Trade and Sustainability

Critics of international trade worry that it impacts negatively on the environment via the movement of goods and services across borders, as well as emissions associated with production for international markets. Also, as global geopolitical contestation intensifies so the recourse to “values” in determining how international supply chains should be governed is increasing.

These two key dimensions of sustainability — environment being one, human rights and labour practices the other — have long posed important challenges to the trade policy community. The search for solutions is manifesting at multiple levels, from the World Trade Organization, through sustainability chapters in free trade agreements, to unilateral due diligence laws.


Our objectives

We are proactively building research capacity in the intersections between trade and sustainability. Currently our work is divided into two streams: