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Trade

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International trade has enormous potential to foster or frustrate sustainable development.

By allowing for specialization, trade can increase income and contribute to increased well-being. Openness to investment and trade can bring new environmentally friendly technologies and processes. But trade can also allow powerful global demand to deplete countries' natural resources and create increased pollution, and the benefits of trade are not always well distributed among and within nations. In seeking positive outcomes, IISD focuses on both on national-level trade policies and trade rules agreed at the World Trade Organization and in regional agreements. 

  • Paper
    Shining a Light on Fossil Fuel Subsidies at the WTO: How NGOs can contribute to WTO notification and surveillance

    Shining a Light on Fossil Fuel Subsidies at the WTO: How NGOs can contribute to WTO notification and surveillance

    Fossil fuel subsidies undermine efforts to mitigate climate change and damage the trading system. However, multilateral discussion is hampered by inconsistent definitions and incomplete data.

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  • Blog
    Taking the Leap to Realign Trade and Sustainable Development: Now is the time

    Taking the Leap to Realign Trade and Sustainable Development: Now is the time

    Senior Fellow Mark Halle explains why now, at this critical juncture, is the time to realign the trade sector and the concerns of the sustainable development agenda.

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  • Blog
    Carbon Without Borders: Can trade policy support ambitious climate action?

    Carbon Without Borders: Can trade policy support ambitious climate action?

    The multilateral trade and climate regimes both face unprecedented uncertainty and strain. How should countries advance the urgent need for climate action without resorting to protectionism?

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