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
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.
IISD To Host Trade and Sustainability Hub
Join us at this event, alongside the WTO Ministerial, as we work to chart a new path for the greatest challenges of our time.
State of Global Environmental Governance 2020
Our reporting team explores how the pandemic impacted global negotiations on climate action, biodiversity restoration, and other environmental crises.
IISD Welcomes Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Next Head of the World Trade Organization
This represents a powerful political signal on gender equality and on the invaluable role that African economies play in the multilateral trading system.
Leading by example on the European Green Deal
In the sixth chapter of The Wonk’s Survival Guide to the European Green Deal, POLITICO looks at the EU’s ambition to serve as a model for the rest of the world in the fight against climate change.
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