Restructuring Global Trade Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Matrix of Challenges and Opportunities

The Conference Board of Canada, October 7, 2020
Recorded Webinar
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What changes, both evolutionary and revolutionary, are occurring in the global economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic? How are the global economic relationships developed in the post-Second World War Era being restructured or disrupted?

In this one-hour and 30 minute-webinar, Raj Bhala, Brenneisen Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, will analyse these changes at the three levels of International Trade Law and Policy:

  1. Multilateral
  2. Regional
  3. Bilateral

At each level, the analysis will isolate changes caused principally by COVID-19, those it indirectly caused, and the ones unrelated to it, including a discussion on the implications for Canadian businesses.

Webinar Highlights

  • The game is changing. Now and for the foreseeable future, efficiency has given way to national security (including self-judged threats such as a pandemic) as the principal driver of International Trade Law and Policy.
  • COVID-19 is a catalyst for some of the changes, but most of them are caused by forces indirectly related to the pandemic, or unrelated to it—forces that pre-date and will outlast the pandemic.
  • The revolutions are occurring at each of the three levels at which International Trade Law and Policy is negotiated, drafted, textualized, and applied: Multilateral, Regional, and Bilateral.
  • To manage those threats, trade rules and practices are being deployed to manage trade itself, including import substitution measures to reorganize production to create more secure supply chains.
  • While the present global environment is a challenging one for a modestly-sized open economy like Canada’s, Canada is well positioned for the long-term to take advantage of trade and investment linkages through its extraordinary network of FTAs.

About Raj

Photo of Raj BhalaFortunate to be born in Toronto and raised partly in Edmonton, Raj Bhala now keeps busy with three fun jobs.

First, Raj is the inaugural Leo. S. Brenneisen Distinguished Professor (2017–present) at the University of Kansas School of Law, before which he held the Rice Distinguished Professorship (2003–2017). Both are university-level chairs, the highest accolade for scholarship and research in Kansas. He served as KU’s Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law (2011–2017).

Second, Raj is Senior Advisor to Dentons U.S. LLP, the world’s largest law firm, focusing on international and comparative legal matters.

Third, Bloomberg Quint (Mumbai) publishes Raj’s “On Point” column, which is distributed to approximately 2.9 million readers worldwide, plus an additional 400,000 financial market professionals through Bloomberg’s trading terminals.

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