Category Archives: Trade & Investment

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 »

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 »

Trends in Global Governance

This is an overview of the major global governance trends – treaties, governmentally-endorsed business practices and, especially, private sector standards and actions. The latter isn’t largely recognized but, even if not legally required, these voluntary practices and standards have an important impact on global trade. Brave New World CGAI June 2021

Reshoring Initiative Targets Behaviours, Not Laws

This is an opinion piece of mine in the Globe & Mail (Toronto), 20 April 2021, commenting on how private sector actions – such as guidelines, standards and certifications – can affect international business and trade. These are developments that don’t depend on, and are separate from, governmental actions like statutes or treaties.

Keystone XL Is Dead – It’s Now a Question of Compensation

This is a column of mine in the Globe and Mail (Toronto), 25 January 2021, about the Keystone XL permit cancellation, commenting on how calls for Canadian “sanctions” or “retaliation” made by the premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan make no sense. As well, neither the WTO Agreement nor CUSMA provide legal justification for this kind… Read More »

Investment Disputes under NAFTA-An Evaluation

This commentary, published by the C. D. Howe Institute, deals with investor claims under NAFTA Chapter 11 and assesses Canada’s win-loss record over the past 25 years. These arbitrations are coming to an end under the new NAFTA – or CUSMA as it’s called in Canada. I say that’s a welcome development. NAFTA Investment Disputes-Bringing… Read More »

Assessing Trade-Related Risks

This article appeared as an op-ed commentary in the Toronto Globe & Mail Report on Business, 26 November 2019. It notes the shattering of the established global trade order and recommends more attention to corporate reporting of trade-related risks in light of these developments. Climate-change risks are increasingly being reported by public issuers. I suggest standards… Read More »