2016 Conference- Most Favoured Nations: The Past, Present, and Future of International Trade


10:00–10:30: Registration and Continental Breakfast

10:30-11:30: Introductions and Keynote Address

11:30-12:45: Panel 1: Past–A Giant Sucking Sound? The Lessons of the GATT and NAFTA Eras

In North America, NAFTA is a defining institution of world trade, as the GATT was for decades throughout the world. How did the creation of these institution shape international trade in Canada, North America, and the world? What is the legacy they leave behind?

12:45–1:30: Lunch

1:30–2:45: Panel 2: Present–We’re not in Uruguay Anymore: The Rise of the “Rest” in International Trade

How has international trade changed since the bygone days of the GATT era and, indeed, since NAFTA’s North American heyday? How has a shifting distribution of economic power influenced trade in the past 20 years? What political demands and opportunities does trade today pose to modern governments? How does it influence domestic societies? 

2:45–4:00: Panel 3: Future–Regionalism or Worldwide Trade Order? 

Do the lessons of the past and the present point towards the coalescence of regional trade orders as some commentators suggest, or does hope remain for an active, worldwide system of trade governance? What key factors will determine how this order unfolds? Which is preferable and why?


Keynote–Diane Francis is an award-winning columnist, bestselling author, investigative journalist, and television commentator. She writes pieces for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Daily Beast, Politico, the World Post, Miami Herald and is a regular contributor to the New York Post. She is Editor-at-Large at Canada’s National Post and writes for the US Edition of the Huffington Post. She is a regular contributor to Al Jazeera America and CCTV-America (China TV). In addition she is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC within its Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. She is also Adjunct Faculty with Singularity University in Mountain View California, a Distinguished Professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management and has been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. In 1991, she became Editor of Canada’s Financial Post, the first woman editor of a national daily newspaper in Canada, a position she held until the paper was sold in 1998.

Diane Francis has interviewed and written about hundreds of CEOs, billionaires, heads of state, international criminals, Interpol officials, “big thinkers” and academics. These include Bill Gates, George Soros, Christine Lagarde, Larry Summers, Clayton Christensen, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Carlos Salinas, Mexican guerrilla leader Subcommandante Marcos, Pervez Musharaff, Angel Gurria, and Raghuram Rajan, to name just a few. She has been a participant at the Davos World Economic Forum for 20 years.

Diane’s 10 books cover government corruption, business fraud, money laundering, politics, immigration and economics. Her first book, Controlling Interest: Who Owns Canada? launched a firestorm by revealing that one third of Canada’s wealth was in the hands of just 32 families and 5 conglomerates. Her most recent book, Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country, posits that both countries should combine in order to combat Russia, China and the Asian Tigers’s emerging economies. The New Yorker called it “shrewd” and The Toronto Star “meticulously documented.” We are thrilled to welcome Diane Francis as our keynote speaker!

Panel one—Past: A Giant Sucking sound? The lessons of GATT and the nafta Eras

The Honourable Roy MacLaren is a former Canadian politician and diplomat. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia, Masters degrees from St. Catharine's College, Cambridge and the University of Trinity College, as well as honorary degrees from the University of Toronto and the University of Alabama. Prior to serving as a Member of Parliament, Mr. MacLaren spent twelve years with the Canadian foreign service, including postings in Hanoi, Saigon, Prague and the United Nations in both New York and Geneva. In 1979, he was elected to the House of Commons as the MP for Etobicoke North. During his twelve years in Parliament, Mr. MacLaren served as Minister of State (Finance), Minister of National Revenue and the Minister of International Trade, where he remained until his resignation in 1996 to serve as High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom. Outside of politics, Mr. MacLaren has served as the Canadian Chair of the Canada-Europe Round Table and the Canadian Institute for International Affairs, and has sat on the Canadian and British board of directors of Deutsche Bank and other multinational corporations. He is currently the Honorary Chairman of the Canada-India Business Council.


Stephen Clarkson is one of Canada's preeminent political economists and a Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto. He is also a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He received his BA from the University of Toronto, an MA from the University of Oxford and a D. de Rech from the University of Paris. His research interests include the diffusion of foreign-investment-protection norms and investor-state dispute settlement institutions between Europe, North America and Latin America, and the impact of globalization on the Canadian state with particular interest in NAFTA and the WTO. Clarkson is also a published author, writing frequently on Canadian federal politics and Canadian trade relations. Selected works include Trudeau and Our Times(1990, 1994), The Canadian-American Relationship:Uncle Sam and Us: Globalization, Neoconservatism, and the Canadian State (2002), and Does North America Exist? Governing the Continent after NAFTA and 9/11 (2008).




Professor John J. Kirton is Director of the G8 Research Group, Co-director of the G20 Research Group, Co-director of the Global Health Diplomacy Program, and a Research Associate of the Munk School of Global Affairs. He is also co-director of the BRICS Research Group based at Trinity College, where he is a Fellow. A professor of political science at the University of Toronto, he teaches international governance and Canadian foreign policy. His research interests include global health governance, international finance and trade, trade-environment issues and foreign policy decision making. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA in political science, from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University with an MA in international affairs, and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University with a PhD in international relations.


