Aug 4 2017 — — The US recently set out its NAFTA negotiating objectives. As reported elsewhere in this series, there were few surprises for close watchers of the file. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is scheduled to outline Canada’s agenda on August 14, just days before Canada, Mexico and the US meet in Washington to begin formal negotiations. Given […]

How Canada can keep the lights on at the WTO

Aug 3 2017 — — With the prospect of the global order collapsing amid protectionist acrimony, what can Canada do? In her June 2017 speech on Canada’s foreign policy priorities, Minister Chrystia Freeland stressed that Canada’s first priority is to “robustly support the rules-based international order, and all its institutions,” which explicitly included strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO). Much […]

Putting the “progressive” in a progressive trade agenda

Aug 2 2017 — — Sometimes lost in the many details and debates about trade and investment deals is the reason why we trade. The economy is meant to serve the interests of society — not the other way around. Popular movements in Europe and the United States are questioning the current economic consensus, and trade and investment deals are […]

The environment in Canadian trade agreements

Aug 1 2017 — — The number of trade agreements that include environmental clauses is on the rise. Many agreements devote an entire chapter to environmental protection and address a broad range of issues including the protection of endangered species, hazardous waste management, climate change and forest conservation. Some of these clauses are even more specific and restrictive than those […]