School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

2020Queen's Institute on Trade Policy: Trade Rules for the Pandemic and Its Aftermath  - Nov 23 - 27, 2020 [image]

November 23 - 27, 2020

Delivered online via Microsoft Teams


Theme

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. 

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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.

  • REGISTRATION FEE:  $1,530.00 plus HST per person

Agenda

Monday November 23, 2020

Online Via: Microsoft Office Teams
9:00 Introduction

The presentation will provide an overview of the Institute and introduce the major questions for trade policy raised by the pandemic.

Nicolas Lamp, Director, Queen’s Institute on Trade Policy; Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University

9:45 Overview of the Current Trade Landscape

This presentation will discuss the impact of the pandemic on global trade and on Canada’s trade performance.

Stephen Tapp, Deputy Chief Economist, Export Development Canada

10:30 Break
10:45 Anatomy of Trade Restrictions in the Wake of the Pandemic

The presentation will provide an overview of the trade restrictions, as well as trade liberalizing measures, that countries have implemented in response to the pandemic. 

Simon Evenett, Professor, Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research, University of St. Gallen

11:30 

Lunch Keynote: What Makes a Supply Chain Resilient?

The pandemic has propelled the concept of “resilience” to the forefront of discussions about globalization. Three options for making supply chains more resilient are typically considered: reshoring or nearshoring, diversification, and stockpiling. The keynote will address the question whether these options offer viable pathways towards more resilient supply and discuss alternative strategies that governments and companies can adopt.

Sébastien Miroudot, Senior Trade Policy Analyst, OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate

12:15
 
Small Group Seminar
 
1:00 End of Day

Agenda

Tuesday November 24, 2020

Online Via: Microsoft Office Teams
9:00 Trade Costs and Firm-Based Trade Theory

In addition to causing direct demand and supply shocks, the pandemic has also had an indirect impact on trade, by increasing the cost of engaging in international trade. The presentation will discuss the effects of the pandemic on trade costs and provide theoretical background for understanding how increased trade costs impact the ability of firms to participate in international trade. 

Beverly Lapham, Professor, Economics Department, Queen’s University

9:45 Reconfiguring Supply Chains in an Era of US-China Conflict

The presentation will consider the reconfiguration of supply chains that is taking place in light of the escalating trade conflict between the United States and China. Companies are no longer exiting China only to avoid US tariffs. The broadening US sanctions against companies that use Chinese inputs will force a broader reassessment of supply chains and could lead to a decoupling of Chinese and US supply chains.  

Ari Van Assche, Professor, HEC Montreal

10:30 Break
10:45 Managing and Monitoring Emergency Measures during the Pandemic

The presentation will discuss the opportunities for information exchange, consultations and learning provided by the institutional mechanisms of trade agreements, especially by the WTO’s councils and committees. It will focus in particular on how WTO monitoring kept track of the flurry of trade restrictions during the pandemic and will discuss the lessons that WTO Members can learn from the experience.  

Robert Wolfe, Professor Emeritus, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University

11:30 

Lunch Keynote: The View from Washington – US Trade Policy in a Post-Pandemic World

The keynote will discuss the outlook for US trade policy in the wake of the US presidential election, including the prospect for Canada-US economic relations, the likely direction of China-US trade relations, and the implications for WTO reform.

Jennifer Hillman, Senior Fellow for Trade and International Political Economy, Council on Foreign Relations (TBC)

12:15
 
Small Group Seminar
 
1:00 End of Day

Agenda

Wednesday November 25, 2020

Online Via: Microsoft Office Teams
9:00 Morning keynote: The Evolution of China’s Economic Policy and Trade Strategy

The debate about how to re-energize trade in the wake of the pandemic unfolds against the backdrop of deteriorating trade and political relations between the West and China. Apart from China’s sometimes aggressive tactics in bilateral trade relations, a broader question looms over China’s future role in international trade, namely, the question of whether China’s economic model is compatible with a liberal trade regime. Put more concretely, are the protections provided by WTO law sufficient to allow Canadian companies to engage with their Chinese competitors on a level playing field, or is the more aggressive ‘decoupling’ agenda advocated by the Trump administration warranted? In order to equip participants to answer these questions, the keynote will sketch the trajectory of China’s economic policy and trace the evolution of its trade strategy.

