Op-Eds

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…

Canadian governments are counting on strong economic growth to reduce debt burdens that ballooned during the pandemic. But realizing that growth depends on how well Canadian businesses adapt to rapidly changing market realities.

In the near term, Canada’s economic recovery looks promising as business activity bounces back.

In the longer term, however, Canada’s economy faces strong headwinds that are not being factored into government projections. Canada’s economic challenges go beyond slowing labour force growth and modest productivity gains. Fiscal recovery forecasts do not consider the probability of more frequent and costly natural disasters or the implications of the global economic transformation to stave off the…

While governments struggle to find consensus in the lead-up to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) critical ministerial conference (MC12) in November, there is a highly significant global development that won’t even be touched on at the meeting: the spread of trade embargoes and economic sanctions.

Used mostly by Western governments, these tools are aimed at combatting terrorism, preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, penalizing human rights abuses and environmental degradation, fighting drug trafficking and other actions by unsavoury foreign governments, companies and individuals.

In today’s fraught and increasingly fractured world order, with reduced efficacy of multilaterally-agreed rules, unilateral…

A lot of attention at the Carbis Bay G7 summit was focused on promoting free and fair trade in the postpandemic world. While China wasn’t mentioned by name in the final communiqué, the G7 leaders clearly had China in mind. There’s a reference to getting countries to play by World Trade Organization rules, about greater regulations on state-owned enterprises, about controlling trade-distorting subsidies, about forced labour in supply chains – all of which have a clear, albeit unstated, China focus.

All of this attention at the summit, and indeed much of the public discussion on world trade, involves governmental action, meaning treaties and trade agreements of one sort or another, whether at the WTO or at the regional level,…

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was talk in Western countries about supply-chain vulnerability and the need for reshoring, as it’s called. The issue arose not only in Canada, but in the United States – especially when Donald Trump was president – and in European countries.

It was therefore interesting to read recently about some former Canadian politicians and several key industry associations launching an advocacy group called Reshoring Canada, formed to promote the return of critical manufacturing to Canada and rebuilding supply chains in this country.

The group styles itself as non-partisan and a “repository and advocate of ideas” aimed at promoting reshoring by educating the business sector, rather than…