Resource Sections Category Tools
Errors / Omissions?

Do you see an error or want to contribute? Please contact us, or register and submit your links.

Mailing List
Subscribe to our newsletter and receive regular updates on new features, new policy areas, announcements, and more.

Home Policy Articles: International Trade, Development & Finance

In the early days of the 21st century, countries around the globe are becoming ever more interdependent as the need to share resources, address common international problems, and provide aid in development becomes more pressing. International trade, development, and finance is – customarily – a hugely controversial area of public policy, as economic development must be balanced with concern for human rights, foreign aid, and barriers such as trade disputes. This area of public policy considers a wide range of subjects including international organizations, international markets, and the implications of globalization. offers a clear window into international trade, development and finance policy.



> >|

Bad Medicine: Trade Treaties, Privatization and Health Care Reform in Canada popular

Jim Grieshaber-Otto and Scott Sinclair examine a central and recurring theme in Canada’s health care debate: whether private financing and for-profit delivery of health care should play a greater role. They contend that exploring Canada’s international trade-treaty obligations as well as the scope of exemptions for health care under those treaties, add a critical dimension to this important debate.

Renewing the U.S. - Canada Relationship popular

This report considers the breakdown of the Canada - U.S. relationship and how this development has affected both countries. The report concludes that much of the breakdown has been due to the fall of communism and the resulting loss of common goals. The document encourages a renewed relationship and emphasizes new reasons for Canada and the U.S. to work together.

Will We Rise to the Challenge? Eight Mega Issues Facing Canada popular

This briefing tracks eight key trends that are having a major impact on Canada’s business and public policy environment. Charles Barrett and Anne Golden point to the global economy and the consequences of competition from developing countries. They examine Canada’s relationship with the United States and the competing priorities of defence and trade. They also look at the need for investment in human capital and innovation for Canada to compete on the global stage, as well as the importance of addressing climate change and environmental issues.

"Free Trade:" Is it Working for Farmers?

Darrin Qualman’s article “Free Trade:” Is it Working for Farmers? argues that free trade agreements have dramatically altered the relative size and market power of players in the agri-food production chain. While Canadian agri-food exports have experienced dramatic increases since the institution of free trade agreements, realized net farm income has remained stagnant. Qualman claims free trade has two effects on agriculture: 1) it turns the world into a single hyper-competitive market, and 2) it facilitates agribusiness mergers and conglomeration.

A Capital Story: Exploding the Myths Around Foreign Investment in Canada

Guillemette and Mintz begin their report by pointing out that the flow of foreign investment into Canada increased substantially in the latter part of the 1990s as part of a worldwide pattern of unprecedented levels of cross-border investment activity. Guillemette and Mintz refer to the media concerns about broad-based foreign takeover and Canadian assets, and argue that those concerns were completely unfounded.

A Fine Balance: Canadian Unions Confront Globalization

In A Fine Balance: Canadian Unions Confront Globalization, John Peters argues Canadian unions must make significant strides towards renewal in order to counter the effects of globalization. For the first time since the 1960s, Peters writes, union density in Canada is below 30 percent. In addition, union membership has been in steady decline for the last few decades; he suggests some 50,000 to 80,000 new members are required each year for unions to maintain their current overall size and political power.

A Globalist Strategy for Calgary

Patrick Smith and Kennedy Stewart distinguish between “globalized” and “globalist” cities. Globalized cities respond to the forces of globalization and are shaped by external interests, while globalist cities are proactive, increasing their presence in the world and improving their economy.

A Guide to the Enron Collapse

In A Guide to the Enron Collapse, Darren Puscas provides a condensed summary of the major events leading to Enron’s 2001 downfall. Puscas’s analysis includes potential trouble spots that should have been noticed before the collapse, a discussion of the role played by the broader economic crisis at the time, and an examination of Enron’s role in pushing negotiations to secure the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Additionally, Puscas considers whether a similar incident could happen in Canada and proposes lessons that might be learned specifically by Ontario Hydro, in light of the Enron debacle. The analysis concludes with calls for a structural overhaul of the American and Canadian corporate system, changes Puscas believes will make corporate finance more transparent and prevent similar incidents in the future.

Advancing Democracy Abroad: A Proposal to Create the Democracy Canada Institute

This paper was presented by Thomas Axworthy and Leslie Campbell at a conference entitled Canada’s Role in International Assistance to Democratic Development. Axworthy and Campbell argue that state-building, civil society-building, and democracy-building are of critical importance at the dawn of the 21st century; Accordingly, in this paper they explore the question of whether Canada can make a contribution to international democratic capacity-building.

