National Newswatch

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 […]

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.

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 […]

NAFTA and a made-in-Canada IP framework

Aug 1 2017 — — Nearly a quarter-century ago, the United States, Canada and Mexico concluded the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), implemented in 1994, and it included the first intellectual property (IP) chapter in an international trade agreement, chapter 17. This chapter was negotiated against the backdrop of negotiation of the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual […]

A Muscular New Canada? Not So Fast

Jul 31 2017 — — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, never shy of media attention, was recently featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. The opposition was quick to criticize what it saw as the at times fawning coverage in the magazine, even as supporters were keen to highlight the potential political capital afforded to what remains a very popular […]

NAFTA challenges ahead for Canada and Mexico

Jul 27 2017 — — Mexico has a highly diversified and stable economy and is one of the most open free-trading nations in the world. In 2016, it was the most open economy in the G20, measured at 73.8 percent on the openness trade index (ratio of trade to GDP). It has 12 free trade agreements across North America, the […]

Preparing Canada for the changing global economy

Jul 26 2017 — — Canada is a small, open economy; our prosperity depends on international trade. But as the global economic landscape changes rapidly, many are apprehensive about what the future holds. Will political developments thicken our southern border? Can our companies compete in an increasingly interconnected and digital world? Can our economy attract more international investors and multinational […]

America First: The Global Trump at Six Months

Jul 24 2017 — — For Donald Trump ‘America First’ means ‘America First.’ Canada and like-minded nations will have to get used to it. Canada will have to actively engage with Congress, the states and the private and public interests that drive the American agenda. We will also have to put more effort and contribute more to the rules-based order […]