The Way Forward for WTO Dispute Settlement after the Eleventh Ministerial Conference (CIGI)

In December 2017, trade ministers met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), against the backdrop of crisis in the WTO dispute settlement system. After the meeting achieved only modest outcomes, and none related to dispute settlement, the Centre for International Governance Innovation convened a group of experts in Ottawa for a round table discussion of the way forward to restoring and improving the dispute settlement system.


CIGI Expert Consultation on WTO Reform (CIGI)

The Centre for International Governance Innovation conducted consultations in the spring of 2019 with trade experts and stakeholders about options for modernizing the trade rules and strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO). The consultations focused on the three themes of improving the WTO through monitoring of existing rules, strengthening and safeguarding the dispute settlement function, and modernizing the trade rules for the twenty-first century. This report synthesizes the results of the consultations.


The Belt and Road Initiative: Motivations, Financing, Expansion and Challenges of Xi’s Ever-expanding Strategy (CIGI)

This paper argues that with more objectives added since its inception in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has evolved into a much more expansive grand strategy that includes a package of themes and goals. It examines the policy-making process of the BRI by exploring the motivations behind the plan President Xi Jinping proposed and how the initial Silk Road projects have developed into China’s package of strategies over the past few years. The priorities and performance of China’s investments in the BRI are discussed from the angle of geographical distribution, routes and projects, priority sectors and the connection between the BRI and the previous “going out” strategy China started at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The model and the specific ways China finances and invests in BRI projects, to a great extent, decided the nature of the China-led global infrastructure investment plan. BRI financing is reviewed in detail. Based on the geopolitical and geo-economic analysis of the BRI in the previous parts, the implications of the BRI for global governance as it goes beyond the ambitious infrastructure investment plan are revealed. The risks and problems facing the BRI and the controversy and criticism it has encountered are also addressed. Finally, the paper summarizes the BRI’s ever-expanding themes and the problems and risks it faces, and their implications for the future of the BRI.

Why Social Platforms Are Taking Some Responsibility for Content (CIGI)

While the possibility of new regulation looms over the technology industry, an increasing number of social media platforms are taking measures to demonstrate their responsibility. But tech companies’ new embrace of responsibility could fuel — rather than diminish — calls for regulation.


Schism: China, America and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System (CIGI)

History was heralded when China joined the ­World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, for good reason: the world’s most populous nation was entering the rules-based system that has governed international commerce since World War II. But the full ramifications of that event are only now becoming apparent, as the Chinese economic juggernaut evolved in unanticipated and profoundly troublesome ways.


Standards for the Digital Economy: Creating an Architecture for Data Collection, Access and Analytics (CIGI)

Canadian industry and thought leaders view digitization as a way to enhance the competitiveness of the economy; digitization can also improve the delivery of services such as health care. In order to achieve this vision, new data value chains are needed. Data value chains would allow participants in existing supply chains to share data, gain new insights, solve problems and become more efficient. Standards are required to clarify the roles and responsibilities of participants in data value chains regarding data collection and grading, data access and sharing, as well as data analytics and solutions. Standards are also necessary to achieve interoperability and set appropriate benchmarks regarding data governance — both necessary preconditions for data sharing between organizations.


Why the Data Economy Needs Standards to Thrive (CIGI)

Although not visible or understood by the average customer, standards keep the economy running. Standards describe and define the importance of a process, product, service or system. Standards provide a level playing field for industry and help build trust between participants in supply chains. When it comes to tangible goods – from a screw, to a toaster to a car – there’s an expectation that products will have gone through this process of creating a standard so that consumers can know that it’s safe and works properly.