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Trade

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Trade matters. It has the potential to advance sustainable, low-carbon development. The SDGs and Paris climate commitments present fundamental challenges to trade policy. So too does 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 WTO and other trade agreements (including NAFTA); options for new industrial policies functioning within a rules-based system; whether trade can accelerate renewable energy and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. Trade-related issues IISD examines range 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 in international investment treaties, and its flagship Investment Treaty News as well as the Global Subsidies Initiative work.   

  • 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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  • 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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  • Commentary
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Part I: A deal too far

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Part I: A deal too far

    The release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement last fall has unleashed a heated debate over its costs and benefits. 

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  • Blog
    A New Year of Subsidy Reform

    A New Year of Subsidy Reform

    2016 begins with two historic global achievements in place to reform subsidies that harm the poor and damage the environment.

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  • Commentary
    TTIP and Climate Change: Low economic benefits, real climate risks

    TTIP and Climate Change: Low economic benefits, real climate risks

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—a trade and investment agreement under negotiation between the European Union and United States—can increase emissions and restrict the ability of nations to adequately mitigate and adapt to climate change.

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  • Commentary
    Chapter: Trade and Sustainable Development from Redesigning Canadian Trade Policies for New Global Realities

    Chapter: Trade and Sustainable Development from Redesigning Canadian Trade Policies for New Global Realities

    Sustainable development is one of the most difficult policy challenges of our time. It is also closely linked to the global trading system. In this chapter from IRPP's Redesigning Canadian Trade Policies for New Global Realities, IISD President Scott Vaughan describes how environmental concerns have become part of international trade policy over the past two decades, and discusses some of the implications for Canada.

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  • Paper
    Trade and Sustainable Development: Options for follow-up and review of the trade-related elements of the Post-2015 Agenda and Financing for Development

    Trade and Sustainable Development: Options for follow-up and review of the trade-related elements of the Post-2015 Agenda and Financing for Development

    Trade is reflected throughout the draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of June 2015 and the May 2015 draft outcome of the third international Financing for Development (FfD) conference. The first aim of this paper is to map where trade-related elements are found in the SDGs and FfD.

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