New publication for the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) with Patricia Goff

October 24, 2018

International trade agreements increasingly affect the jurisdictions of Canadian provinces, and the federal government cannot enforce implementation in those fields. Since the 1980s, the provinces have assumed a more active role in trade negotiations. However, Canada has no constitutional requirement for their approval of international treaties — as do Switzerland’s cantons. Nor are there formalized intergovernmental institutions such as those in Germany. To provide greater predictability, a framework agreement for ongoing federal-provincial-territorial cooperation in trade policy could be developed. Premiers could also contribute more actively if the Council of the Federation was better resourced and enabled to formulate common positions on international trade issues.

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