February 11, 2014
Photo credit: Luther Caverly and James Park
The Centre for Trade Policy and Law
Carleton’s unique student body is multi-cultural and diverse, resulting in a hub of creativity that generates ideas of the future. One such example is the The Centre for Trade Policy and Law.
CTPL specializes in working with governments around the world to help them design, negotiate and implement their international trade and economic development strategies. The Centre has connections in all corners of the world, particularly with universities and training institutions that are focused on trade and development issues. These partnerships help to develop training programs, expand the curriculum, and create joint research projects or conferences.
“We take a very practical approach to everything we do,” says Centre director Phil Rourke. “We combine the practical expertise of former diplomats and trade negotiations from Canada and other countries, and the perspective of policy-oriented academics at our sponsoring institutions: the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary at Carleton this year.”
For the last decade, CTPL’s programming focus has been on Latin America and the Caribbean. The Centre has collaborated with a variety of countries, including Barbados, Costa Rica, Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica.
CTPL specializes in working with governments around the world to help them design, negotiate and implement their international trade and economic development strategies
We combine the practical expertise of former diplomats and trade negotiations from Canada and other countries
During this time, CTPL has also been collaborating with the Shridath Ramphal Centre at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. Rourke and his team have been working with them since the inception of their flagship master’s in International Trade Policy (MITP) Program 10 years ago. Three of the program’s most recent graduates are joining Carleton for a semester this year, to focus on three distinct research projects. Each of them is receiving a scholarship that will support this work.
“The sponsorship of the three recent graduates and hosting them at CTPL is one of several initiatives we are pursuing to further build our relationship with UWI,” says Rourke.
Aurelia Bruce of Trinidad and Tobago is one of the three visiting students. Her research at Carleton will focus on studying creative industries – Bruce wants to see what are some of the lessons that Canada can teach the Caribbean, in terms of audio-visual content, production, regulation and service providers.
“I’d like to see how the Caribbean can develop and put forward its trade policies so it could better help our service providers, as well as our relations with international providers,” she explains.
“I have immense faith in CTPL,” she adds. “Phil has really opened my eyes to the innovation and necessary negotiations in trade policy. I’m really excited about this opportunity and I’m just trying to not let the cold get to me!”
Crystal Lois Liverpool, who also hails from Trinidad and Tobago, is the second student joining the program. “I chose to come to Canada because I believe international experience is important in every field, but particularly in international trade and business,” she says. “I recall the day the e-mail came to me, confirming that I had gotten in – I screamed in the office! I am excited.
I chose to come to Canada because I believe international experience is important in every field, but particularly in international trade and business
I’m hoping to start my PhD in Economics focusing on export composition and to do a joint degree with UWI.” Liverpool is also working on a Market Access online course, and getting a certificate in Blended Learning.
The third student is Kareitha Gill, originally from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who says that the reason she loves Canada is because it’s “a very embracing and diverse country.”
Her research will focus on an e-journal that will serve as a launch pad for upcoming professionals in trade and development. “I’d like it to be a vehicle for discussions and debates on trade policies regarding the Caribbean,” she says. “It will focus on policy-driven issues and solutions, such as trade barriers, migration, issues pertaining to aid and trade agreements. I am excited to see the project come to fruition.”
Rourke says that the three students are an excellent example of Caribbean youth today. “They want to learn about the world, engage with other professionals wherever they might be, and make a contribution to their communities,” he explains.
“We, at CTPL, are also learning a lot from them. We tend to look at development issues from a trade perspective; what these three women are helping us understand is how to look at trade issues from a development perspective. This will also help to position CTPL better in contributing to the debates going on in Canada today about how to integrate Canada’s trade and development strategies.”
…what these three women are helping us understand is how to look at trade issues from a development perspective
Carleton University would like to publicly acknowledge the generous contribution provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).
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