IRPP Event

Adapting Canadian Trade and Commerce Policies to New Global Realities

As part of its Art of the State series, the IRPP has undertaken an ambitious new research initiative to examine how changing patterns of global trade and investment are affecting Canada and what this means for policy, in order to foster more effective engagement in the global economy. This research program will:

  • provide new empirical evidence for Canada using firm-level and value-added trade data, as well as business surveys,
  • apply new perspectives from the academic literature on global value chains and “new new trade theory,” and
  • explore the implications of this work for key areas of economic policy, including services and digital trade, foreign investment, innovation and regulation.

With the federal government engaged in “the most ambitious trade agenda in Canadian history,” the Institute aims to provide a solid and comprehensive base of evidence and the outline of a forward-looking policy agenda to support Canada’s full participation in the global economy.


As part of this research initiative, in June 2014 the IRPP hosted an invitation-only symposium in Ottawa that brought together senior policy-makers, practitioners, academics and private-sector stakeholders to discuss issues affecting Canada’s trade policies. The forum was designed to provide feedback on the research in progress.

The symposium program is available here. Day 1 focused on trade empirics, theory and Canadian business strategies. Day 2 focused on trade policies. The event also featured keynote speakers Simon Kennedy, Deputy Minister of International Trade, and Hanne Melin of eBay Inc.

Research in progress

This IRPP research initiative will produce over a dozen original, policy-relevant studies by leading Canadian and international trade experts, to be published in 2015. The topics will include the following:

  • Trade and productivity: insights from Canadian firm-level data
  • The performance of Canadian SMEs in emerging markets
  • New international evidence on Canada’s position in global value chains
  • The future of internet-empowered international trade and the need for new trade rules
  • The state of Canada’s infrastructure and transportation networks and the requirements of  21st century trade
  • Toppling the silos: how to achieve international regulatory cooperation
  • Canadian trade policy in a G-0 world

The studies will ultimately be compiled in an edited volume entitled Adapting Canadian Trade and Commerce Policies to New Global Realities, which will include a synthesis report by  the book’s editors, Stephen TappAri Van Assche and Robert Wolfe.


Date and time
June 16, 2014 - June 17, 2014
Event Type
Registration is closed
More generous cash-transfer benefit would improve access to essentials, says IRPP report
More generous cash-transfer benefit would improve access to essentials, says IRPP report