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Trade

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Trade matters. It has the potential to advance sustainable, low-carbon development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement climate commitments present fundamental challenges to trade policy; so too do growing protectionism and the fraying of multilateralism. 

IISD has been working on international trade for over two decades. Our work mirrors the scientific, economic, fiscal, legal and environmental aspects of trade. IISD focuses on reforms to the World Trade Organization and other trade agreements (including the North American Free Trade Agreement); options for new industrial policies functioning within a rules-based system; and whether trade can accelerate renewable energy and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. IISD examines trade-related issues ranging from global food security and other commitments set out in the SDGs, to innovative financing for sustainable infrastructure, carbon-border adjustment measures and the role of big data. 

IISD works with developing countries and others on international investment treaties. It also addresses trade issues through its flagship Investment Treaty News, Global Subsidies Initiative and the SDG Knowledge Hub.   

  • Blog
    Making the International Trade System Work for Climate Change:  Five Ways to Address Fossil Fuel Subsidies through the WTO and International Trade Agreements

    Making the International Trade System Work for Climate Change: Five Ways to Address Fossil Fuel Subsidies through the WTO and International Trade Agreements

    Can the international trade system be a catalyst for reforming fossil fuel subsidies (FFSs) to help relieve the burden on the public purse, reduce local and global air pollution, improve energy security and tackle climate change? 

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  • Blog
    How the G20 Creates Value

    How the G20 Creates Value

    Much has been said about the outcomes of the 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg, which ranged from converging thinking on heightening security, to the...

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  • Blog
    Can Trade Help Deliver the Paris Agreement? Lessons learned from the G20

    Can Trade Help Deliver the Paris Agreement? Lessons learned from the G20

    This year’s G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, saw long and heated discussion on the urgency of delivering the Paris Agreement. 

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  • Report
    Standards and Biodiversity

    Standards and Biodiversity

    The Standards and Biodiversity Report analyzes the criteria and market coverage of 15 major agricultural voluntary sustainability standards against key biodiversity parameters.

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2017

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2017

    Investment Treaty News is IISD’s flagship quarterly journal on international investment law and policy.

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  • Commentary
    NAFTA’s Environmental Record: History, outcomes, impacts and options

    NAFTA’s Environmental Record: History, outcomes, impacts and options

    IISD has asked various experts from across Canada, the United States and Mexico to give their perspectives on NAFTA and the pending negotiations. This commentary, written by IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan, is the introductary piece in this series.

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  • Commentary
    La renegociación del TLCAN: una oportunidad para el desarrollo sostenible / The Renegotiation of NAFTA: An opportunity for sustainable development

    La renegociación del TLCAN: una oportunidad para el desarrollo sostenible / The Renegotiation of NAFTA: An opportunity for sustainable development

    Isabel Studer, Executive Director for Mexico and Northern Central America, The Nature Conservancy gives us her take (in Spanish and English) on the NAFTA negotiations and their impact on sustainable development.

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  • Commentary
    NAFTA Renegotiations Offer Chance to Fix its Mistakes on Trade and the Environment

    NAFTA Renegotiations Offer Chance to Fix its Mistakes on Trade and the Environment

    Geoff Garver, adjunct professor in interdisicplinary studies on environment and sustainability at McGill University and Concordia University, gives us his view on the need to fix the environmental provisions in NAFTA. 

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  • Policy Brief
    Green Shift to Sustainability: Co-Benefits & Impacts of Energy Transformation on Resource Industries, Trade, Growth and Taxes

    Green Shift to Sustainability: Co-Benefits & Impacts of Energy Transformation on Resource Industries, Trade, Growth and Taxes

    IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan, along with several representatives from various environmental NGOs, contributed to this G20 Insights policy brief on the benefits and impacts of energy transformation. 

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  • Speech
    IISD Speech: President and CEO Scott Vaughan at PAGE Ministerial Conference, Berlin

    IISD Speech: President and CEO Scott Vaughan at PAGE Ministerial Conference, Berlin

    IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan speaks at the PAGE Ministerial Conference in Berlin, Germany on March 27, 2017.

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