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November 20-22, 2023 | Delivered Virtually | Zoom Video Conferencing
International trade is in a period of upheaval. The demand shocks and supply disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the (re)emergence of geopolitical fault lines in the wake of the US-China trade war and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the urgency of the climate crisis have deeply marked the way many businesses and government officials think about the global economy. Trade policy is affected in four major and closely interrelated ways.
- Why We Regulate Trade
The primary objective of trade policy used to be clear: to generate economic opportunities for businesses, in the hope that doing so would create high-paying jobs and grow the economy. This is still an important goal for trade policy, but many governments are now balancing it against other objectives, among them safeguarding national security, building resilience, reducing inequalities, and tackling the climate crisis.
- With Whom We Trade
Governments used to encourage their companies to trade with (almost) every other country, regardless of its political or economic system. Indeed, there was an expectation that trade would promote peace by making countries interdependent and raising the cost of war. In recent years, this premise has been turned on its head: governments increasingly worry that strategic rivals might “weaponize” interdependence; they hence encourage their companies to bring production home or relocate to more friendly countries. In some contexts, they pursue a partial economic “decoupling” from countries whose governments they do not trust.
- What We Trade
Governments used to encourage trade in virtually everything. No longer. An increasing array of import bans, export restrictions, investment curbs, and other sanctions actively curtail the flow of goods, services, technology, data, and people among strategic competitors, while an explosion of subsidies create incentives for reshoring the production of sensitive products and critical supply chains. At the same time, trade in other products and services continues to flow freely. To manage and shape the emerging, more fragmented global economy, trade officials are taking an increasingly differentiated and directive approach to specific supply chains and trading relationships.
- How We Regulate Trade
The changes in why, with whom, and what we trade have gone hand in hand with an increased institutional fragmentation of trade governance. Today governments show a greater willingness to pursue unilateral or “mini-lateral” approaches and to employ a wide range of tools to shape investment decisions and supply chains. As governments increasingly adopt a “whatever it takes” approach to policy problems such as climate change or geostrategic competition, traditional trade agreements are playing a less central role in trade policy than they have in the past.
The purpose of the 2023 edition of the Queen’s Institute on Trade Policy is to prepare trade officials to navigate this new trade policy landscape. The first part of the Institute will focus on the state of global trade and the economic effects of the increasing fragmentation of the world economy. The second part of the Institute will discuss how the shifting trade policy landscape manifests itself in new objectives (resilience, national security), in the increased use of certain policy tools (supply chain management, subsidies, export restrictions), and in specific policy fields (digital trade, agriculture). The final part of the Institute will survey the institutional fragmentation of trade governance and its implications for the development of a trade strategy.
Overview of the Agenda
- Introduction to the Institute – Nicolas Lamp, Queen’s University
- The State of Canada’s Trade – Marie-France Paquet, Global Affairs Canada
- Deglobalization or reglobalization? Macrotrends in the World Economy – Brad Setser, Council on Foreign Relations
- The View from Geneva – Angela Ellard, World Trade Organization
- What is “Supply Chain Trade Policy”? – Ari Van Assche, HEC Montreal
Part II – Manifestations of a Changing Trade Policy Landscape
- How Trade Policy Impacts Firms – Beverly Lapham, Queen’s University
- The Rise of Export Restrictions and Outbound Investment Screening – Sarah Bauerle Danzman, Indiana University Bloomington
- Digital Trade Integration: Who Is Missing Out? – Javier López-González, OECD
- Industrial Subsidies and the Resurgence of Industrial Policy – Julia Nielson, OECD
- The Future of Agricultural Trade and the Challenge of Food Security – Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, AgTrade Strategies
- The Rise of National Security Concerns and the Future of the US-China Relationship – Jon Bateman, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Part III – The Institutional Fragmentation of Trade Governance
- The Shifting Formats of US Trade Cooperation – Kathleen Claussen, Georgetown Law
- Dealing with the Trade Fallout from Unilateral Measures to Combat the Climate Crisis: the View from Brussels – Alan Beattie, Financial Times
- China’s Perspective on the Fragmenting Global Economy – Yeling Tan, University of Oregon
- The Role of the World Trade Organization in Canada’s Trade Policy – Robert Wolfe, Queen’s University
- Developing a Negotiating Strategy – Steve Verheul, GT & Company
- Integrating Risk, Reward and Resilience: Developing Policy Frameworks for Complex Problems – Anthea Roberts, Australian National University
- The Outlook for Canadian Trade Policy – Jay Allen, Global Affairs Canada
Readings are shared by email once you have completed your registration. Thank you
October 24 - 26, 2022
The world economy’s centre of gravity is shifting inexorably towards the Indo-Pacific Region. Home to three of the world’s most populous countries—China, India, and Indonesia—the rise of the region’s middle class stands out as the proudest achievement of the past three decades of globalization and has created a highly lucrative consumer market. Moreover, the region plays a central role in many global supply chains. In recent years, China has joined South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan among the most innovative economies in the world.