Simon Rabinovitch, The Economist

9:45 Rethinking Trade in Medicines and Medical Supplies

The presentation will first discuss the legality of the export controls and other measures adopted by countries to secure medical supplies in the initial months of the pandemic. It will then address the question of whether we need new rules to ensure a more equitable and predictable supply of medical products in the future, for example in the form of a plurilateral agreement among WTO Members

Kathleen Claussen, Associate Professor, University of Miami School of Law

10:30 Break
10:45 Do Trade Rules on Intellectual Property Represent an Obstacle to Global Access to a Coronavirus Vaccine?

The development of an effective vaccine against the coronavirus represents the best hope for ending the coronavirus pandemic. However, even if an effective vaccine is developed, making the vaccine accessible to a sufficiently large share of the global population to achieve herd immunity will not just present an unprecedented logistical challenge, but will also implicate the intellectual property protections enshrined in trade agreements. Governments may need to consider issuing compulsory licenses for the vaccine. The presentation will offer an overview of the international trade rules on intellectual property that provide the framework under which a coronavirus vaccine will have to be produced and disseminated.

Frederick Abbott, Edward Ball Eminent Scholar Professor of International law, College of Law, Florida State University

11:30 

Agriculture: The State of Trade and Prospects for Reform

Agricultural supply chains became a focus of attention during the coronavirus pandemic, but there are broader challenges for Canadian agricultural trade. Canadian agricultural producers have to adjust to the strictures of the CUSMA and the strained trade relations with China. The presentation will survey these challenges and suggest avenues for progress in agricultural trade reform.

Joseph Glauber, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC

12:15
 
Small Group Seminar
 
1:00 End of Day

Agenda

Thursday November 26, 2020

Online Via: Microsoft Office Teams
9:00 The Rise of Digital Trade: The Role of E-Commerce and Data in the Pandemic and Beyond

The debate about how to re-energize trade in the wake of the pandemic unfolds against the backdrop of deteriorating trade and political relations between the West and China. Apart from China’s sometimes aggressive tactics in bilateral trade relations, a broader question looms over China’s future role in international trade, namely, the question of whether China’s economic model is compatible with a liberal trade regime. Put more concretely, are the protections provided by WTO law sufficient to allow Canadian companies to engage with their Chinese competitors on a level playing field, or is the more aggressive ‘decoupling’ agenda advocated by the Trump administration warranted? In order to equip participants to answer these questions, the keynote will sketch the trajectory of China’s economic policy and trace the evolution of its trade strategy.

Mira Burri, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Lucerne

9:45 Do We Need New Rules on Subsidies in an Age of Industrial Policy?

The WTO rules on subsidies have been a central point of contention in the US-China trade war, prompting proposals by the “trilateral” group (United States, European Union, and Japan) to reform the rules to discipline China’s model of state capitalism more effectively. The coronavirus pandemic has added a new twist to these discussions, as Western governments have expended trillions to keep companies afloat. More long-term, the pandemic has sparked renewed interest in a more active industrial policy in the West, be it to shore up manufacturing employment, reshore supply chains to increase their resilience, or accelerate the transition to a more sustainable economy. The presentation will discuss whether the rules designed in the 1980s can accommodate these diverse interests and ambitions for subsidies regulation.

Julia Nielson, Deputy Director, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD

10:30 Break
10:45 Government Procurement

Along with subsidies, government procurement is one of the principal tools that governments have at their disposal to shape markets and support particular industries and producers. In the United States, there appears to be an increasing bipartisan consensus to use “Buy America” provisions in this vein. The presentation will provide an overview of the rules applicable to government procurement and discuss how trade officials can help Canadian companies maintain access to the most important procurement markets in the world economy.

Dany Carriere, former Director of Trade Negotiations, Global Affairs Canada

11:30 

Lunch Keynote: Addressing Climate Change in Trade Agreements

Climate change is the greatest policy challenge of our time and will likely play an ever more important role in the development of trade policy. Discussions about a Green New Deal in the United States and a Green Deal in the European Union as well as China’s massive investments in renewable energy technologies and electric mobility underscore the increasing centrality of climate change to economic policymaking in Canada’s main trading partners. How do policies that are designed to mitigate climate change interact with international trade obligations? How can trade agreements best contribute to climate change mitigation – by liberalizing trade in green goods, facilitating the diffusion of green technology, or disciplining fossil fuel subsidies?

