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  • Author: Oonagh Fitzgerald
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: At the December 2017 World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, 118 WTO members joined forces to launch the Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment. The members undertook to work together to develop best practices on how to apply gender-based analysis to domestic economic policy and international trade policy to encourage female entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, remove barriers to women’s participation in trade, and develop useful gender statistics and research. The Centre for International Governance Innovation undertook this essay series to raise awareness about this initiative and contribute to increasing understanding of how the declaration might contribute to economic empowerment of women.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Susan Schadler
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: So far, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has defied the odds in its relations with the administration of US President Donald Trump. In contrast to the administration’s at times stormy ride with some other international organizations and agreements, relations have been rather calm — even friendly — between the United States and the IMF. There has been no talk of cutting US funding to the IMF, no threat of pulling out of the organization, no statements casting aspersions on the IMF and no “tweet storms” on specific events involving the IMF. In fact, although not directly from President Trump, statements in support of actions or positions of the IMF have surfaced. Why has the IMF escaped the antagonism of the new administration, and can it continue to do so?
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cyrus Rustomjee
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The blue economy — a concept and framework for economic activity that recognizes and seeks to maximize the potential for economic growth, employment and diversification through the sustainable use of resources from the ocean — has vast economic potential for small states; however, they confront several unique international governance challenges in pursuing a marine-resource-based development framework; have few comparative lessons of good practice to draw on; and face several practical obstacles in taking the first steps to operationalize the blue economy, resulting in modest progress. Collective experience highlights six key priorities in operationalizing the blue economy. Small states can take several new initiatives, supported by regional and international development partners, to focus attention on and coalesce policy effort and resources.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeff Rubin
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The claim that additional pipeline capacity to tidewater will unlock significantly higher prices for bitumen is not corroborated by either past or current market conditions. Recent international commitments to reduce global carbon emissions over the next three decades will significantly reduce the size of future oil markets. Only the lowest-cost producers will remain commercially viable while high-cost producers will be forced to exit the market. The National Energy Board should consider a rapidly decarbonizing global economy when assessing the need and commercial viability of further pipelines in the country and use Western Canadian Select as the price benchmark when evaluating the economic viability of any new oil sands projects. Pension plans need to stress test their long-term investments in the oil sands in the context of a decarbonizing global economy.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Cyrus Rustomjee
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Since 2005, two debt sustainability frameworks and country-level debt sustainability analyses designed by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have provided standardized tools to measure and assess debt sustainability. While they have a number of advantages, the utility of these tools for small states is limited by several factors, including insufficient treatment of exogenous shocks, limitations in the tools used to assess debt sustainability and a narrow definition of debt sustainability. This has reduced their reliability in assessing debt sustainability and as a mechanism to help inform both countries’ debt management policies and donor, lender and investor decision making. Several practical modifications can strengthen these tools and improve their utility for small states.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Caribbean
  • Author: Edward A. Parson
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Climate engineering can, if appropriately governed within a coherent overall climate change strategy, reduce risks beyond what mitigation and adaptation can achieve alone, and is probably essential to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature targets. Climate engineering also poses significant new risks, and needs expanded research and scrutiny in climate assessments.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Steven L. Schwarcz
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Unsustainable sovereign debt is a serious problem for nations, as well as their citizens and creditors, and a threat to global financial stability. The existing contractual approach to restructuring unsustainable debt is inadequate and no treaty or other multilateral legal framework exists, or is currently likely to be adopted, that would enable nations to restructure unsustainable debt. Because a significant percentage of sovereign debt is governed by English law, there is an opportunity to modify the law to fairly and equitably facilitate the restructuring of unsustainable sovereign debt. This policy brief proposes a novel legal framework, focusing on governing law, for doing that. This framework would legislatively achieve the equivalent of the ideal goal of including perfect collective action clauses in all English-law-governed sovereign debt contracts. It therefore should ensure the continuing legitimacy and attractiveness of English law as the governing law for future sovereign debt contracts. Even absent the legislative proposal, the analysis in this policy brief can contribute to the incremental development of sovereign debt restructuring norms.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Hinton, Domenico Lombardi , Joanna Wajda
