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Canada Endorses the APEC Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA) – Michael Woods Participated in Consultative Process

Posted by on Dec 15, 2021

On December 10, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, Mary Ng, announced Canada’s endorsement of the Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA).[1] This APEC[2]  initiative is a new and innovative plurilateral Arrangement intended to create a framework for economies and Indigenous peoples to work together to increase trade and economic cooperation. In its announcement, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) acknowledged the importance of the “close cooperation with Indigenous peoples in Canada through [its] … Indigenous Working Group on Trade Policy (IWG) and … the importance of enhancing the ability of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous businesses to benefit from the opportunities created by international trade and investment.”[3]  Michael Woods has served on Global Affairs Canada’s Indigenous Working Group (IWG) since its creation in 2017. Since February 2021, when Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Chinese Taipei and other APEC economies began work towards developing the IPETCA with the focus on the economic empowerment of Indigenous peoples in the Asia- Pacific region, much work was done by IWG member participants. Michael participated in many internal GAC- IWG sessions as well as multilateral APEC meetings and precedent-setting international Indigenous-to-Indigenous consultations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta and Minister of Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor announced the conclusion of the IPETCA initiative and invited economies to declare their intention to join.[4]  The IPETCA is intended to create a framework for economies and Indigenous peoples to work together to increase trade and economic cooperation. The goal is to facilitate economic cooperation across a range of areas  including responsible business conduct, traditional knowledge, opportunities for Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, digital trade and e-commerce, and many more. The agreement reaffirms commitments to important international instruments such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A joint decision-making body, the Partnership Council, will enable both economy representatives and Indigenous Peoples to oversee and implement the Arrangement. ________________ [1] https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2021/12/canada-endorses-indigenous-peoples-economic-and-trade-cooperation-arrangement.html;   see also https://twitter.com/CanadaTrade/status/1469384046304186370 [2] Asia-Pacific Economic is a 21- member intergovernmental forum dedicated to promoting economic growth, and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. [ Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (apec.org)] [3] Ibid. [4]...

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COVID-19 and the Risk of Foreign Investor Challenges

Posted by on Sep 17, 2020

Michael Woods was quoted in the September issue of the Canadian Bar Association’s online magazine, National, about concerns that the global COVID-19 pandemic might lead to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) claims aimed at government measures put in place in response to the challenge. Michael has experience form both the government and investor perspective and has served as counsel in several ISDS cases pursuant to NAFTA Chapter 11 as wells as Foreign Investment Protection Agreements (FIPAs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). Here is a link to the article:...

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Considering International Trade Law – Indigenous Perspectives & Possibilities – March 19th at the University of Ottawa

Posted by on Feb 15, 2019

Michael Woods is scheduled to participate on a panel discussion on Indigenous perspectives and international trade law at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law on March 19, 2019. His participation reflects his ongoing involvement in the field as a member of the executive of the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization (IITIO) and the Global Affairs Canada Indigenous Working Group which advised the Government on Canada’s international trade agenda.  Michael will be joined by the Chair of IITIO, Wayne Garnons-Williams and he head of the Government  of Canada’s Trade Law Bureau, Robert Brookfield.  The organizers are encouraging members of the public to attend as this will be and open event. Lunch will be...

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The Trade Law Division’s 25th Anniversary – Canada’s Public Service Excellence

Posted by on Jul 2, 2018

Both Gord LaFortune and Michael Woods had an opportunity to celebrate their trade law roots with over 150 old colleagues and a new generation trade lawyers as the Government of Canada’s Trade Law Davison celebrates its 25th anniversary on June 22, 2018. In 1993 the Department of External Affairs and International Trade (now Global Affairs Canada) and the Department of Justice (now Justice Canada) created the joint unit made up of lawyers from both departments was called the Trade Law Division with the acronym JLT. Its mandate was to counsel the Government of Canada on all aspects of international trade law. Both Gord and Michael were early members of JLT which has established itself as a model unit for legal advice, advocacy and litigation in international trade and investment law – a Canadian center of excellence in international trade and investment law. As former public servants we noted with pride that that Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Public Policy and the prestigious UK- based Institute for Government was recently rated as the world’s best public service. We congratulate both former colleagues who helped build the JLT and current hard working men and women who are maintaining...

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