Robert McDougall

Senior Fellow

Robert McDougall is an independent international trade law consultant. His areas of expertise include international economic governance, trade law, dispute settlement, digital trade, trade facilitation and sustainable development. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

Robert spent 15 years as an international trade lawyer and diplomat at Global Affairs Canada (formerly Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada), during which time he provided trade law advice and litigated disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO). As permanent delegate to the WTO for five years, he was Canada’s representative to the Dispute Settlement Body, in negotiations to improve the dispute settlement system, and in many disputes involving Canada.

Previously, as a permanent delegate to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, he represented Canada in activities relating to trade, agriculture, science, technology, industry, including major initiatives on innovation, digital economy and green growth.



26 April 2018
After decades of experience in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization, trading nations have become accustomed to orderly and predicable mechanisms for resolving their trade disputes. This post argues that growing challenges in the multilateral environment...
7 February 2018
In a difficult environment for multilateral rule-making, important lessons may lie in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement’s mechanism for special and differential treatment of developing and least developed countries. This post argues that the agreement’s novel approach to differentiated...
12 January 2018
The current impasse in the appointment of new members to the World Trade Organization Appellate Body risks leading to a dysfunctional dispute settlement system. This post argues that it is a long-standing collective governance failure that has provided the US with the pretext and the opportunity to...