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Given financial technology’s (fintech’s) priority on the global stage, and the Canadian federal budget’s focus on innovation and the middle class, now is the time for Canada to assess its position and develop a national strategy on fintech. The aim of this policy brief is to provide a general description of the fintech industry in Canada, and to describe and draw attention to two complementary aspects of developing a fintech strategy for Canada: first, encouraging domestic fintech innovation — through open data and payment systems — and second, encouraging international expansion — through international agreements among regulators and comprehensive intellectual property strategies. For Canada to be a contender in fintech, Canadian policy makers need to target both domestic growth and international expansion of the sector. In addition to increasing the availability of funding, removing regulatory uncertainty and taking the lead on a national fintech strategy, policy makers should assess the merits of access to data and payments systems for stimulating domestic fintech growth. Increased patent generation and ownership, greater integration of Canadian technology in standards and international agreements with regulators will allow Canadian fintechs to build on their success internationally. The Hamburg G20 Summit on July 7-8, 2017, presents an opportunity to become more informed about the potential financial stability implications from countries already pursuing national fintech strategies.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: François-Philippe Champagne
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There is an inverse relationship between the number of kilometres François-Philippe Champagne travels and the amount of attention he receives. Canada’s trade minister was in Morocco over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend for a World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting, and in Mexico less than a week later for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first official visit to the country.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Jean-Frederic Morin, Rosalie Nadeau
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Trade agreements contain an increasing number of environmental provisions. Some of these provisions now relate to precise environmental issues, such as biodiversity or hazardous waste management. Certain trade agreements even devote entire chapters to environmental protection. However, the rate of innovative environmental clauses per agreement has declined over the years. This paper draws attention to some of the lesser-known provisions encountered in five agreements or fewer. These “legal one-hit wonders” do not often reach the billboard, despite their uniqueness and creativity.
  • Topic: Environment, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Malcolm D. Knight
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The past 20 years have witnessed a profound change in the types of non-resident investors who provide funding to emerging market economies (EMEs) and the nancial instruments through which emerging market (EM) corporations borrow from abroad. Until the beginning of the new millennium, private capital ows to EMEs were mainly intermediated by large global banks, and EMEs were subjected to massive volatility in their external payments balances, exchange rates and domestic nancial systems. But since the early 2000s the role of bank- intermediated credit has declined, as the base of investors willing to take on exposure to EM corporate debt has become much larger and more diverse. These structural changes have encouraged a vast growth in ows of funds, not only from the mature economies to EMEs as a group, but also among EMEs themselves.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: August Reinisch
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Since the transfer of foreign direct investment powers from the European Union member states to the European Union itself in the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon, the European Commission, the main external trade actor for the European Union, has started to negotiate international investment agreements as well as investment chapters in enlarged free trade agreements (FTAs). Both contain substantive protection standards and enforcement mechanisms in case of disputes, usually both state–state and investor–state arbitration (ISA). With regard to the latter, it was unclear whether the European Commission, the European Union’s experienced World Trade Organization (WTO) litigator, would continue to use the interstate template of trade disputes or venture into ISA. After an initial orientation period, the European Commission rmly endorsed ISA, as demonstrated by the negotiations with Canada on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and with the United States on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Meanwhile, however, public opposition to the TTIP, and to ISA in particular, has formed in unexpected dimensions. It even led the European Commission to partially interrupt its trade negotiations with the United States in order to conduct a public consultation on the investment aspects of the TTIP. Ever since, ISA has remained one of the most controversial parts of the planned trade agreements. Most recently, the European Commission tabled a TTIP proposal to set up a permanent investment court that would replace the system of ad hoc ISA. This paper analyzes in detail the development of the European Union’s position toward the use of ISA as a means for settling investor-state disputes.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: European Union