Carolyn Fischer, Canada 150 Research Chair in Climate Economics, Innovation and Policy, University of Ottawa

12:15
 
Small Group Seminar
 
1:00 End of Day

Agenda

Friday November 27, 2020

Online Via: Microsoft Office Teams
9:00 The Canadian Free Trade Agreement and Interprovincial Trade

Canadian companies will become more competitive internationally if they are able to compete more freely within Canada. Moreover, internal trade liberalization could provide a welcome boost to the Canadian economy as it recovers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and many obstacles to international trade remain in place. The presentation will cover the most important obstacles to internal trade and discuss options for their removal, including by drawing lessons from international trade liberalization.

Trevor Tombe, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Calgary

9:45 The Need for Post-Pandemic Trade Facilitation: Improving T and B Branch Cooperation

In order to negotiate agreements that facilitate trade, negotiators need to know which challenges businesses confront “on the ground”. Canada’s trade commissioners have first-hand knowledge of these challenges. Conversely, trade commissioners need to be familiar with the opportunities offered by trade agreements so that they can help their clients take advantage of those opportunities. The panel will discuss best practices for communication and cooperation between the T and B branches of the Global Affairs Canada.

10:30 Break
10:45 Developing a Negotiating Strategy: How Do We Get Any of This Done?

The presentation will focus on how Canada should articulate its strategy, including defensive vs offensive interests, and linkages with other issues, in the post-Pandemic trade environment. It will further discuss how Canada can leverage its existing agreements to achieve its trade policy objectives. The presentation will give particular attention to negotiations with developing countries and regional groupings that include both developed and developing countries, such as ASEAN.

Don Stephenson, former Assistant Deputy Minister, Trade Policy & Negotiations

11:30 

Small Group Seminar

12:15
 

Discussion with Senior Officials

The concluding session will provide an opportunity for an exchange of views with senior officials on the trade policy response to the pandemic. The participants will present the views of their seminar groups on the key challenges that the pandemic poses for trade policy. 

Kendal Hembroff, Director General, Trade Negotiations, Global Affairs Canada

Arun Alexander, Director General, North America Trade Policy Bureau

1:00 Institute Ends

 

Download a PDF of the agenda here:
read the agenda for this event. [image]


PAST INSTITUTES

 

2016: 8th Annual Queen's Institute on Trade Policy

2016 Queen's Institute on Trade Policy - October 18 - 24, 2016, Kingston, Ontario

October 16 - 18, 2016

Room 202, Robert Sutherland Hall, Queen's University
138 Union Street, Kingston, ON


Canadian trade strategy: Looking to China?
Trade policy is central to the formulation of government strategies to ensure Canada’s future prosperity. The trade policy environment is rapidly changing, however. Future trade strategies must take account of new players as the centre of gravity in global governance and economic activity continues to shift to the countries that ring the Pacific, of technological change that alters what things are traded, and how, and of new business models as production fragments into global value chains and networks. The objective of developing a targeted strategy to promote trade and investment with emerging markets, with particular attention to China, is featured in the mandate letter for the Minister of International Trade. Questions that the Institute will explore this year include: What is the problem in Canada’s commercial relations with China? What is the context for this question in trade theory? How does China fit in Canada’s broader trade policy objectives, and how would Canada fit in China’s trade strategy? What are the commercial policy tools that we would need, and how could they be developed?

Drawing on the experience of former negotiators and academic trade experts, the training objective for the Institute is to help a new generation of federal, provincial and territorial trade policy practitioners to acquire the skills and perspectives needed to develop trade negotiation strategies, and to provide networking opportunities with their counterparts in other departments and levels of government. The emphasis will be on trade strategy as a specialized mode of policy analysis, with seminar discussions in small groups focused on how Canada should prepare for the next era of trade negotiations. The Institute is designed for officers who already have considerable experience with the basics of trade policy and negotiations. The breakout sessions will be organized to allow more experienced participants to go deeper among themselves on issues arising from the presentations while enabling participants newer to trade policy to consolidate what they have learned in separate sessions. Background reading material will be available on a special web page for participants in advance.

