While some may have been disappointed by the recent COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, it has delivered on many promises, creating expectations for the next major global gathering – the World Trade Organization’s all-important 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), to be held in Geneva from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

The first meeting of WTO trade ministers in four years, the talks will test the political skills of the new WTO director-general, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in getting consensus on a range of contentious issues. Restoring the organization’s diminishing relevance and showing it can be responsive to today’s pressing global issues (trade and climate change being at the forefront) represents a daunting challenge

American leadership on…

Canada’s competition laws do not need to be fundamentally rewritten for “big tech.” The best approach to ensuring Canadians benefit from digitization lies, not in devising new competition principles targeting a few large players, but in modernizing the application of principles we already have.

Data has always been at the heart of relations between businesses and their customers and suppliers. There has also always been a market for the attention of potential customers. What digital technologies have done is massively enhance our ability to collect and analyze this kind of data. Businesses can reach customers and suppliers on a previously unimagined scale, yet with pinpoint precision, an effect called “mass customization.” New…

Wednesday’s inflation report from Statistics Canada showed October’s consumer price index up 4.7 per cent from a year earlier. We are still hearing about “transitory” inflation from many forecasters and central bankers. Canadians dismayed by recent higher prices for food, energy, appliances and much else should not take much reassurance from this term.

Many transitory events – storms, pandemics, recessions – leave lasting effects. With the benefit of hindsight, the inflation from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s was transitory. It came and went. Two-per-cent inflation was common until 1965 and became an official Bank of Canada target after 1995. But between those two dates, the consumer price index more than quintupled. The…