However, the region is attracting attention not only due its economic potential; it has also become a site where the major economic powers compete over ideological allegiance, political influence, and technological pre-eminence. From the United States’ attempts to deny Chinese companies access to the most advanced semi-conductors, to US and European efforts to bring India firmly into the Western camp, to China’s aspirations to use the Belt-and-Road initiative not just to deepen trade ties in the region but also to lock in Chinese technical standards, strategic and economic considerations are inextricably intermingled.
This competition takes place against the backdrop of upheaval in trade policy more generally, as some of Canada’s trading partners are increasingly questioning the bedrock assumptions and principles that have underpinned Western trade policy for the past decades, from the benefits of open trade to the importance of multilateral trade rules. The United States’ increasing scepticism of the benefits of trade liberalization means that it is disinterested in rejoining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership or in engaging in new market access negotiations as part of its proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. And while the European Union remains committed to the multilateral system, it has been pursuing a more autonomous path on issues from carbon border adjustments to supply chain resilience. Canada’s trading partners increasingly see trade policy as a means to pursue a broad range of policy objectives, from strengthening worker rights and increasing resilience to safeguarding national security and addressing the climate crisis, and are employing a variety of tools, including unilateral instruments and new forms of strategic and regulatory cooperation, to pursue them.
The purpose of the 2022 Queen’s Institute on Trade Policy is to enhance the participants’ understanding of these developments and of their implications for the design of a Canadian trade strategy for the Indo-Pacific region. The first part of the Institute will focus on the economic fundamentals of Canada’s trade relationship with the region and will explore the challenges that Canadian firms will need to overcome in engaging more deeply with trading partners in the region. The second part will discuss the elements of a negotiating agenda and will highlight key themes that Canadian officials will need to address in negotiations with its partners in the region. The third part will discuss the multiple dimensions of the work of a trade negotiator.
- Introduction to the Institute - Nicolas Lamp
The Economic Potential of Trade Integration with the Indo-Pacific Region - Robert Koopman [PDF 3.4 MB]
- The Multiple Dimensions of Economic Engagement with the Info-Pacific Region - Jonathan Fried [PDF 9.3 MB]
- China's Responses to a Changing External Environment - Yeling Tan [PDF 1.4 MB]
- Understanding Supply Chairs in the Indo-Pacific Region - Ari Van Assche [PDF 4.5 MB]
Data and Digital Services in the Indo-Pacific Region:Current Trade Regulation and Ongoing Initiatives - Mira Burri [PDF 1.3 MB]
- FTA Labor and Environment Chapters & the Indo-Pacific Region - Kathleen Claussen [PDF 12.5 MB]
- Addressing economic Distortions in the Indo-Pacific Region: The Role of Industrial Subsidies and State-Owned Enterprises - Julia Nielson [PDF 1.3 MB]
- Agriculture & Food Trade: policies, markets, and outlooks - Ken Ash [PDF 256 KB]
- Australia's Geoeconomic Experience - Anthea Roberts [PDF 4.5 MB]
- U.S. Trade Policy in the Indo-Pacific - Jennifer Hillman [PDF 988 KB]
- The WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies: What it does and what comes next - Alice Tipping [PDF 892 KB]
- Developing a Negotiating Strategy - John O'Neill [PDF 92 KB]
- Is using trade policy for foreign policy a SNO job? - Robert Wolfe [PDF 4.5 MB]
Treaties as Data: Leveraging Technology to Support Trade Negotiators - Wolfgang Alschner
November 15 - 19, 2021
The fundamental shifts in the objectives of trade policy in the United States in recent years present both challenges and opportunities for Canada. The challenges are obvious: the Biden administration has embraced and even doubled down on the protectionist turn in US trade policy initiated by the Trump administration. In its attempt to rebuild US economic and technological leadership in competition with China, the administration has so far failed to recognize the potential of regional, rather than national, supply chains, as is evident most clearly in its approach to government procurement. Triangular tensions between China, the European Union, and the United States further complicate the trade policy picture.