Africa Shortchanged: The Global Fund and G8 Agenda

Marc Lee’s article Africa Shortchanged: The Global Fund and G8 Agenda precedes the expected unveiling of a plan for African development at the 2002 G8 leaders meeting. Lee argues it is far from clear that Africa needs a new plan for development. Instead, he asserts, the G8 leaders should commit to fighting preventable diseases through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Agricultural Trade Disputes Between Canada and the United States: Costly but Diminishing

In this Commentary Richard Barichello, Timothy Josling and Daniel Summer discuss the many trade disputes involving agricultural products that have arisen between the United States and Canada. As they explain, the development of free trade between the two nations has resulted in a high level of integration between their agricultural markets.When trade disputes develop, however, they are costly for both consumers and producers. Accordingly, the purpose of the authors study is to help reduce the number of agricultural trade disputes by better understanding them.

American Corn and Canadian Trade Actions: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

In response to the Canadian government’s trade dispute against the US Farm Bill subsidies at the World Trade Organization (WTO), Lawrence L. Herman questions whether this action represents a market-based approach to multilateral forums, or if it is merely a response to domestic pressures.

Annual Innovation Report 2004: Don’t Overlook the “MEs”

In this report, Munn-Venn and Mitchell explore the innovation, capabilities, and performance of Canada’s often-overlooked medium-sized firms. This report is part of an overall Conference Board exercise to assess the kinds of firms that will build Canada’s future economic success. Munn-Venn and Mitchell argue that medium-sized firms may serve as a model for how other Canadian firms can find their way in the global marketplace.

At Risk: How the Federal Government’s Deregulation Agenda Threatens Health and Environmental Standards

Lee and Campbell examine the question: Is there really an economic case to be made for deregulation?

Atlantica: Myths and Reality

This article by Scott Sinclair and John Jacobs examines the proposed Atlantica or Atlantic International Northeast Economic Region (AINER) agreement.

Back to Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water: Energy, Trade and the Demise of Petrochemicals in Alberta

This paper by Terisa Turner and Diana Gibson deals with Canada's loss of control over her energy resources since the signing of NAFTA. The study focuses on the Celanese petrochemical plant in Alberta which was forced to shut down production in search of a less expensive production location. The authors find connections between the closure, the unstable price of natural gas, the inaction of the Alberta government and energy provisions in NAFTA. Turner and Gibson also discuss possible solutions to the problems that they believe NAFTA has created in the energy sector.

Back to Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water: Energy, Trade, and the Demise of Petrochemicals in Alberta

According to Terisa Turner and Diana Gibson, Canadians question why Canada traded its energy sovereignty with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Banking in North America

This brief report serves as the introduction to Mapping the New North American Reality, a series of brief articles written by Canadian, American, and Mexican policy experts exploring the nature of North American economic integration.

Between Policy and Practice: Navigating CIDA's Democracy Agenda

The promotion of democracy overseas has gradually emerged in Canadian foreign policy over the past twenty years, now occupying an uncertain position within a broader development agenda.

Beyond Labels: Comparing Proposals for Closer Canada-U.S. Economic Relations

Danielle Goldfarb’s report looks at suggested proposals aimed at building stronger Canada-US economic relations. Despite core differences in the proposals, she finds there to be much in the way of consensus – regarding both the need for a coherent strategy and its principal elements. Goldfarb contends that future policy discussions should focus on a deeper substantive assessment of the desirability, feasibility, and details of a set of possible Canada-US initiatives.

Beyond Our Borders: Western Canadian Exports in the Global Market

Beyond Our Borders: Western Canadian Exports in the Global Market, by Robert Roach, of the Canada West Foundation, examines the role of international exports and foreign demand in Western Canada’s economy.

Beyond Zero Sum: Trade, Regulation and NAFTA's Temporary Entry Provisions

In this paper, Allison Young analyzes the provisions among the NAFTA signatories which govern the temporary entry of business persons.

British Columbia: Canada's Pacific Gateway to the World

In November 2004, the Public Policy Forum hosted a conference entitled British Columbia: Canada’s Pacific Gateway to the World. This conference brought together leaders to examine how best to leverage and profile British Columbia and Vancouver prominently in Canadian economic development. This report summarizes each panel session of the workshop. Speakers and participants discussed recent positive developments, current challenges, and solutions for continued prosperity.

Building New Bridges: The Case for Strengthening Transatlantic Economic Ties

This report, by Hancock and Robson, is accompanied by a statement from the British North American Committee (BNAC), a group of leaders from business, labour, and academia in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. The BNAC is committed to the maintenance of harmonious, constructive relations among the three countries and their citizens.

Canada and the Global Challenge: Finding a Place to Stand

At the time of this article’s writing, Canada’s last comprehensive foreign policy review was completed in 1995. In this context, its authors argue that a new foreign policy dialogue, launched in January 2003, would serve as a tentative step toward recognizing the need for a fresh look at Canada and the world.

> >|