Canadian Trade Policy at a Risky Crossroads: Navigating New Global Realities
Book Launch
May 16, 2017

With Canadians now focused on the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, it’s important that we do not lose sight of the forest for the trees. What is needed is an evidence-based discussion to enable us to better understand the new global trade realities — including rising anti-trade sentiment — to explore potential responses, and to identify the longer-term policy priorities that will help guide us through the current turmoil.

At this event, the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) released the results of a multiyear, interdisciplinary research initiative. Our volume, Redesigning Canadian Trade Policies for New Global Realities, brings together the contributions of more than 30 experts from eight different countries. They analyze how structural changes and emerging trends in international commerce, technology and economic power are affecting Canada, and what these changes mean for public policy.

To launch this book, the IRPP hosted a two-part event on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at the Rideau Club, Ottawa (99 Bank St.). First, in a workshop from 3 to 5 p.m., special guest John Manley made opening remarks to set the context for the discussion. He was followed by the volume’s editors who presented the volume’s main findings and policy recommendations. A lively panel discussion followed, moderated by Policy Options editor-in-chief Jennifer Ditchburn, and featuring Ailish Campbell, Canada’s Trade Commissioner, and Madelaine Drohan, Canada Correspondent for The Economist.


Special guest

John Manley is the president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada. He was first elected to Parliament in 1988, and from 1993 to 2003 he served as a minister of industry, foreign affairs, and finance, in addition to being deputy prime minister. After retiring from politics, he returned to the private sector in 2004. He serves on the boards of several publicly traded companies and is active in the not-for-profit sector.


Stephen Tapp is a research director at the IRPP. Before joining the Institute, he was a senior economist and adviser at the Parliamentary Budget Office. He has worked as an economist in the research departments of the Bank of Canada and the Department of Finance, as a research fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and as an economics instructor at Queen’s University. His research focuses on the Canadian economy and economic policy. He has a PhD and an MA in economics from Queen’s University and a BA from Western.

Ari Van Assche is associate professor and chair of the international business department at HEC Montréal, as well as research fellow at CIRANO and the IRPP. His research focuses on the organization of global value chains and their implications for trade and industrial cluster policy. He holds a BA and an MA in Chinese studies from KU Leuven and a PhD in economics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Robert Wolfe is professor in the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University, a research fellow at the IRPP, and a senior associate at the International Institute for Sustainable Development. He was a foreign service officer for many years, serving in Bangladesh, Paris (OECD), and Ottawa. After completing a doctorate in political studies, in 1995 he joined Queen’s University, where he is the director of the annual Queen’s Institute on Trade Policy. His major research interest is institutional design for trade policy, notably World Trade Organization transparency.


Ailish Campbell is the chief trade commissioner at Global Affairs Canada. She has held executive positions in the Privy Council Office, the Department of Finance, and Industry Canada. She was the vice-president of international and fiscal policy at the Business Council of Canada, where she led CEO-level round tables with India, Japan and China. In 2014 she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She holds a doctorate from Oxford University, and she is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Queen’s University.

Madelaine Drohan is Canada correspondent for the Economist, and she is a senior fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa. In 2015-16 she was the Prime Ministers of Canada Fellow at the Public Policy Forum. She is the author of The 9 Habits of Highly Successful Resource Economies: Lessons for Canada (2012), as well as Making a Killing: How and Why Corporations use Armed Force to Do Business (2003, 2004), which won the Ottawa Book Award. She was awarded a Reuters Fellowship at Oxford University in 1998, and the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism in 2001.


Jennifer Ditchburn is the editor-in-chief of Policy Options, the IRPP’s online magazine. An award-winning journalist, she spent more than two decades covering national and parliamentary affairs for The Canadian Press and for CBC Television. She is a three-time winner of a National Newspaper Award and the recipient of the prestigious Charles Lynch Award for outstanding coverage of national issues. She is the co-editor (with Graham Fox) of The Harper Factor: Assessing a Prime Minister’s Policy Legacy (2016).