On the other hand, renewed American willingness to work with allies creates opportunities for Canada in addressing the trade challenges of the 2020s. Canada and the United States have a shared interest not only in the successful implementation of CUSMA, but also in developing international trade rules and policies that help to mitigate the climate crisis, reduce distortions in the global economy, are sensitive to national security concerns, and encourage companies to build resilient supply chains. Both countries are also committed to an inclusive and “worker-centric” trade policy to ensure that the benefits of trade reach all parts of their populations. Finally, both Canada and the United States have resolved to reform the World Trade Organization to make it an effective forum to pursue these goals. Given this broad alignment of interests, a key question for Canadian trade policy is how Canada can best leverage its close political and commercial relationship with its largest trading partner to advance shared priorities.
The 2021 edition of the Institute will enhance participants’ ability to think about Canadian trade policy with both the challenges and the opportunities for cooperation with the United States in mind. A first set of presentations will introduce the subject and provide important context for the current debates. A second set of presentations will provide an overview of the subject matters that are common priorities for Canada and the United States in the coming years, from climate change to digital trade to WTO reform. These presentations will canvas proposals from both countries and probe areas of convergence and divergence. A third set of presentations will survey the avenues through which Canada can work with various stakeholders in the United States in addressing the challenges presented by the current trade landscape.
- Introduction to the Institute - Nicolas Lamp
- Overview of the Current Trade Landscape - Stephen Tapp [PDF 1.3MB]
Article: Superstar Search: Studying the Current and Potential Populations of Canadian Exporters and Foreign Direct Investors Abroad - Tapp/Yan [PDF 600 KB]
- Economic Doctrine Is in Flux: What are the Implications for Canada’s Regional and Multilateral Trade Engagement? - Dan Ciuriak [PDF 1.6 MB]
Written copy of Dan Ciuriak's presentation remarks [PDF 636 KB]
- China’s Evolving Engagement with the Trading System - Yeling Tan [PDF 1 MB]
- A Firm-Level Perspective on Canada-US Trade - Beverly Lapham [PDF 1.2 MB]
- Towards Managed Supply Chains? - Ari Van Assche [PDF 2.8MB]
- Elements of a “Worker-Centered” Trade Policy - Kathleen Claussen [PDF 2.5 MB]
- Addressing Distortions in the Global Economy: Industrial Subsidies, State-Owned Enterprises, and Overcapacity - Julia Neilson [PDF 865 KB]
- Additional Reading List:
- OECD. 2019. “Measuring distortions in international markets: The semiconductor value chain”, OECD Trade Policy Papers, No. 234, OECD Publishing, Paris
- OECD. 2019, “Measuring distortions in international markets: the aluminium value chain”, OECD Trade Policy Papers, No. 218, OECD Publishing, Paris
- OECD (2021), “Measuring distortions in international markets: Below-market finance”, OECD Trade Policy Papers, No. 247, OECD Publishing, Paris
- OECD. 2021, “COVID-19 emergency government support and enduring a level playing field on the road to recovery”, OECD COVID-19 Policy Brief, COVID-19 emergency government support and ensuring a level playing field on the road to recovery
- Additional Reading List:
- Regional Supply Chains: the Role of Rules of Origin - Andrew (Sandy) Moroz [PDF 275 KB]
- Prospects for “Buy North American”? The Challenge of Government Procurement - Geneviève Dufour [PDF 659 KB]
- Best of Frenemies? Towards a Common Agenda in Agriculture - Claire Citeau [PDF 845 KB]
- Data and Digital Services - Mirra Burri [PDF 795 KB]
- Using Trade Negotiations to Advance Environmental Sustainability: Lessons from the Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations - Alice Tipping [PDF 2.1 MB]
- Engaging the Private Sector - Matthew Kronby [PDF 332 KB]
November 23 - 27, 2020
The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus will shape the economic policy landscape for the foreseeable future. Governments around the world have taken action on an unprecedented scale to stop the spread of the virus, ensure the availability of essential supplies, and help firms and their workers survive the shutdown of large sections of the economy. This year’s Institute on Trade Policy will cover the immediate tasks for trade policy presented by the emergency, the long-term trends that the pandemic has unleashed or accelerated, and the tools that trade officials have at their disposal to respond to and shape these developments.