  • Expected enrolment is 40 people.
  • The cost of $1,675 plus HST includes teaching materials and most meals
    (dinner on Oct 17 will be the responsibility of the participant).
  • Travel to and from Kingston, as well as two nights’ accommodation, will be the responsibility of the participants.
     

Agenda

Sunday October 16, 2016

3:30- 4:15 PM Welcome
Introduction to the negotiation context in a G-Zero world

Canada and China are each engaged in many multilateral, regional and bilateral negotiations. What are the lessons from the outcomes achieved by the WTO in Nairobi; from the September 2016 G20 discussions of trade in Hangzhou; and from mega-regional negotiations, including RCEP? What are the options for more plurilateral negotiations? What will be different for Canada in negotiating with China?

Robert Wolfe

4:15 - 4:45 PM Introduction to the trade and economic context

How does trade contribute to growth in the Canadian and world economies? Will world trade grow in future? Do trade agreements make a difference? As China transitions to consumption-led growth, what are the implications for Canada? What impact if any, does the current trade imbalance have on any negotiations with China?

John M. Curtis

4:45 - 5:00 PM Break
5:00 - 5:45 PM Introduction to the new new trade theory

This presentation examines the new policy implications resulting from firm-level trade models that have changed our understanding of the impact of increased trade on productivity at the level of the firm, the industry, and the nation. As Canada considers engaging in a deeper, more formal trade relationship with China, including possibly an FTA, policy-makers should focus on reducing the fixed costs of trade, encouraging firms in their role as importers as well as exporters, and using firm-level data to better identify which Canadian firms within industries will gain and which will lose as our trade with this diverse trading partner grows.

Beverly Lapham

5:45 PM Sessions end
Return to hotel
6:45 PM
 
Reception
Old Stones, Four Points by Sheraton Kingston
245 King Street West, 2nd Floor

 
7:30 PM Dinner
Ballroom, Four Points by Sheraton Kingston
2nd Floor

Keynote: Trade, gender and SMEs
​How does gender affect the participation of SMEs in international trade? How should we incorporate gender in our analysis of trade policy tools and potential markets?

Arancha González

Agenda

Monday October 17, 2016

 8:30 - 9:15 AM Trade and trade policy in a global value chains world

How do Canadian and Chinese firms participate in global value chains? What are the policy implications? Using practical examples the session will include suggestions on how the new thinking applies to trade negotiations.

Ari Van Assche

9:15 - 10:00 AM Implications of economic change in China

Decades of rapid economic growth are threatening to undermine China’s traditional growth model. Rising labor costs, tightening regulations and currency appreciation have gradually eroded China’s comparative advantage in low-skilled exports. As a consequence, China has spent significant resources trying to rebalance its economy by moving from an export-led growth strategy to a consumption-led growth model and by pushing the companies to upgrade their activities up a global value chain.

Loren Brandt

10:00 - 11:00 AM Break, and first small group seminar
What are the implications for Canada of economic change in China?
11:00 - 11:45 AM What a trade strategy looks like

What are the building blocks of a sound trade strategy? What is Canada's trade strategy and where does China fit? What are Canada's broad trade policy objectives in China and how do they link to Canada's domestic policy agenda? 

Don Stephenson 

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM Policy coordination on Canadian trade policy

While Global Affairs Canada retains the lead, issues on the trade agenda now involve many domestic departments and agencies. Policy coordination on the agenda, outcomes and implementation of new disciplines must also include the provinces and territories, as well as large municipalities, especially on behind-the-border issues where their policies will be affected.

David C. Elder

12:30 - 2:00 PM Lunch

Keynote:
Sarah Kutulakos, Executive Director & COO, Canada China Business Council
"What Canadian business wants most from China"
 

2:00 - 2:45 PM Matching trade policy objectives with trade policy tools

What are the commercial policy tools available to Canada? How can they be used in a negotiation with China? At a time when steel over-capacity in the global market is creating familiar problems for trade policy, how can trade remedy issues and concerns be addressed in any Canadian negotiations with China?

Terry Collins-Williams

2:45 - 4:00 PM Break, and second small group seminar

Building on the presentations to this point in the course, the participants will be asked to consider issues that have arisen in their work that pose problems that could be addressed by a negotiation with China. What tools would be applicable?