  • Author: Hugo Perezcano
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Investor-state arbitration (ISA) has been a controversial topic and a source of criticism and debate for quite some time. Yet, it continues to be a standard feature of modern international investment agreements (IIAs). While opposition to ISA has traditionally come from certain sectors of civil society, there appears to be a growing discomfort now among states as well. Some critics suggest that ISA is unnecessary and should be left out of IIAs altogether. Others argue that it may be needed in IIAs between developed nations that are mostly capital exporters, on the one hand, and developing countries that require foreign capital to promote development, on the other, but that it is unwarranted in IIAs that developed countries enter into among themselves. They reason that developed countries have robust legal frameworks and institutions, including responsive judiciaries, that adequately protect private investment and, therefore, ISA can safely be omitted from such IIAs without any detriment to foreign investors or their investments. This paper addresses some of the aws in the arguments that have been advanced in support of this position, as well as some of its implications, especially the reaction that might be expected from developing countries if developed countries were to back away from ISA in their dealings with other developed nations but continue to demand its inclusion in their agreements with developing countries.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James M. Boughton
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Economic con ict between nation-states has been a major concern throughout the past century and will continue to threaten progress for the foreseeable future. The language evolves, but the issues persist. The “beggar-thy-neighbour” policies and “competitive devaluations” that aggravated the Great Depression of the 1930s have become the “currency wars” of the twenty- rst century. De ning the problem, however, is easy compared with the task of solving it. A central recurring question is whether policy makers can — and should — cooperate and try to coordinate their policies in an effort to alleviate con icts and improve outcomes.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Whalley, Li Chunding
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement has now been concluded, but it still faces the challenge of ratification in each of the 12 member countries that are partners to the agreement. China is the world’s second- largest economy, but is not part of the TPP Agreement, which has provoked a great deal of debate in China on the best strategy for China to deal with the TPP. This paper analyzes China’s possible trade strategy, raising three issues for consideration, given the TPP Agreement. First, security of market access should be China’s main concern in any free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation, but the TPP does not include content that is particularly relevant to this issue. Second, the nal TPP Agreement is somewhat less than the high-level, ambitious agreement that has been proclaimed. Third, the rati cation process in all 12 member countries will be slow and may possibly not even happen. This paper sets out four strategies for China: to promote the development of China’s remaining regional and bilateral FTAs; to negotiate a bilateral FTA with the United States; to promote deep domestic reform and opening up by enlarging the coverage of the TPP; and, nally, to negotiate its entry in the TPP as soon as possible, so that the terms of entering the agreement do not degenerate for China.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Marc Lalonde
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: I have rarely seen, in my long life, a change as unjustified as the one represented by the new investment tribunal structure now found in the agreed text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. First of all, it is a poor solution based on a faulty premise. It is the result of an ill-informed but obviously effective campaign by mainly European lobbies[1] and some groups in the European Parliament, which have argued, without proper quantitative or qualitative support, that the present system is biased in favour of foreign investors. If this were the case, how can they explain that, according to the latest statistics from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), only 46 percent of all ICSID awards upheld (in part or in full) investors’ claims, while 53 percent of the claims were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction or on the merits, and another one percent were rejected as manifestly without legal merit.[2] Similarly, in its 2014 World Investment Report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) came to the conclusion that, out of 274 concluded investment treaty cases in 2013, 43 percent were decided in favour of the state, 31 percent in favour of the investor and 26 percent were settled.[3]
