School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

Queen's Institute on Trade Policy [image]

Trade Negotiations in an Era of Uncertainty

October 21 - 23, 2018

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


Theme

Canadian trade and negotiation strategy is now shaped by an environment in which we cannot assume that all our partners always share trade liberalization objectives or support the rules-based trading system. High profile protectionist actions seem increasingly legitimate in some countries, but routine protectionism never went away in many more. The potential direct and global ripple effects of a U.S. retreat from multilateralism bring considerable risk for Canadians, not least by undermining what we thought were the foundational norms of trade relations. The old assumptions about integrative negotiations and a deliberative process in the search for mutual gains are challenged by positional bargaining aimed at narrow bilateral bargains. At the same time, some citizens in the advanced economies think that trade and globalization have not worked for them. Developing a progressive trade agenda in support of inclusive growth will require expanding trading opportunities to reach and benefit broader groups who previously have not been the focus of trade policy, including women.

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All countries have domestic sensitivities. Canadians defend our supply management system, maintain a low de minimis limit for parcel shipments, make sophisticated use of trade remedies, wall off health services and culture from foreign participation, and accept managed trade in softwood lumber with the USA. But the general direction of Canadian trade negotiation strategy has been towards more open markets within a multilateral trading system as the basis of Canadian prosperity. This year’s Trade Institute focuses on the strategic challenges Canada faces in a world adapting to rapid structural change and increased protectionism, unilateralism and uncertainty. How should Canadian officials analyze the country’s interests? How can they protect those interests from protectionist actions taken by others, while at the same time advancing them in the context of new negotiations? If comprehensive agreements appear unattainable, could, for example, an accord on e-commerce be incorporated in a memorandum of understanding or in a plurilateral agreement in the WTO?

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 other levels of government. 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 delve more deeply among themselves on issues arising from the presentations while enabling participants newer to trade policy to consolidate what they have learned in separate sessions.

  • Expected enrolment is 40 people.
  • The cost of $1,800 plus HST includes most meals and teaching materials.
    • Please note:  Dinner on Monday October 22, 2018 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 21, 2018

Location Room 202, Robert Sutherland Hall, Queen's University, 138 Union Street, Kingston
2:30 - 3:30 PM Registration
3:30- 4:15 PM Introduction: Should Canada be a willow or a rock?

How can Canada promote a more inclusive trade policy agenda that facilitates resource reallocation, promotes international connectivity and builds a better global trading system while strengthening its role in the North American economy? We live in an era of uncertainty when the prospects are dim for major liberalization initiatives, while protectionist outcomes are all too possible and the threat of trade war may persist for some time.

Robert Wolfe

4:15 - 4:45 PM Shaping the negotiating strategy

Moving from theoretical models of sound trade strategy to real life trade policy practice, the discussion will focus on how Canada should articulate its strategy, including defensive vs offensive interests, and linkages with other issues, notably the analytic challenges of reconciling a 21st century trade policy agenda with traditional considerations for negotiators. Coordination with other departments and levels of government matters more than ever.

Don Stephenson

4:45 - 5:00 PM Break
5:00 - 5:45 PM Economic policy linkages

Canada’s performance will be affected by macro-and micro-economic policies adopted both by ourselves and by our partners. Corporate or personal tax changes, immigration policy, and exchange rate movements will influence Canadian firms, and their place in global or regional value chains, as much as changes in trade and/or investment policies.

John M. Curtis

5:45 PM Sessions end
Return to hotel
6:45 PM
 
Reception
Grandview Ballroom (6th Floor), Delta Hotel Kingston Waterfront

1 Johnson St, Kingston, ON K7L 5H7
 
7:30 PM Dinner

Keynote: Protectionist Past
​We have been here before: protectionism in U.S. trade policy

Chad P. Brown

Agenda

Monday October 22, 2018

LOCATION: Room 202, Robert Sutherland Hall, Queen's University, 138 Union Street, Kingston
7:30 AM Breakfast
 8:30 - 9:15 AM Trade policy begins with thinking about firms

Resource reallocation within industries is a key driver of trade and productivity. This presentation examines the new policy implications resulting from recent firm-level trade models that have changed our understanding of the impact of increased trade, and increased trade restrictions, on productivity at the level of the firm, the industry, and the nation. In a time of trade conflict, how should policy-makers identify which Canadian firms within which industries will gain and which will lose?

Beverly Lapham

9:15 - 10:00 AM A global value chains view of Canadian trade and trade policy

How do Canadian firms participate and collaborate in global value chains? What effect does trade policy have on the competitiveness of North American value chains? Using practical examples, the session will include suggestions on how to make the macro/micro distinction in thinking about the determinants and effects of global value chains; the session will also show why protectionism can be so disruptive to global value chains.

