John M. Curtis

Senior Fellow

Dr John M. Curtis a Senior Fellow at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) in Geneva.

He is currently also a Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute, an Adjunct Professor at Queen's University, and Chair of Statistics Canada's Advisory Committee on International Trade Statistics. As well, he teaches international economic policy at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.

In the Public Service of Canada for 35 years, Dr. Curtis was the founding Chief Economist of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade having earlier served in a number of economic policy positions in several departments. Following that, he became a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Throughout his career, his focus has been on all aspects of international trade, most recently the relationship of trade to the domestic economy, particularly in the field of intellectual property, innovation, and competitiveness. With a strong interest in Asia over the years, he spent two years with the International Monetary Fund on Asian economic matters and some years later played a major role in the development of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, serving as the founding Chair of its Economic Committee. He was also involved in the work of the OECD Trade Committee and in the Government of Canada's private sector consultation process on trade policy.

Dr. Curtis has an undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.


    • "Direct Foreign Influences on Canadian Prices and Wages", Capital Transfers and Economic Policy: Canada, 1951-1962, Harvard University Press, 1971, pp. 196-231.

    • "The Ways of Achieving Regulatory Reform", The Canadian Business Review, Vol. 6, No. 2, Summer, 1979.

    • "Canada-China Trade Relations", National Approaches to the Development of Economic Relations with the USSR and China: Comparison of Recent Canadian and French Experience, Institute of Soviet and East European Studies, Carleton University, 1981.

    • "Canadian Futures", Policy Options, Vol. 2, No. 3, July - August 1981, pp. 59-60.

    • "The China Trade", Policy Options, Vol. 3, No. 1, January 1982, pp. 29-32.

    • "Summitry: Keep Talking", Policy Options, Vol. 3, No. 5, September/October 1982, pp. 35-36.

    • "Canada-United States Trade and Policy Issues: Towards a New Relationship?" (with A.R. Moroz), Canadian Public Policy, VIII Supplement, 1982.

    • "We'll Take You On, Mr. Toyota: A Case on Japanese Imports and the Future of the Canadian Automobile Industry" (with S. Borins, A.R. Moroz, and T. Washington), Supply and Services Canada, 1984.

    • "Canada-United Kingdom Economic Relations", Canada-United Kingdom: The Dalhousie Colloquium, Canadian Institute of International Affairs, 1985, pp. 65-80.

    • "Bilateralism in a Multilateral World", International Perspectives, March/April 1985, pp. 23-26.

    • "Canada, the International Monetary Fund, and Exchange Rate Policy", Canada and International Trade, Vol. 1, Institute for Research on Public Policy, 1985, pp. 455-473.

    • "Which Way: Canadian Trade Policy in a Changing World Economy", Canada and the Multilateral Trade System, Vol. 10, Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada, 1985, pp. 167-191.

    • "Third Partner", Policy Options, Vol. 6, No. 4, May 1985, pp. 20-23.

    • "Trade Enhancement", Policy Options, Vol. 6, No. 10, December 1985, pp.40.

    • "The World Economy 1984: Struggling After the Leader", Canada Among Nations, 1984, James Lorimer, 1985, pp. 73-90.

    • "Institutional Arrangements for Managing the Canada-U.S. Economic Relationship", Canada/United States Trade and Investment Issues, edited by Deborah Fretz, Robert Stern and John Whalley, Ontario Economic Council, 1985, pp. 126-151.

    • "Reflections on Canada-U.S. Relations in the Eighties", (with Carl E. Beigie), Discussion Paper in International Economics, Institute for Research on Public Policy, January 1986.

    • "The Evolving World Economic Order", International Law: Critical Choices for Canada 1985-2000, Queen's Law Journal, Kingston, 1986, pp. 259-272.

    • "The World Economy: Consultations Without Performance", Canada Among Nations 1987, James Lorimer, 1988, pp. 95-105.

    • "The Uruguay Round Agenda and Prospects for Montreal ", International Economic Issues, Institute for Research on Public Policy, 1988, pp. 1-9.

    • "Intellectual Property and International Trade", Institute of Development Studies Bulletin, University of Sussex, Volume 21, January 1990, pp. 35-37.

    • "The Canadian Trade Policy Response: Negotiating with the USA and the World", Canada Among Nations, 1989, Carleton, 1990, pp. 163-173.