4:00 - 4:45 PM Trade policy communications and consultation

How should trade negotiators think about who to consult at the outset of a negotiation? What is the role of communications in the development of a trade negotiation strategy? How does the communications strategy affect the negotiation process and ultimately the possibility of ratifying the results?

Velma McColl

4:45 - 5:15 PM Panel discussion on what Canada might want to negotiate

What issues are suitable for bilateral negotiations with China, and what form would they take?

Collins-Williams, Moroz, and Stephenson

  ** OPTIONAL **
5:45 PM

2016 Douglas J. Gibson Lecture
The University Club at Queen's
168 Stuart Street, Kingston ON

Guest Lecturer:  Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Directore, International Trade Center, Geneva

"Is Globalization Worth Saving?"
 

Agenda

Tuesday October 18, 2016

8:30- 9:30 AM

ROOs, ratchets and the challenges of weaving trade agreements together​

What challenges will Canadian firms and trade negotiators face in a world of regional trade agreements with overlapping and potentially inconsistent provisions, such as rules of origin?  What will be the role of MFN clauses and ratchets in reconciling TPP, RCEP, TiSA, and a potential agreement with China?

Andrew (Sandy) Moroz

9:30 - 10:15 AM Regulatory cooperation and trade policy

Both the global value chain and the new new trade theory approaches stress the importance of regulatory differences for firm strategies. What is needed to move beyond regulatory coherence to regulatory cooperation with China?

Robert Carberry

10:15 - 10:30 AM Break
10:30 - 11:15 AM Investment dispute settlement and trade agreements

The EU has recently exercised a leadership role in proposing reform to traditional ISDS, including in the context of the TTIP negotiations, but also in the EU-Vietnam FTA and CETA. Meanwhile, the US has mainly stayed the course, most recently in the context of TPP. Canada, being a negotiating Party to both CETA and TPP sits in the middle of this battle for preeminence. What is the impact of these developments on future negotiations with China? What does the future hold for a multilateral investment tribunal?

Céline Lévesque

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM Implementing trade agreements with China

Accounting for local norms and institutional capacity is essential to understanding how China implements international legal obligations. What considerations and expectations should Canadians bring to any new negotiation with China?

Pitman Potter

12:00 - 1:30 PM Lunch
1:30 - 2:30 PM Trade, the SDGs and China

The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal agenda, one that includes economic, social and environmental dimensions, and they apply to Canada as much as China. Discussion about the implementation of the SDGs could create a framework in which Canada and China can consider issues of mutual concern such as green growth, shared prosperity, climate resilience, and effective and accountable institutions.

Margaret Biggs 

 2:30 - 3:30 PM Third small group seminar

Again building on the course presentations, participants will discuss the policy tools used in Canadian trade agreements as well as novel approaches that may be relevant in a negotiation with China.

3:30 - 3:45 PM Break
3:45 - 5:00 PM Roundtable: How should the Minister develop a targeted strategy to promote trade and investment with China, and what should it look like?

What issues will likely be on the agenda? Would it be traditional market access, a 21stC trade deal, or a broader agreement on international economic policy? What problems should such an agreement aim to solve? What form should an agreement take?

Moderated by Kirsten Hillman

5:00 PM Sessions end

 

 


2015: 7th Annual Queen's Institute on Trade Policy

7th Annual Institute on Trade Policy Banner

Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202
Queen's University, 138 Union Street, Kingston, ON


Theme

Conference Agenda [PDF 2.5 MB]

Where next for Canadian trade policy?

Trade policy is central to the formulation of government strategies to ensure Canada’s future prosperity. The trade policy environment is rapidly changing, however. Future trade strategies must take account of new players as the centre of gravity in global governance continues to shift to the countries that ring the Pacific, of technological change that alters what things are traded, and of new business models as production fragments into global value chains. Trade and investment can spur sustainable economic growth and create jobs in developing countries, the key to poverty reduction and shared prosperity, and developing economies are increasingly important trading partners for Canada. Recent developments in trade theory help make sense of a rapidly evolving trading system. The purpose of this course is to help a new generation of federal, provincial and territorial trade policy practitioners to acquire the skills and perspectives needed to develop trade negotiation strategies. The course is intended for mid-level officials who already have some experience with the basics of trade policy and negotiations.

