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2011: Canada-CARICOM Negotiation Simulation

Monday, January 24, 2011 - 09:00

This was a policy-oriented course that focused on developing practical skills on strategic thinking, policy formulation, and international trade negotiations. Participants learned how to:

  • Design and implement an effective international trade strategy
  • Interpret and understand trade policy economics
  • Build and sustain a consensus on trade policy objectives
  • Prepare for and negotiate a bilateral trade agreement between Canada and a key trading partner for Canada.

The final negotiated text is available here.


For the purposes of the simulation, course participants were divided between two teams, one representing Canada and the other CARICOM. The goal was for the participants to draft and agree on a negotiated text of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement setting out approaches to the principle issues in the negotiations (Trade in Goods, including Agriculture; Services and Investment; and Trade and Development). Under the supervision of coaches, students were required to plan negotiating mandates and strategies. They also drafted various statements and texts to be presented during the simulation. This simulation provided students with an excellent opportunity to gain practical experience in the preparation and negotiation of a forward-looking international trade agreement.

Each team was assigned a coach who advised the team on preparation, substantive issues, and strategies. The team could consult their coach in advance of and throughout the sessions, but the coaches were not to intervene in the negotiating sessions themselves.

An instructor was assigned for each principal negotiating issue. The instructor opened negotiations in his/her area with a set of questions/parameters for the negotiators to consider. The instructors were also available throughout the negotiations as independent technical advisers to both teams.

The negotiating schedule set out above was notional and was adjusted according to the dynamics of the negotiations. 

The Canada/Peru FTA and the EU/Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement were used as model texts for the simulation. Other relevant documents were also used as background materials. These documents were circulated to participants in advance of the simulation week to assist in preparation.

Students also benefited from presentations by experienced Canadian and Caribbean negotiators, culminating in a presentation of the simulation outcome to members of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada-CARICOM negotiating team.

syllabus for this course is available (Word; 127Kb).



 Creative Commons License  

Please note that these documents are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.


The following texts were suggested as required reading for this course: