Category Archives: Canada-US trade

Trump and Trade – Whither NAFTA

As we try to come to grips with all the implications of the Trump ascendency, there are some important points for Canada to contemplate when it comes to bilateral trade matters. First, Trump will move quickly to demand re-negotiation of the NAFTA and while his acrimony is focused on Mexico, as a trilateral agreement Canada… Read More »

BC’s Non-Resident Home Purchase Taxes and International Trade

Comments have been made in some quarters about the recently-announced 15% tax imposed by the BC government on non-resident purchases of residential property to the effect the measure might offend Canada’s obligations under the NAFTA. These come as a surprise, since few would have thought that an internal measure like this would even remotely involve… Read More »

Private Rule-Making & International Trade

Recent episodes such as the Earls Restaurant issue over so-called “humane beef” illustrate the impact of private sector standards, rules and best practices on international trade, outside the realm of governments and free-trade agreements. These industry-driven rules and “regulations” are having an increasing impact on international business. See my commentary, 13 May 2016, in the… Read More »

Canada and Investment Disputes-Tallying the Numbers

Canada Pays Out The federal government just announced that it was paying Mobil Investments and Murphy Oil some $19 million to satisfy a decision of a NAFTA investment arbitration panel last year. The tribunal found that certain guidelines of the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board were discriminatory and thereby breached Canada’s NAFTA obligations. Although the government… Read More »

Canadian Trade Policy under the Liberals-Some Ideas

As Canada becomes more and more assertive in international markets, particularly the expanding export reach of our SMEs, we need to consider aspects of our strategy aimed at dismantling foreign trade barriers. Preferential trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are one way but there… Read More »

COOL Frustrations

The trade dispute between Canada and the US over American country of origin labelling requirements (referred to everywhere as “COOL”) is entering its eighth year. It presents a history of delay, frustration and prevarication that, sad to say, tarnishes the utility of the WTO dispute settlement system. Canada took the matter to the WTO back… Read More »