“We need more reliable trade infrastructure to deliver products to market. Our research seeks practical solutions.”
Carlo Dade, Director, Trade & Investment Centre
2022 WORK PLAN
Build capacity to trade & collaborate
The West’s economic future largely begins and ends with international trade. February’s border blockades, pandemic-related supply chain slow downs and November’s severe weather disruptions in B.C. demonstrated the importance of international trade to the Canadian economy. The changing global context of trade will affect the West.
Surviving the new global trade environment:
Trade in the world of today, not of 20 years ago
Policy Goal: Defend and advance western Canadian trade interests in response to significant shifts in the global trade environment.
China’s federal, provincial and sectoral five-year plans (FYP) and the mechanisms that China uses to advance its policy objectives, like the Belt and Road Initiative, will impact western Canadian interests in China and other Indo-Pacific regional markets. The work of the centre will improve the capacity of Canadian exporters to enter and thrive in global markets, particularly in the Indo-Pacific, and articulate trade support needs to federal and provincial governments.
This is an ongoing project funded by long term partnerships.
In 2022 we will:
• Examine the impact of China’s FYP on Western Canada.
• Convene running sector table/s to share information and exchange intelligence.
• Monitor major FYP issues.
• Model and report on China and Taiwan’s accession to the CPTPP.
• Continue the China brief newsletter.
Surviving the new U.S. trade environment:
Keep your friends closer
Policy Goal: Improve effectiveness of western provincial engagement in the U.S.
The first Trump administration altered U.S. trade policy toward Canada in ways that persist and will continue with the current congress and the next. For Western Canada, management of trade irritants cannot be left to distant Ottawa and Washington, D.C. An area where improvement can be made is the interactions between heads of government. Currently, the prairie-mountain west region is the only U.S. border region where premiers and governors do not have regular meetings.
In 2022 we will:
• Facilitate the participation of western premiers at the summer 2022 Western Governors Association (WGA) meeting.
• Develop a policy brief on western Canadian alignment and potential cooperation with the WGA’s 2022 agenda.
• Host a second western premiers’ breakfast at a WGA summer meeting.
• Research potential cross-border pandemic cooperation in the prairie-mountain west region.
• Develop an agenda for continued engagement between Prairie and mountain west provinces and states.
• Develop a new Prairie-Mountain West Brief modelled on the China Brief.
Sustainable, structural changes to improve trade infrastructure: Stop digging, start thinking
Policy Goal: Improvement in Canada’s international reputation on trade infrastructure
CWF’s Trade and Investment Centre (TIC) has spent eight years understanding the problems and developing a solution to repair weaknesses in Canada’s trade infrastructure system based on international best practice. The TIC also assembled a national coalition of stakeholders to support its research and advocate for adoption of a data-driven long-term plan for trade infrastructure.
2022 will be spent promoting and facilitating the adoption of this solution.
In 2022 we will:
• Advocate for the adoption of recommendations from our report, From Shovel Ready to Shovel Worthy (released May 2022), and
• Seek funding to establish a Trade Infrastructure Executive in Residence position.