John Weekes, an expert in international trade policy and trade agreements.
He has an insider's perspective on how governments approach the negotiation, implementation and management of trade agreements and trade relations, and the settlement of trade disputes. With his extensive experience he assists businesses and governments in developing strategies to advance and protect their interests. He enjoys opportunities to think outside the box and elaborate innovative solutions to key trade challenges.
He represented Canada in trade negotiations and at various international trade meetings. He was Canada’s ambassador to the WTO from 1995 to 1999. From 1991 to 1994 he served as Canada’s chief negotiator for NAFTA. He was ambassador to GATT during the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations. In the 1970s, he participated in the Tokyo Round of GATT negotiations.
Most recently he served as a senior business adviser at Bennett Jones LLP from 2010 until his retirement from the firm in December 2021. In 1999 he left the Canadian government but remained in Geneva to join APCO Worldwide (a Washington-based international public affairs consultancy). In 2003 he joined the American law firm Sidley Austin. He returned from Geneva to Canada in 2009.
He is an active participant in the work of the Trade Advisory Council to the Deputy Minister of International Trade, the Board of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, the Management Board of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law in Geneva, and the Friends of Multilateralism Group (FMG) based in Geneva. He is a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. He also serves as a commissioner of the Advisory Council to the International Trade and Competition Unit at Competere, a London based trade law and economic policy consultancy. The unit was established to offer independent nonpartisan advice on the trade policy challenges and opportunities the UK faces as it negotiates new trade agreements following its departure from the EU.