Trade liberalization is a major engine of economic growth, so it has great potential as a force for sustainable development. Unfortunately, the link is not automatic. Where trade policy is in conflict with environment and development policy, it can delay or even undermine the achievement of sustainable development. IISD's work on trade focuses on how we can help ensure positive outcomes.
|· Mark Halle|
|· Aaron Cosbey|
Associate and Senior Climate Change and Trade Advisor
|· Adil Najam|
Associate and Senior Fellow
|· Christopher Beaton|
Research and Communications Officer
|· Elka Parveva-Kern|
|· Damon Vis-Dunbar|
|· Fariba Di Benedetto-Achtari|
|· Flavia Thomé|
|· Howard Mann|
Associate & Senior International Law Advisor
|· Jason Potts|
Associate and Program Manager, SMART
|· Lucy Kitson|
Research Officer - Economist
|· Oshani Perera|
|· Peter Wooders|
|· Robert Wolfe|
|· Ron Steenblik|
emeritus Director of Research
|· Sabrina Shaw|
Associate; Writer/Editor Earth Negotiations Bulletin
|· Tara Laan|
|· Deborah Roosen|
|· John Forgách|
Senior Fellow and Associate
|· Alec Crawford|
|· Ivetta Gerasimchuk|
|· Tilmann Liebert|
|· Simon Zadek|
Senior Fellow and Associate
|· Vivek Voora|
GSI Workshop: Bringing Energy Subsidies to the World Trade Organisation
On September 30, 2013, IISD's Global Subsidies Initiative organized a workshop on "Bringing Energy Subsidies to the WTO." The aim of the workshop was to discuss the opportunities and challenges in bringing the issue of energy subsidies onto the WTO Agenda. The presentations and discussion focused on the lessons that can be learned from the fishery subsidies negotiations, problems and solutions related to data on energy subsidies, the role of non-governmental and international organisations in bringing issues to the WTO negotiating table, and, finally, what other WTO mechanisms—other than dispute settlement and negotiations—could help to address energy subsidies.
Announcement: UNFSS Launching Event
The official public launch of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) will be held in Geneva on March 21 and 22, 2013. The UNFSS is coordinated by five UN bodies: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Food Price Inflation and Food Security: A Morocco case study
This report comes in the context of rising food prices and UN predictions of a looming global food crisis in 2013. Written at the request of Pulse Canada, it provides insight into food price inflation and food security in low-income countries, and the implications for international agricultural trade. This report provides important detailed analysis of the relationship between pulses and Morocco's efforts to open up its economy in the context of the current global economic situation.
Chinese Outward Investment: An emerging policy framework
This book is an English-language compilation covering over 80 primary texts relevant to Chinese outward investment issued from January 2000 to January 2012. By combining these primary materials into one comprehensive and accessible English-language source, IISD and Institute for International Economic Research are filling a gap in the available literature. The compilation makes these primary sources easy to access and understand, which will facilitate a broader and deeper understanding of Chinese outward investment and the policies supporting it, and, importantly, will facilitate more and improved discourse on and analysis of the relationship between Chinese outward investment and sustainable development.
Locating Accountability: Conceptual and categorical challenges in the literature
This report maps out the accountability literature and challenges the standard way of analyzing accountability. The first main section of the paper outlines and analyzes concepts of accountability, while the second main section examines the way accountability actually functions.
China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED): Main Topics Report by the CCICED Task Force on Investment, Trade, and Environment
This research paper described the current state of Chinese international trade and investment activities, and sought to understand how they affected China’s drive toward its sustainable development and green shift goals. The study provided realistic and user-friendly recommendations that could be implemented to accelerate and expand the positive contribution of investment and trade to the environment while the economy evolves. In this process, the Task Force also explored how China could cooperate with its trading partners and investment rivals to promote bilateral green shift opportunities. Finally, the Task Force focused on how China could carry out multilateral cooperation with the international community in the fields of investment and trade, helping establish and improve relevant systems and mechanisms to promote a global green shift.
International trade has enormous potential to foster or frustrate sustainable development. By allowing for specialization, trade can increase incomes 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 two major themes, with a particular concern for developing countries:
Trade Policy and SD
National-level trade policy sets objectives such as export expansion in key sectors. It needs to consider the impacts on the national environment as well as the social impacts. Other factors at the national level are also key; liberalization without strong environmental, regulatory regimes can lead to environmental crises. And liberalization without the capacity to benefit from market access, and without the capacity to cushion the blow of adjustment, may be economically and socially damaging. Trade policy needs to take these dynamics into account.
Trade Law and SD
Trade rules themselves, as cast in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and regional trade agreements, are key in determining whether trade has a positive sustainable development outcome. As well, the process of negotiation—and trade institutions like the WTO—can, by their very character, influence sustainable development outcomes.
Cross-cutting Issues: Trade and Climate Change
There are a number of ways in which trade policy might help serve climate change goals, but this will only happen if we fully understand the potential and map out how to exploit it. As well, a number of climate change measures may have negative trade impacts, and we need to understand these well enough to take those impacts into account and avoid them where possible.
Starting points: the principles of trade and sustainable development; our assumptions, our beliefs, our way forward.
Trade Policy and SD
What needs to happen at the domestic level to ensure that trade policy contributes to SD? Our work in developing countries.
Trade Law and SD
Can the institutions of trade—the WTO and other trade law, and the negotiations that they entail—be better formulated to harness globalization for SD?
China, Trade and SD
The latest of our long-standing trade policy work in China.