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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.   

  • 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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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2017

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2017

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

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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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  • Blog
    As U.S. and Canadian Climate Policies Diverge, How Do We Ensure Canada’s Competitiveness?

    As U.S. and Canadian Climate Policies Diverge, How Do We Ensure Canada’s Competitiveness?

    With relatively new administrations on both sides of the border, the United States and Canada have staked out opposing views on climate change. That has environmentalists and businesses worried. This has potentially damaging consequences for Canada’s trade competitiveness.

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  • Commentary
    A New Generation of Trade and Industrial Policy

    A New Generation of Trade and Industrial Policy

    IISD President-CEO Scott Vaughan presents ideas for a new generation of trade and industrial policy.

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2016

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2016

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

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  • Report
    Investment-Related Dispute Settlement: Towards an inclusive multilateral approach

    Investment-Related Dispute Settlement: Towards an inclusive multilateral approach

    This document outlines results from an IISD expert meeting discussing investment-related dispute settledment which was held in Montreux, Switzerland, May 23–24, 2016

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 7, Issue 3, August 2016

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 7, Issue 3, August 2016

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

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  • Report
    Trade in Transforming Our World: Options for follow-up and review of the trade-related elements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

    Trade in Transforming Our World: Options for follow-up and review of the trade-related elements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

    This paper draws on the experience of IISD and ICTSD in trade, sustainable development, and international governance to provide an overview of how and where the trade elements of the 2030 Agenda might best be reviewed. 

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