IISD has been working on international trade for over two decades, analyzing the issue from multiple perspectives: scientific, economic, fiscal, legal, social, and environmental.
At the intergovernmental level, IISD has a long history of working on reforms to the World Trade Organization’s rules and members’ ability to engage in those processes. IISD has also built an extensive body of work on regional and plurilateral trade agreements, as well as the interlinkages between multilateral environmental agreements and the trading system.
At the sectoral level, we have explored options for new industrial policies functioning within a rules-based system; innovative financing for sustainable infrastructure; border-carbon adjustment measures; and whether trade can accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources, improve food security, and eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies and fossil fuel subsidies. Our work also unpacks the relationship between voluntary sustainability standards and trade, as well as the role of trade in contributing to the circular economy.
IISD's work in this area is backed by robust research and policy analysis, along with regular engagement with the varied stakeholder communities involved in and affected by trade and trade policy. A core part of this engagement involves our work to promote transparency and support informed trade conversations.
We feature in-depth commentary and analysis in Investment Treaty News, the Global Subsidies Initiative, the SDG Knowledge Hub, and the forthcoming Trade and Sustainability Review. We hold regular webinars on issues at the heart of the trade and sustainability nexus, as part of our partnership with the University of Geneva's Faculty of Law.
Our work on trade issues is made possible through the generous support of our funders. These include:
- UK aid from the UK government, including its Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund (TAF2+);
- the Pew Charitable Trusts;
- the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ);
- the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida);
- the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Swedish MFA);
- the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZ MFAT);
- the Government of Finland.
Executive Director, IISD Europe; Senior Director, Economic Law & Policy
Senior Director, Energy
Senior Manager, Communications & Engagement
Senior Policy Advisor
Senior Policy Advisor
Policy Advisor, Fisheries Subsidies
Writer, Earth Negotiations Bulletin
Lead, Sustainability Standards
Soledad Leal Campos
Lead, Sustainable Trade
Director, Agriculture, Trade & Investment
Lead, Sustainable Trade and Fisheries Subsidies
Senior Director, Tracking Progress
Senior Law Advisor
How to Regulate Our Waste-Full World
Going forward, the legitimacy of global governance of hazardous wastes may rest on its ability to enable governments protect the most vulnerable.
Supporting Marine Fishing Sustainably: A review of central and provincial government support for marine fisheries in Indonesia
The report provides an inventory of support measures to marine fisheries in Indonesia and identifies programs to be assessed to minimize the risk of overcapacity and overfishing.
Impacts of Climate Change Policies on Developing Country Export Markets
This report reviews existing net-zero commitments and circular economy plans and assesses the potential impact of core components of such policies on developing country exports.
Europe Is Planning a Border Carbon Tax. Is Canada Next?
Such tariffs on imports ensure polluting producers aren’t just pushed overseas. Ultimately, a global approach is needed.
How Can Trade Policy Maximize Benefits From Clean Energy Investment?
This paper looks at the role of trade policy in fostering the domestic production of renewable energy components in developing countries with a particular focus on wind and solar energy.
Driving Demand: Assessing the impacts and opportunities of the electric vehicle revolution on cobalt and lithium raw material production and trade
This report assesses the impacts and opportunities of the electric vehicle revolution on cobalt and lithium raw material production and trade, with a focus on Chile and Congo DRC
Canada, UK and US should create ‘border carbon’ scheme
Canada should collaborate with the US and EU to design a set of ‘border carbon adjustment’ plans, a think tank has argued – warning that failing to do so could weaken both domestic industries, and Canada’s contribution to tackling climate change.
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