    • "Is the GATT Dead? Prospects for completing the Uruguay Round", Fraser Forum, Vancouver, April 1992.

    • "GATT Rules and Institutions: Restructuring the GATT Into a World Trade Organization", Pacific Initiatives for Regional Trade Liberalization and Investment Cooperation; Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta, 1993, pp. 76-81.

    • "Nothing is Agreed until everything is Agreed: First Thoughts on the Implications of the Uruguay Round", Canada Among Nations, Carleton University Press, 1994, pp. 101-128.

    • "Providing Leadership for the trade regime", Leadership and Dialogue: Canada Among Nations 1998, Oxford University Press, 1998.

    • "APEC after 10 Years: Performance and Prospects", Oceans Publications Inc., New York, August 1999.

    • "Straws in the Wind: Involving NGOs in trade policy negotiations", Optimum: The Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol.30, No.2, June 2000.

    • "The WTO in the 'after myth' of the Battles in Seattle", Vanishing Borders: Canada Among Nations 2000, Oxford University, Press, 2000.

    • "Trade and Civil Society: Toward Greater Transparency in a Policy Process", Trade Policy Research 2001: Ottawa, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2001.

    • "The Role of Contextual Factors in the Launching of Trade Rounds", Trade Policy  Research 2002, Ottawa, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2002.

    • "The Nuanced Case for the Doha Round", Trade Policy Research 2002, Ottawa, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2002.

    • "Multilateralism in a Regionalising World", Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, PECC Trade Forum, Vancouver, BC, November 2002.

    • "The Importance of Being Multilateral (especially in a regionalized world)", Trade  Policy Research 2003, Ottawa, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2003.

    • "Towards Half Time in the Doha Development Agenda", Trade Policy Research 2003, Ottawa, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Ottawa, 2003.

    • "Trade Costs and Changes in Canada's Trade Pattern", The World Economy, July 2003, Volume 26, No. 7, pp. 993-1017 (25), Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

    • "NAFTA and Structural Change in the Canadian Economy", in D. Brunelle et C. Deblock, L'Elena: Le Libre-exchange en defaut, Les Editions Fides, Montreal, 2004.

    • "How does International Trade Affect Business Cycle Synchronization in North America", Policy Research Initiative, Horizons, June 2004, Volume 1, pp. 64-80.

    • Scoping the End-Game in the Doha Round: A Roundtable Discussion, Trade Policy Research 2005, Ottawa, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2006.

    • Multilateralism, the Club Scene or Entrepreneurial Activism? Choices in an Age of Change, Trade Policy Research 2005, Ottawa, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2006.

    • The Convergence of Law and Economics: Implications for the World of Trade, Trade Policy Research 2005, Ottawa, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2006.

    • "Editors' Overview", in NAFTA at 10, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2006.

    • "The Quest for Coherence: Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will", Trends in World Trade: Essays in Honour of Sylvia Ostry, Durham, N.C., Carolina Academic Press, 2007.

    • Economic Integration in the Americas, "Cleaning up the Spaghetti Bowl", pp. 227-232, eds Joseph A. McKinney and H. Stephen Gardner, Routledge Studies in the Modern Economy, Oxford, 2008.

    • "The Essence of Globalization: An Economist's Perspective", Canadian Business Law Journal, Volume 46, No. 2, June, 2008, pp. 180-183.

    • "Benchmarking Canada's Global Competitiveness Initiatives: How Canadian Economic Policy compares to the German and United Kingdom Models." (with E. Daniel Ciuriak), Working Paper, June, 2009, available at

    • "Canada's Commercial Relationship with Asia: How Solid is it?" (with E. Daniel Ciuriak), International Journal, Volume 64, Issue 4, Autumn 2009.

    • Review Essays and Book Reviews, "A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression" by Richard A. Posner,), Canadian Business Law Journal, Volume 51, No. 1, March, 2011, pp. 135-146.

    • "New New Trade Policy," Queen's Economics Department Working Paper No. 1263 (with E. Daniel Ciuriak, Beverly Lapham, Robert Wolfe, and Terry Collins-Williams) April, 2011.

    • "Revitalizing the International Trade Regime: A Call for the G-20's Attention" in Prescriptions for the G-20: The Cannes Summit and Beyond. The Centre for International Governance Innovation Special Report (October, 2011).

    • "Intellectual Property Rights and International Trade: An Overview." CIGI Papers No. 3, Centre for International Governance Innovation (May 2012).

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