The thematic question for this year’s institute, “Where next for Canadian trade policy?” has two dimensions. We will ask about both the subjects on the emerging trade policy agenda, and the countries with whom negotiations should be pursued. Canadian negotiators have had an active agenda for many years. When all of the current negotiations come to a conclusion, Canada will have free trade agreements with partners covering 80% of our trade. Should Canada pursue high ambition agreements on such issues as regulatory cooperation, investment, and services with new partners, or would our policy objectives relating to the nexus of trade and development be better achieved in simpler deals on traditional issues, leaving newer issues to multilateral negotiations in the World Trade Organization, or to discussion in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development?

Drawing on the experience of former multilateral negotiators and trade experts, the training objective for the course is to develop the ability to think strategically in developing negotiation objectives. The emphasis will be on trade strategy as a specialized mode of policy analysis, with seminar discussions in small groups focused on how Canada should prepare for the next era of trade negotiations. The course will expand knowledge of, and capacity to use, analytic and communications tools to formulate trade policy strategies and prepare for negotiations, with particular attention to issues on the new trade policy agenda. Background reading material will be available on a special web page for participants in advance.

2014: 6th Annual Queen's Institute on Trade Policy

6th Annual Institute on Trade Policy

October 26-28, 2014

Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202
Queen's University, 138 Union Street, Kingston, ON


Theme

Trade policy is central to the formulation of government strategies to ensure Canada’s future prosperity. The trade policy environment is rapidly changing, however. Trade strategy must take account of new players as the centre of gravity in global governance continues to shift to the countries that ring the Pacific, of technological change that alters what things are traded, and of new business models as production fragments into global value chains. Recent developments in trade theory help make sense of this rapidly evolving trading system. The purpose of this course is to help a new generation of federal, provincial and territorial trade policy practitioners to acquire the skills and perspectives needed to develop trade negotiation strategies. The course is intended for mid-level officials who already have some experience with the basics of trade policy and negotiations.

The geographic focus of the institute this year will be on how Canada can maximize its benefits in the dynamic Asia/Pacific region having regard both to the emergence of China as a major player in all dimensions of global life—economic, diplomatic, military, cultural and environmental—and to the imperative of ensuring that new trading arrangements enhance rather than undermine our primary relations with the United States. An ambitious 21st century trade agenda will include such issues as regulatory cooperation, clean technology, and movement of people. Trade negotiators must develop strong links with the domestic officials and stakeholders engaged in these diverse areas.

Drawing on the experience of former multilateral negotiators and trade experts, the training objective for the course is to develop the ability to think strategically in developing negotiation objectives. The emphasis will be on trade strategy as a specialized mode of policy analysis, with seminar discussions in small groups focused on Canadian trade policy strategy in key areas. The course will expand knowledge of, and capacity to use, analytic and communications tools to formulate trade policy strategies and prepare for negotiations, with particular attention to issues on the new trade policy agenda. Participants will be divided into groups of 8-10 for the seminars, which will be lead by former trade policy practitioners. Background reading material will be available on a special web page in advance.

2013: 5th Annual Institute on Trade Policy

5th Annual Institute on Trade Policy Banner

Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202
Queen's University, 138 Union Street, Kingston, ON


Theme

Course Directors: Terry Collins-Willliams, John M.Curtis, and Robert Wolfe

Trade policy is central to the formulation of government strategies to ensure Canada’s future prosperity. The trade policy environment is rapidly changing, however. Trade strategy must take account of new players as the centre of gravity in global governance continues to shift to the countries that ring the Pacific, of technological change that alters what things are traded, and of new business models as production fragments into global value chains. Recent developments in trade theory help make sense of this rapidly evolving trading system. The purpose of this course is to help a new generation of federal, provincial and territorial trade policy practitioners to acquire the skills needed to develop trade negotiation strategies. The course is intended for Canadian mid-level government officials who already have some experience with the basics of trade policy and negotiations.

The Fifth Annual Queen’s Institute on Trade Policy focuses on the strategic complexities of advancing Canada’s interests in the multi-party Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. The rapidly-growing Asia-Pacific market is critical to Canada’s growth and economic prosperity. Being part of the TPP enables Canada to not only strengthen partnerships in Asia-Pacific but also to help advance an initiative that is driving regional economic integration and setting new rules for how trade is negotiated on a broader scale. The TPP addresses new trade issues and 21st century challenges, exploring both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and investment, many of which affect a wide range of domestic policies, with the goal of facilitating the movement of people, goods, services, capital, and data across borders. For more, see Canada and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations.