The months following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus saw a proliferation of export restrictions on medical goods. Government restrictions on economic activity also had a large indirect impact on international trade: international travel slowed to a trickle as borders were closed and hundreds of millions of tourists, international students, and business travelers were forced to stay put. These restrictions have not only made some forms of trade impossible, but also increased the general cost of conducting trade in both goods and services. At the same time, governments have poured vast amounts of funds into the economy to keep businesses afloat. These developments present immediate tasks for trade officials, most prominently to monitor and—responsibly—roll back restrictions and financial emergency assistance that may have trade-distortive effects.
The pandemic also affects the existing agenda. Digital trade is rising in importance as ever more economic activity moves online—a trend that accentuates the need for new rules on e-commerce and the cross-border transfer of data. The global race to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus will increase scrutiny of intellectual property protections in trade agreements, as governments consider the need for compulsory licensing not only for their own markets, but also to export to countries without pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity. And the increased emphasis on the “resilience” of supply chains and demands to ensure domestic capacity to produce “essential goods” could portend greater government involvement in the economy. Renewed interest in resilience will put rules on subsidies and government procurement into the spotlight. Finally, the economic changes wrought by the pandemic will interact in myriad ways with the climate crisis.
The 2020 edition of the Institute will prepare participants to address these challenge. A first set of presentations will outline the evidence on the trade-implications of the pandemic as well as the pandemic’s impact on long-run trends. A second set of presentations will examine how existing trade rules have fared in the response to the crisis and whether there is a need for reform. A third set of presentations will explore how trade officials can build an international trade regime that can accommodate and shape the long-run trends of digitization, increased state involvement in the economy, and climate change.
Monday November 23, 2020
Introduction to the Institute [PDF 3.2 MB]
Overview of the Current Trade Landscape [PDF 2.1 MB]
Anatomy of the Trade Restrictions in the Wake of the Pandemic [PDF 1.2 MB)
What Makes a Supply Chain Resilient? [PDF 442 KB]
Tuesday November 24, 2020
Trade Costs and Firm-Based Trade Theory [PDF 1.5 MB]
Ari Van Assche
Reconfiguring Supply Chains in an Era of US-China Conflict [PDF 2.3 MB]
Managing and Monitoring Emergency Measures during the Pandemic [PDF 3.1 MB]
Wednesday November 25, 2020
China vs America: Duelling claims in the trade war [PDF 237 KB]
Rethinking Trade in Medicine and Medical Supplies [PDF 1.6 MB]
Do Trade Rules on Intellectual Property Represent an Obstacle to Global Access to a Coronavirus Vaccine? [PDF 685 KB]
Agriculture: The State of Trade and Prospects for Reform [PDF 1.0 MB]
Thursday November 26, 2020
The rise of digital trade: The role of e-commerce and data in the pandemic and beyond [PDF 2.0 MB]
Do we need new rules on subsidies in the age of industrial policy? [PDF 1.2 MB]
Government Procurement: Trade vs Socio-Economic Objectives [PDF 158 KB]
Addressing Climate Change in Trade Negotiations (and vice-versa) [PDF 2.4 MB]
Friday November 27, 2020
The Canadian Free Trade Agreement and Interprovincial Trade [PDF 720 KB]
The Trade policy analyst [PDF 464 KB]
Answers to Small Group Seminar Questions [PDF 50 KB]
November 17 - 19, 2019
