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.
Investment Treaty News (ITN), Volume 10, Issue 2, June 2019
Investment Treaty News (ITN) is IISD’s flagship journal on international investment law and policy.
Overfishing Calls for Concrete Actions
Our oceans and fish stocks—and the populations that depend on them—all suffer from the consequences of overfishing. We share a glimpse of the current WTO push to end harmful fisheries subsidies by 2020.
How Could China’s New Foreign Investment Law Impact Trade Debate?
Negotiators from the United States and China have met repeatedly in recent weeks to reach an agreement to resolve some of the trade irritants between them, including the high-profile issue of forced technology transfers.
How Can Blockchain Improve Sustainability in Mining?
Companies interested in sustainability and transparency are starting to use blockchain to trace materials back to their sources.
WTO Debate on Future of “Differentiation” Highlights Challenges
In March 2019, Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump announced Brazil will stop asking for certain types of treatment accorded to developing countries at the World Trade Organization.
Canada's International Trade Obligations: Barrier or opportunity for sustainable public procurement?
This paper explores the extent to which international trade agreements could pose a barrier to sustainable procurement or, conversely, enable sustainability to take a more prominent role in the procurement process.
Weighing up the Environmental Cooperation Agreement under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement
Trade agreements can have important environmental effects. We take a look at what’s old, what’s new and what’s noteworthy in the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement when it comes to the environment.
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