The TPP negotiations present strategic challenges that Canadian negotiators have not faced in recent bilateral trade negotiations. TPP includes a much bigger trading partner who plays a unique role at the table, and will soon include another of the world’s largest economies, along with different groupings of countries much smaller than Canada. We have much to gain in our largest market, the United States, while being able to participate in a negotiation that may create the trade framework for Asia. Participants will be asked to consider how a policy analyst can use this negotiating dynamic to promote Canadian objectives, given different interests and sensitivities with each party.

Drawing on the experience of former multilateral negotiators, the training objective for the course is to develop the ability to think strategically in developing negotiation objectives. The emphasis will be on trade strategy as a specialized mode of policy analysis, with seminar discussions in small groups focused on Canadian trade policy strategy in three key areas of the TPP negotiations: government procurement, intellectual property with respect to pharmaceuticals, and agriculture. The course will expand knowledge of, and capacity to use, analytic and communications tools to formulate trade policy strategies and prepare for negotiations, with particular attention to issues on the new trade policy agenda. Background reading material will be available on a special web page for participants in advance.

2012: 4th Annual Institute on Trade Policy

September 30 - October 2, 2012

Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202
Queen's University, 138 Union Street, Kingston, ON


Theme

Trade policy is central to the formulation of government strategies to ensure Canada’s future prosperity. The trade policy environment is rapidly changing, however, as the centre of gravity in global governance continues to shift from the North Atlantic, and its focus on the major powers of Europe, to the countries that ring the Pacific. The emergence of China as a major player in all dimensions of global life—economic, diplomatic, military, cultural and environmental—motivates the current reorientation of Canadian trade policy strategy. That challenge is the focus of this course.

Current and future trade negotiations are addressing issues that stretch our understanding of the meaning of “trade policy”. New trading partners alter the shape of the negotiation environment; new approaches need to be found to advance Canadian trade interests. Canadians can use their diplomatic skills to influence the evolution of trade agreements, but Canadian leadership will depend on our analytic contribution not our economic weight. The purpose of this course is to help a new generation of federal, provincial and territorial trade policy practitioners to develop the analytic skills that the country needs. It is intended for mid-level officials who already have some experience with the basics of trade policy and negotiations .

The substantive focus of the course will be on opportunities in China; the analytic focus is on firms. When national competitiveness is invoked as a policy objective, trade experts have learned to retort that countries don't trade, firms do. This focus on the importance of the firm in international trade is consistent with the most recent developments in trade theory, but policy needs to catch up. Recent work on what some call the “new new trade theory” focuses on the trading behaviour of individual firms, making a tight link between trade and productivity. Given the centrality of productivity to Canadian public policy, this course will help participants begin to think about a new new trade policy and provide them with the analytic tools to enhance their trade policy formulation skills. 

Growth in the world economy is increasingly coming from Asia, creating new opportunities for Canadian exporters, importers, investors and consumers, along with new challenges for Canadian policy makers. Canadian trade strategy must take account of the familiar story about new players (e.g. a growing middle class in China and India), technological change (which will have an effect on what is traded and where) and new business models (global value chains will lead to more goods and services crossing more borders more often, with attendant potential for conflict associated with policy externalities crossing borders).

Thinking about firms not just industries, and thinking about new partners in Asia, will lead to exciting new opportunities for Canadian trade negotiators. It will also create challenges. Explaining the new agenda to traditional interlocutors in business and other trade ministries will not be easy. Developing new models and data sources will also be difficult. But the payoff is the opportunity for more targeted trade policy and trade promotion. Even more important, the new new theory places trade policy at the heart of the government’s productivity agenda.

The emphasis of the course will be on trade strategy as a specialized mode of policy analysis, with seminar discussions in small groups focused on Canadian trade policy strategy in China. The course will expand knowledge of, and capacity to use, statistical, analytic and communications tools to formulate trade policy strategies and prepare for negotiations, with particular attention to issues on the new new trade policy agenda. Background reading material will be available on a special web page for participants in advance.