PANEL Two—Present: We're Not In Uruguay Anymore: The Rise of the "Rest" IN INternational TRADE


Lawrence Herman is Associate Counsel at Cassels Brock LLP and Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute. His practice emphasis is on international trade and international business transactions. He acts for corporations, governments and international agencies in the trade area, dealing particularly with the GATT/WTO, FTA and NAFTA. Early in his career, Mr. Herman served in the Canadian Foreign Service in a variety of posts, at the United Nations in Geneva and in Ottawa, representing Canada in numerous international conferences and meetings, including the GATT, UNCTAD, OECD and the United Nations Conference. Prior to leaving the Foreign Service, he was the head of the Economic and Treaty Law Section in the External Affairs Department. Mr. Herman has authored many scholarly articles and spoken regularly on the matters of international trade. He has been a columnist for the Financial Post, continues to write regularly for Canada's national newspapers and is the author of three books: Canadian Trade Remedy Law and Practice (1997), Canadian Trade Law: Practice and Procedure (2007), and Export Controls & Economic Sanctions: A Guide to Canadian Trade Restrictions (2010).


Omar Allam is chief executive, founder and chairman of the global firm Allam Advisory Group where he guides overall company strategy, business growth and client development across global markets. In 2015, he was chosen as one of the Top Forty under 40 by the Ottawa Business Journal and Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. With seventeen years of global experience, he provides clients with business development, marketing, strategy, stakeholder management and government relations advice and hands on implementation support with a particular focus on Canada, India, Europe, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. He previously served as a former senior Canadian diplomat in India and Africa, a public servant, a liaison officer to the United Nationas and consultant with the World Bank Group and the Canadian International Development Agency, having worked across a spectrum of industries, such as agriculture, aerospace & defence and the environment. Mr. Allam currently serves on the Board of Directs at Crossroads International and the UOttawa Brain and Mind Research Institute. He holds degrees from Bishop's University, Carleton University, the Canadian Foreign Service Institute, and is pursuing an executive diploma at the Harvard Business School.

Jason Langrish is the Executive Director of the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business, an advocacy group that he been deeply involved in the launch of negotiations for a Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. He also serves as Senior Trade Advisor for the Canada-India Business Council, drafting private sector strategy for, and structuring input into, current free trade negotiations between Canada and India. Mr. Langrish is also the President of The Energy Roundtable, an industry led forum that was launched in 2004 to help define Canada's place in global energy markets, attract inward investment into the Canadian energy sector and generate discussion and outcomes amongst key stakeholders on how to meet Canada's ambition to become a sustainable energy superpower. He is a guest lecturer at Schulich Business School, York University and occasional speaker at the Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto. He was educated at the University of Victoria, University of Western Ontario and the London School of Economics.


PANEL Three—Future: Regionalism or worldwide trade Order?


John Hancock works at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, where he has served as senior policy advisor to the Director-General, representative to the IMF and World Bank, and head of investment issues. He also coordinated the WTO's Aid-for-Trade Initiative, and was secretary of the 2006 Task Force on the subject. Prior to the WTO, Mr. Hancock was senior advisor to Canada's trade minister. He has also been a guest lecturer at Cambridge University, IMD, and the University of St Gallen. He holds a PhD in economic history from Cambridge, and has written and spoken frequently on international issues.


Luc Fournier is the Head of Global Trade and Receivable Finance, Business Banking with HSBC Canada. He also serves as President of FLY Collective Incorporated, a company that provides expertise on international trade with a particular focus on doing business in China. Previously, Mr. Fournier has served as the Senior Manager International for the National Bank of Canada's Ontario and Western Canada operations and the Head of the Visit and Protocol Unit with the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, China. His expertise is primarily in international trade, emerging markets and the financial sector. Mr. Fournier has received degrees from the University of Ottawa, l'Université de Montréal and Nankai University in China. 

Louis Pauly, now chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, has held the Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Governance since 2002. As Director of the Centre for International Studies from 1997 to 2011, he helped build what is now the Munk School of Global Affairs, where he remains a member of the faculty. A graduate of Cornell University, the London School of Economics, New York University and Fordham University, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Senior Fellow of Massey College, a Fellow of Trinity College (Toronto), and an affiliated faculty member of the UofT School of Public Policy and Governance. With Emanuel Adler, from 2007 to 2012 he edited International Organization, the top-ranked journal in the fields of international relations and international political economy. Before his initial appointment at UofT in 1987, he held management positions in the Royal Bank of Canada, won an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations, and served on the staff of the International Monetary Fund. His personal and collaborative publications include Hong Kong's International Financial CentreGoverning the World's Democracy; and Who Elected the Bankers? Surveillance and Control in the World Economy.