Ari Van Assche

10:00 - 11:15 AM Break, and first small group seminar
11:15 - 12:00 PM Instrument choice for responding to protectionism

Protectionism can take many forms, including the use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties, safeguards, national security measures, and discretionary trade measures. Protectionist measures can also include discriminatory or highly restrictive regulations. Which tools are best suited to respond to these varied forms of protectionism in a manner that is minimally disruptive of trade while still being effective in inducing trade-liberalizing policy changes by one's trading partners? What are the strategic advantages and drawbacks of addressing an irritant through a dispute in an FTA or the WTO, bringing it up in a WTO committee, or seeking to remove it through new negotiations, or retaliation?

Nicholas Lamp

12:00 - 2:15 PM Lunch

Keynote:
Jennifer Hillman
Protectionist present
"What is going on in Washington, and why?"

2:15 - 3:00 PM Rules of Origin; The New Old Protectionism

While rules of origin are essential for determining who benefits from any preferential agreement, how can negotiators mitigate the protectionist intent of seemingly technical provisions?

Andrew (Sandy) Moroz

3:00 - 4:15 PM Break, and second small group seminar
4:15 - 5:00 PM Trade policy communications and consultation

With rising economic anxiety, how do we maintain public support for trade as part of an inclusive agenda? How much transparency is needed, and when? How should we consult non-traditional stakeholders? How do we build support in partner countries for trade with Canada?

Velma McColl

5:00 - 5:45 PM The inclusive trade agenda and economic uncertainty

Pursuit of an inclusive trade agenda is an essential element of a response to current protectionist pressures and will become ever more critical in the years ahead as new technologies such as artificial intelligence and advanced robotics rapidly alter the skills composition of jobs, prospects for different occupations and the very nature of work itself.

Margaret Biggs (TBC)

5:45 PM

Return to hotel. 
 

Agenda

Tuesday October 23, 2018

LOCATION Room 202, Robert Sutherland Hall, Queen's University, 138 Union Street, Kingston
8:30- 9:15AM

Effective trade rules must rely on well/defined and objective standards

The SPS Agreement makes explicit reference to scientific evidence to recognize legitimate measures. But whose science? Under what condition or timeframe was the scientific evidence generated?  The session will explore the challenges of addressing non-tariff measures and the role of science in that context.

Gilles Gauthier

9:15 - 10:00 AM The perspective of workers

[Description to come]

Angella MacEwen

10:00 - 10:45 AM What uncertainty means for my business

Trade uncertainty is harmful for any business, but it is especially harmful for export-dependent firms that use imported intermediate inputs.

Peng Sang Cau

10:45 - 11:00 AM Break
11:00 - 11:45 AM Lost in the crossfire: the importance of services trade

How can we advance services liberalization, taking into account the growing importance of services and the significant changes in the world economy, including growing data flows and services embedded in goods?  This session will start with the framework that NAFTA set for services trade a quarter century ago as a basis for considering more recent developments such as the CPTPP and the potential TiSA. What is needed now to bring trade rules into the 21st century?

Sherry Stephenson

 11:45 - 1:45 PM Lunch

Looking to the Future

The changing nature of 21-century trade creates an extensive agenda, but innovative approaches to trade negotiations and agreements will be needed.

Bernard Hoekman

1:45 - 2:30 PM Still learning about digital trade

Canada’s trade agreements have contained e-commerce chapters for years, but they have been evolving rapidly as negotiators learn about the problems to be addressed,. Privacy provisions illustrate the tension between liberalization and other policy objectives, and between aspirational and obligatory language in trade agreements.

Robert Wolfe

2:30 - 3:45 PM Break and Third small group seminar
3:45 - 5:00 PM Responding to the challenge of trade negotiations in an era of uncertainty

Canadian negotiators face a new challenge in an environment in which we cannot assume that our partners share trade liberalization objectives. The concluding session will be a moderated exchange of views on the priorities identified in the small group sessions.

Steve Verheul


PAST INSTITUTES

2017: 9th Annual Queen's Institute on Trade Policy

2017 Queen's Institute on Trade Policy [image]

October 15 - 17, 2017

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

Agenda Button [image] Background Reading [image]


Theme

Canada is at a risky crossroads in its commercial policy. The prosperity and growth of its small open economy depend on international trade and investment, but we face unprecedented challenges with a new American President who decided to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and renegotiate, or “modernize”, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in order to put Americans first. The potential global ripple effects of a U.S. retreat from a rules-based trading system bring considerable risk for Canadians. At the same time, some citizens in the advanced economies think that trade has not worked for them. Developing an inclusive or progressive trade agenda will require expanding trading opportunities to reach and benefit broader groups who previously have not been the focus of trade policy. .

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Economic relations with the U.S. have been at the centre of Canadian economic policy since before Confederation. A predominant, perennial objective for Canadian trade policy should be to maintain access to the (North) American market and to US-centered supply chains that is as good as or better than any other country. Part of the School of Policy Studies Public Policy & Canada’s 150 initiative, this year’s trade institute focuses on key challenges Canada faces in the NAFTA renegotiations. Will it create a new model for North American economic integration, or undermine the basis of Canadian prosperity? How should Canadian officials analyze the country’s interests? 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 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.

2017 Presentations

Expand to view and download the presentations from this years program

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

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.