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samuel Howorth, Domenico Lombardi, Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Students of macroeconomics will have heard about the central role played by the so-called Phillips curve in both theoretical and empirical analyses for almost 70 years. In 1958, A. W. Phillips reported an inverse relationship between changes in wages and the unemployment rate (Phillips 1958). The progeny of his thinking led to a revolution both in policy making and in the development of theoretical links between the real and nominal macroeconomic variables. Names such as Samuelson, Solow, Phelps, Friedman, Lucas and Sargent became associated with refinements and enhancements of the core finding reported by Phillips. Indeed, all of these economists went on to become Nobel laureates in economics, although not exclusively because of their contributions to the analysis of what has since been called the Phillips curve. Indeed, the concept is so influential that it spawned several different versions of the trade-off used to guide policy makers as a menu for the choices they face when deciding whether the gains from lower inflation are offset by the economic costs of higher unemployment. Initially, expectations of individuals or firms were ignored. This briefly gave policy makers the impression that they could simply select an inflation-unemployment combination and implement the necessary policy mix to achieve the desired outcome. Once a role for expectations was incorporated, debate centred on how forward-looking individuals are. The more forward-looking, the less likely it was that policy makers would be able to “exploit” the trade-off because, unless wages rose in purchasing-power terms, the gains from lower unemployment would, at best, be temporary once workers realized that the higher inflation, at unchanged wages, actually drives real wages down. Indeed, the pendulum swung all the way to the conclusion — reached by the 1970s and early 1980s — that the Phillips curve was illusory and there was no trade-off policy makers could exploit.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Political Economy, Labor Issues, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Martin Guzman
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: It is e cient that insolvent debtors restructure their liabilities. A timely and e cient process of debt restructuring is in the best interest of the aggregate. Conversely, delaying the restoration of debt sustainability may aggravate the economic situation of the debtor. is is ine cient: the prolongation of a recession decreases the amount of resources to be shared by the debtor and its creditors. e costs can be enormous for societies, as deep depressions are usually accompanied by high and persistent unemployment (generally unevenly distributed among the di erent cohorts and segments of the labour force), inequality and poverty.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi , Kelsey Shanty
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in five areas of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on development; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change. In this year’s survey, 31 CIGI experts conclude that international economic arrangements continue to show a level of “status quo,” averaging a score of 50% across all five areas. The 2015 survey indicates a slight improvement to the result of last year’s survey, which suggested a minimal regression overall. The experts’ assessment of progress was most promising in the area of climate change cooperation, with an average score of 57%, whereas the least promising area was macroeconomic and financial cooperation, with a score of 44%, indicating minimal regression. The remaining three areas polled all fell within the “status quo” range, with trade at 46%, development at 48% and international cooperation on financial regulation at 53%. Interestingly, in the area of cooperation on development, CIGI’s experts provided a relatively mixed assessment. Responses varied based on experts’ perception of the effectiveness of current rhetoric, from 70% (indicating some progress) to 10% (suggesting major regression). Compared to last year, climate change governance has made the greatest improvement, but the remaining three areas (with the exception of development, which was not included in the 2014 survey) have all, on average, regressed further or remained stagnant. This trend is cause for concern.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alex He
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As the largest emerging economy, China believes that the Group of Twenty (G20), instead of the Group of Eight (G8), is the ideal platform for its participation in global governance. This paper examines the reasons why China joined the G20 rather than the G8, and then focuses on a detailed review of China's participation in G20 summits since the enhanced forum began in 2008. China took a very active and cooperative attitude in dealing with the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. The paper observes that China also insisted on its own agenda for reforms to the international monetary system, through reforms to the international financial institutions that manage it — in particular, raising the number of voting shares and the representation of developing countries at the IMF and the World Bank. Based on the reviews of China's performance in the G20 summits since 2008, the paper explores China's policy making through its participation in the G20, determining that it is shaped by several major economic departments in addition to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and coordinated by a vice premier responsible for economic and financial affairs. The paper concludes that China has gained immensely from its participation in the G20. Most importantly, China entered the centre stage of global economic governance through the G20, which allowed the country to demonstrate that it is a responsible great power, and communicate and maintain relations with other major powers. The main challenges China has faced since joining the G20, from the perspective of some Chinese scholars, are a lack of capacity for agenda setting and shaping initiatives, as well as inadequate communication and coordination among different government departments and between the Sherpa and financial tracks of the G20.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, International Monetary Fund, Global Recession, Financial Crisis, World Bank
  • Political Geography: China