International trade is a crucial driver of Canada’s economy and as a small open economy, Canada has long recognized the importance of sound international rules and institutions. Canada has long supported and benefited from the GATT, the WTO and agreements such as NAFTA. However, the world has changed dramatically since progress was made at the WTO and since NAFTA was ratified. Moreover, globalization is facing strong headwinds and several countries are experiencing strong protectionist pressures. Leaders advocating mercantilist trade policies, notably the United States, lead some governments. Other countries, such as China, are pursuing large-scale industrial policies with strong protectionist elements in order to create national champions. In certain sectors of the global economy, few global firms are becoming ever larger and dominant, threatening competition. At the same time, new technologies such as digitization, automation and artificial intelligence are developing rapidly and in ways that will change how economic production and exchange will take place in the future, potentially distorting economic policies in areas such as trade, taxation, competition and regulation.
What should Canada do in this context?
Please join The School of Public Policy, the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the CN-Paul M. Tellier Chair on Business and Public Policy at the University of Ottawa for a must-attend symposium for anyone who depends on trade or is interested in the future of the economy.