Canada can look back on an extraordinarily productive period of trade negotiations, which has yielded the CETA with the European Union, the CPTPP with 10 countries in the Pacific region, and the CUSMA with the United States and Mexico. At the same time, the need to adapt to tectonic shifts in the global economy poses continuing challenges: the rapid advance of digital technology has the potential to vastly increase the scope of “tradable” tasks and will for the first time expose many of the service sector jobs that form the backbone of Canada’s economy to foreign competition. This development lends additional urgency to the Canadian government’s commitment to ensure that all Canadians share in the benefits of trade. Canada also needs to find a way to take advantage of the shift of the world economy’s centre of gravity towards Asia, without getting further embroiled in the escalating economic and technological competition between the United States and China. Finally, Canada faces the task of deepening cooperation under its existing agreements and to ensure that these agreements yield benefits for all Canadians. This could involve increased regulatory cooperation inside and outside the WTO, as well as better use of available committees and review mechanisms to monitor compliance with commitments.
As Canada attempts to grapple with these challenges, the legal regimes on which it has traditionally relied for rules-based trade cooperation are under increasing strain. While Canada has successfully fended off attempts by the United States to roll back trade liberalization in the bilateral relationship, the multilateral trade regime finds itself in increasingly dire straits, as the Appellate Body will become dysfunctional towards the end of 2019 and the system grapples with an unprecedented willingness of some WTO Members to invoke national security exceptions or to act completely outside the WTO’s remit. Canada has taken an active role in developing solutions to the current crisis by assembling a coalition of like-minded countries – the Ottawa Group – and by advancing proposals to reinvigorate the WTO, which remains the bedrock of Canada’s trade policy and its main forum for formal dispute settlement, including with the United States.
The 2019 edition of the Institute will prepare participants to address these challenges for rules-based trade cooperation. The Institute will be structured around three pillars that take up each challenge in turn. A first set of presentations will explore the broad trends that have led to the current crisis of the trade regime and will explore their ramifications for negotiating formats and the design of dispute resolution mechanisms. A second set of presentations will delve into the elements of a negotiating agenda that can meet the challenges of digitisation, the rise of Asia, and the resulting opportunities for trade diversification and for more inclusive trade. A final set of presentations will explore the mechanisms for enhancing trade cooperation under existing agreements. How can the Canadian government engage businesses more effectively to ensure that they can take full advantage of the market access provided by Canada’s new trade agreements? How can Canada make use of the existing mechanisms to strengthen regulatory cooperation? Can Canada do a better job of using the WTO’s committees and other transparency mechanisms to advance its trade agenda?
Sunday November 17, 2019
Introduction to the Institute (Prezi Presentation)
Overview of the Current Trade Landscape (4.5 MB)
Anatomy of the Breakdown in Trade Cooperation (3.8 MB)
A Long View of the Current Moment in U.S. Trade Policy (4.7 MB)
Monday November 18, 2019
The Effects of Trade Agreements: A Firm-Level Perspective (2.3 MB)
Ari Van Assche
The Effects of Trade Agreements: Global Value Chains, Digitization and the Trade in Tasks (2.6 MB)
Can the U.S. Decouple from China? (1.4 MB)
Digitization and Trade (1.6 MB)
Trade Policy Communications and Consultations (2.8 MB)
Implementing and Deepening the Inclusive Trade Agenda (143 KB)
Tuesday November 19, 2019
Addressing Climate Change in Trade Agreements (3.7 MB)
Dispute Settlement, Retaliation, Managed Trade: Instrument Choice in Responding to Protectionism (2.6 MB)
Deepening Rules-Based Trade Cooperation Under Existing Agreements (5.1 MB)
International Regulatory Cooperation (1.7 MB)