Trade matters. It has the potential to advance sustainable, low-carbon development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement climate commitments present fundamental challenges to trade policy; so too do growing protectionism and the fraying of multilateralism.
IISD has been working on international trade for over two decades. Our work mirrors the scientific, economic, fiscal, legal and environmental aspects of trade. IISD focuses on reforms to the World Trade Organization and other trade agreements (including the North American Free Trade Agreement); options for new industrial policies functioning within a rules-based system; and whether trade can accelerate renewable energy and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. IISD examines trade-related issues ranging from global food security and other commitments set out in the SDGs, to innovative financing for sustainable infrastructure, carbon-border adjustment measures and the role of big data.
IISD works with developing countries and others on international investment treaties. It also addresses trade issues through its flagship Investment Treaty News, Global Subsidies Initiative and the SDG Knowledge Hub.
Making the International Trade System Work for Climate Change: Five Ways to Address Fossil Fuel Subsidies through the WTO and International Trade Agreements
Can the international trade system be a catalyst for reforming fossil fuel subsidies (FFSs) to help relieve the burden on the public purse, reduce local and global air pollution, improve energy security and tackle climate change?Read More
Food for Thought: Weighing up health and investment in the age of the new pandemic
Obesity is increasing in developing countries and trade agreements could help monitor this. Read more to find out how.Read More
Could a U.S.–China Trade War Lead to a New Wave of Land Grabs?
A trade war could force China to search for new frontiers to secure its soybean demand and protect its supply chains, leading to another wave of so-called “land grabs.”Read More
The Federal Court of Canada and the End of Investor-state Dispute Settlement in NAFTA?
A recent Federal Court of Canada decision should spell the end of renegotiations on the investment chapter of NAFTA, and ignite a renegotiation of the investment chapters of other trade agreements.Read More
Investment Treaty News (ITN), Volume 9, Issue 1, April 2018
Investment Treaty News (ITN) is IISD’s flagship journal on international investment law and policy.Read More
A wish list for an environmentally friendly NAFTA
The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been progressing along a very rocky path, with the U.S., Canada and Mexico all threatening at one point or another to exit the pact. But slow progress is being made toward a new agreement.Read More
U.S. Economy and Workers Have Most to Lose from Tariff Hikes
President Trump recently announced tariff hikes on all steel imports and an increase for imported aluminum. IISD economic modelling analysis confirms and quantifies recent predictions that import restrictions are likely to harm the U.S. economy itself.Read More
Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2017
Investment Treaty News (ITN) is IISD’s flagship quarterly journal on international investment law and policy.Read More
Environmental and Public Interest Considerations in NAFTA Renegotiation
This commentary supports and contributes to propositions on how NAFTA parties should seek to modernize the agreement for the benefit of the North American public and ecosystems.Read More
Towards an Indicative List of FDI Sustainability Characteristics
Based on a review of 150 instruments, ranging from international investment agreements to codes of multinational enterprises, this paper identifies ten core characteristics of sustainable FDI and twenty emerging sustainable FDI characteristics widely accepted across ten stakeholder groupsRead More