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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.   

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

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

    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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  • 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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