Canada, The GATT and the International Trade System


235 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-88645-004-7





Reviewed by Kenneth M. Glazier

Kenneth M. Glazier was Chief Librarian Emeritus at the University of Calgary, Alberta.


The GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) represents one of the successful efforts in international cooperation. It has provided a common, enduring set of rules for international trade, a framework for negotiations to reduce world trade barriers, procedures for resolving disputes, and mechanisms for continuing international consultations on trade policy.

This treatise by Frank Stone examines, from a Canadian perspective, the origins, structures, and operations of GATT and other international agreements and institutions that make up the multinational trade system. It also examines some of the main developments and issues of special interest to Canada, assessing the strength and weakness of the system as it now stands.

Stone undertook the study under the sponsorship of the scholarly Institute for Research on Public Policy in Montreal. He has been closely associated for many years with the international agreements and institutions that make up the multinational trade system. In his career with the Department of External Affairs and as Minister with the Mission in Geneva during 1973-77, he was in charge of Canadian interests in GATT and other international bodies. Following his retirement from public service, he has been engaged in teaching and research.

The study is designed for the general reader rather than the specialist. It will be useful to people inside and outside government who are working in trade-policy areas, and also to teachers and students of international trade policy. What will the reader find? He will discover interesting material on the rise of protectionism since the late 1970s, the role of Canada in world negotiations on tariffs, and Canada’s large interest in improving access to world markets for its exports of wheat, grains, fish, and other agricultural products.

Copious notes and a substantial bibliography help to make this study valuable.


Stone, Frank, “Canada, The GATT and the International Trade System,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 29, 2024,