David Peterson Public Leadership Program Lecture Series

The Hon. Ed Fast on Trade in the Era of Trump

October 26, 2023 | 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Online & in-person
Munk School

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'Munk Centre For International Studies - 1 Devonshire Place
Join us on Thursday, October 26 as The Honourable Ed Fast, MP, discusses the evolving trade environment and how Canada risks being left behind with Peter Loewen, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy.  
Over the last century, Canada’s proactive trade agenda and export leadership has helped Canadian workers, businesses, exporters, and investors gain preferred access and a real competitive edge in key markets around the world. By making trade and international diplomacy a priority, historic trade agreements have been secured with the United States, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.
More recently, Canada’s international reputation as a trusted trade and geo-political partner has been needlessly eroded. Embarrassing diplomatic snafus with large economies like India and China have stalled our ability to expand export opportunities in the rest of the world. Trade negotiations with additional countries, most notably with the ASEAN bloc of countries have similarly stalled.  Add to that mix of circumstances the war in Ukraine, the growing belligerence and bellicosity of China, and an increasingly protectionist United States, and we are left with a profoundly challenging environment in which to promote our trade interests around the world.
Of significant consequence is the role that former American president Donald Trump has played in the United States’ pivot away from global leadership on trade liberalization and towards increasing protectionism and isolationism. This lurch towards protectionism was heralded by Trump’s insistence on pulling out of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and his reticence to appoint members to the World Trade Organization’s dispute resolution panels. This giant step backwards was exacerbated by the increasing willingness of the BRICS countries to block consensus at the different rounds of WTO trade negotiations.
But it’s not too late to turn things around. One of Canada’s most successful and respected former Ministers of International Trade, the Hon. Ed Fast, lays out a road map on to how to resurrect a moribund Canadian trade agenda and restore Canada’s trade leadership within the global marketplace. He will also touch upon the importance of trade liberalization as an opportunity for trade partners to maximize their respective comparative advantages to achieve “win-win” outcomes for their economies.
About The Speaker
Ed Fast was first elected to the House of Commons in 2006, and was re-elected in 2008, 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2021. On May 18, 2011, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Ed to his cabinet to serve as Minister of International Trade. He assumed responsibility for development of the Government of Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, which created a more competitive Canadian economy by deepening Canada’s trade and investment ties in dynamic and fast-growing economies around the world. His accomplishments include free trade agreements with the European Union, South Korea, Ukraine and negotiations on the original Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). He also oversaw negotiations on modernizing free trade agreements with Israel and Chile.
Prior to his appointment to cabinet, Ed served as a member of the Standing Committees on Canadian Heritage, and Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights.
Since 2015, Ed has served variously as the Conservative shadow minister for environment, industry and finance. Ed’s Private Member’s Bill C-277 to amend the Criminal Code to increase from 5 to 10 years in prison the maximum sentence for luring children over the Internet for sexual purposes received Royal Assent in 2007 and became the law of Canada.
This event is part of the David Peterson Public Leadership Program Signature Lecture Series. The David Peterson Public Leadership Program is made possible by the generosity of the Honourable David Peterson and Mrs. Shelley Peterson.
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headshot of the Hon. Ed Fast MP
The Hon. Ed Fast

Member of Parliament, Abbotsford