John Weekes, an expert in international trade policy and trade agreements, joined Bennett Jones as a senior business advisor in 2010.
He is an expert in international trade policy, trade agreements, and the settlement of trade disputes. He provides clients with an insider's perspective on how governments approach such matters, including the negotiation, implementation and management of trade agreements and trade relations. With his extensive experience he assists businesses and governments to develop strategies to advance and protect their interests. He enjoys opportunities to think outside the box and elaborate innovative solutions to the challenges faced by clients.
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.
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 Advisory Council to the International Trade and Competition Unit of the London based Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) dealing with Brexit related issues, the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, and the Advisory Centre on WTO Law in Geneva. He is also a member of the Canadian National Committee on Pacific Economic Cooperation and a fellow of the Canadian Global affairs Institute.