The presenters will highlight the major issues that Canadian negotiators will have to face, including:
- Maintaining access to the U.S. market for Canadian goods and services, and resolving long-standing trade irritants such as softwood lumber and supply management in agriculture.
- Updating NAFTA to bring it in line with the reality of how business is done in the 21st century—including digital trade and labour and environmental standards.
- Facilitating greater mobility of workers across NAFTA boundaries, despite the increasing sentiment in opposition to cross-border movement of people.
- Striking a balance between encouraging innovation and protecting intellectual property and Canadian culture.
Brent Dowdall is Senior Manager, Research and Business Development, at The Conference Board of Canada. He is the co-author of NAFTA 2.0 and Canada: Upgrading a 20th Century Deal for a 21st Century World. Brent has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts in Political Science, both from Carleton University. He joined The Conference Board of Canada in 2002.
Kristelle Audet is Senior Economist in the Industrial Economic Trends group. She is responsible for overseeing and producing the economic forecast, research and analysis for several Canadian industries. Kristelle is also the author of regular custom economic analysis and forecast for public and private sector clients. Since joining the organization in 2011, she produced several research projects related to international trade and firm competitiveness for the Conference Board’s Global Trade Centre, the Centre for Food as well as for external clients. Topics she covered include foreign direct investment, value added trade, Canada’s global competitiveness, as well as trade in food and financial services.
Prior to joining the Conference Board, Kristelle was a market analyst at the Pulp and Paper Products Council where she was covering the European market. She also taught Economics to undergraduate students and did research for HEC Montreal’s Centre for Productivity and Prosperity. Kristelle holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in economics from HEC Montréal as well as Master’s degree in Economics and International Financial Economics from the University of Warwick in the UK.
Alexandre Larouche-Maltais is Senior Trade and Investment Expert, International Programs at The Conference Board of Canada. He is in charge of providing technical assistance to target country Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) and Canada-Indonesia Trade and Private Sector Assistance (TPSA) Projects. In addition to taking part into policy and regulatory dialogues and study tours, he provides training on trade and investment to governmental officials and private sector representatives for raising their awareness on cross-border trade topics and building their capacities. He holds a Master's degree in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in Geneva, and a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and International Law from the Université du Québec à Montréal.