Category Archives: Trade Agreements

NATO, Defense and Canadian Well-Being

This is an op-ed (14 February 2024) that explains how Canada’s poor record in meeting NATO defense expenditure obligations – and other commitments to its allies – weakens the country’s geopolitical influence and its ability to resolve economic, commercial and trade matters, ultimately impacting on the well-being of Canadians generally. It’s a call for changes… Read More »

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) – Some Comments

The proliferation of bilateral international investment agreements (IIAs) globally, with their binding Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, means that investment arbitrations will be an ongoing feature of business relations in many parts of the world. Even if some countries are terminating their IIAs, investment arbitrations will continue, the challenge for governments being to respond to… Read More »

A Comment on the WTO’s Future – C.D. Howe Institute

The World Trade Organization is facing serious challenges. Its negotiating functions are paralyzed by disagreements among member governments. The dispute settlement process is dysfunctional as well. Institutional reform of the Organization is long overdue. Given these problems, what is the realistic future of the WTO? Here are some practical suggestions. The WTO & Some Future… Read More »

Green Subsidies & Trade Wars – Commentary

One of the serious shortcomings of the global trading order – as represented by the WTO & its multilateral rules-based system – is that it is based on a commercial world that no longer exists. The rules are not adequate to deal with modern trade challenges, particularly climate change & decarboniztion. This short piece suggests… Read More »

World of Trade in 2023

In January 2023, I wrote an opinion piece for the Globe and Mail (Toronto) about the coming year’s prospects for the multilateral trading system, giving all the problems confronting the WTO. The piece outlines, in brief fashion, some themes for the year to come. Globe and Mail – Challenges for Global Trade in 2023

Sanctions – Embedded in the Structure of Global Trade

The Ukraine war has resulted in a huge array of Western sanctions, extraordinarily coordinated, that will be a lasting element in the global trading order. This opinion piece in the Globe in May 2022 explains their impact and the political difficulties of winding these down, even if and when this war ends. Russian Sanctions Will… Read More »

WTO in Limbo – What Next?

WTO In Limbo – Options for Western Countries A commentary on the emergence of the OECD as the most viable institution to conclude new multilateral rules, standards even binding agreements in face of the difficulties facing the WTO. Published by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute in June 2022.