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Working group on International Trade and Commerce

Working group on International Trade and Commerce

What are the principal international trade and commerce challenges facing Canada—and how should Canada respond? CIPS convened a working group of seasoned policy experts and asked them to answer these questions. Their report, based on months of deliberation and consultation, sets out important policy recommendations for the new Canadian government on current and future international trade and commerce policies.

Members of the international trade and commerce working group:

Ailish Campbell (co-chair)

Elaine Feldman (co-chair)

John Gero

Brian Kingston

Marie-Lucie Morin

Debra Steger

Chuck Strahl

Suzanne Vinet

John Weekes

Executive Summary

Canada is a trading nation. Our small domestic market requires that we constantly look for new growth opportunities outside our borders. Recently negotiated trade agreements with Europe and the member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will give Canadian companies of all sizes preferential access to over 60 per cent of the global economy. It is crucial that business and government adopt a partnership approach and business strategies are in place to win new customers, in order for Canada to take full advantage of this new paradigm.

Summary of Recommendations

Canada’s international agenda

1 Modernize the North American trading platform.

2   Finalize and ratify the Canada-EU trade deal… and plan beyond it.

3   Ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement without delay.

4   Launch bilateral trade talks with China.

5   Join the Pacific Alliance at the earliest opportunity.

6   Conclude bilateral trade deals with India and Japan and negotiate closer ties with ASEAN.

7   Sustain efforts to resolve the current impasse at the World Trade Organization.

8   Advocate for more liberal rules of origin to reflect the “made in the world” reality of global supply chains.

9  Place a renewed emphasis on trade in services.

10  Collaborate with trading partners on rules to improve cross-border data  flow and protect privacy.

11  Integrate trade more closely with development aid.

12  Maintain preferential tariffs for the least-developed countries.

13 Ensure the success of Export Development Canada’s new development finance initiative.

Domestic reforms

14 Modernize the 1995 Agreement on Internal Trade to create a Canadian common market and provide a more effective dispute resolution process.

15 Review all barriers that hinder Canadian suppliers from being globally competitive.

16 Clarify Canada’s foreign investment regime.

17 Improve trade and investment statistics and publications by including foreign-affiliate and services data.

18 Implement a national food traceability system

19 Strengthen consultations with stakeholders in trade negotiations.

20 Utilize economic diplomacy to advance Canada’s economic interests.

21 Identify tools to drive trade and investment, specifically expanded infrastructure and a national energy strategy.

22 Examine Canada’s immigration policies to ensure that we attract and retain talent.

23 Introduce a new visa category for immigrants who anchor global businesses in Canada.

24 Provide adequate resources to Canada’s trade remedy system.

PDF_Logo-118x118.jpg Read the full report here

The publication of this report was supported by a grant from the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. The authors are solely responsible for the report’s content. The French version of the report will be available in 2016.


Canada and the World Policy Reports

New Directions for Canadian International Policy

In Fall 2014, CIPS convened four working groups of academics and policy practitioners to explore new thinking and policy options in four areas: International Security and Defence, International Development, International Trade and Commerce, and International Human Rights. The working groups grew out of the discussion at the May 2014 Ottawa Forum which focused on rethinking Canada’s international strategy. The working groups met, consulted, deliberated and drafted their reports and recommendations over the past year. CIPS is releasing the working group papers as part of its ongoing effort to promote evidence-based discussion of international policy issues in Canada.

Canada’s International Security and Defence Policy
Co-Chairs: Rob McRae and James R. Mitchell

Towards 2030: Building Canada’s Engagement with Global Sustainable Development
Co-Chairs: Margaret Biggs and John McArthur

No Time for Complacency: A 21st Century Trade Strategy for Canada
Co-Chairs: Ailish Campbell and Elaine Feldman

Human Rights in Canadian Foreign Policy: New Departures
Co-Chairs: John Packer and David Petrasek

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