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
Communications and Editorial Manager, Economic Law and Policy
Senior Policy Advisor
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, Fisheries Subsidies
Senior Director, Tracking Progress
Senior Law Advisor
How Can Voluntary Sustainability Standards Drive Sustainability in Public Procurement and Trade Policy?
The growing use of sustainability standards in public policies is a promising trend, so long as small-scale farmers and businesses are not left behind.
IISD Trade and Sustainability Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, March 2021
This second edition of IISD's Trade and Sustainability Review features analytical pieces and commentaries that focus on a series of transitions in the realm of trade and sustainability development.
How Could Trade Policy Better Address Food System Shocks?
This report examines how trade policy can help governments anticipate and respond to food system shocks while avoiding harm to producers and consumers in other countries.
Compilation of WTO Notifications on Fisheries Subsidies
This compilation brings together all the information related to subsidies to marine wild capture fisheries contained in World Trade Organization (WTO) members' subsidy notifications.
Trade After Turmoil
Unpacking the vulnerabilities of export markets in low- and middle-income countries as a result of COVID-19
US and Canada plot road to carbon border adjustments
The imposition of carbon tariffs is legitimate for tackling environmental concerns but risks initiating a slippery slope towards global trade protectionism, experts warn.
Will Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Usher in a New Era for Gender Equality in Trade?
The appointment of the first woman as head of the WTO sends a strong signal that equality between men and women can be achieved.
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