To remain competitive on a global scale, Canada needs to enhance its domestic intellectual property (IP) and digital trade strategies with an international approach that can respond to constantly changing global economic conditions. Although Canada launched its Intellectual Property Strategy in 2018 — focusing on IP awareness, strategic tools and legislation — its data initiative, known as the Digital Charter, remains a work in progress. Both policies would benefit from an outward-looking, interconnected, international strategic vision. 

As a member of various international trade agreements, Canada has framed its IP laws to align with these agreements and its trade partners. Canada should expand its trade relationships with Africa before other countries, such as China, take advantage of the continents rapidly growing economies and trade opportunities. Building strategic alliances with the right global partners, combined with the use of hard and soft laws to promote Canadian interests, will help Canada strengthen its international IP and digital trade strategy.   

  • Jeremy de Beer is a CIGI senior fellow and a full professor of law at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, where he creates and shapes ideas about technology innovation and intellectual property, as well as global trade and development.