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Laura Dawson

Former Fellow and Former Director, Canada Institute


September 6, 2011 — October 2, 2019

Professional affiliation

Former Senior Economic Analyst, U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada

Full Biography


Laura Dawson, the former Director of the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute, is one of the world’s leading experts on political and economic relations between the U.S. and its northern neighbor. Named among the top 100 foreign policy influencers in Canada, she is an in-demand writer, analyst and adviser on NAFTA, TPP and international trade. The founder of Dawson Strategic, an economic research and consulting firm, Dawson is a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and was senior adviser on economic affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. 

Full Bio

Laura Dawson is Director of the Canada Institute. Named one of Canada’s Top 100 foreign policy influencers by the Hill Times in 2014, Dawson is a speaker, writer, and thought leader on Canada-U.S., NAFTA, TPP, and international trade issues. Previously, she served as senior advisor on economic affairs at the United States Embassy in Ottawa and taught international trade and Canada-U.S. relations at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Dawson continues to serve as Emeritus Advisor at Dawson Strategic, which provides advice to business on cross-border trade, market access and regulatory issues. She is a Fellow at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute and serves on the board of the Council of the Great Lakes Region. Dawson holds a PhD in political science. 

Major Publications

Current Publications (2015-Present):

Managing the Canada-US Relationship from the Honeymoon to the Long-term
Slow and Steady Will Not Win the Race: Trade Negotiations, IP Protections and Canada’s Pharmaceutical Industry 
Chasing China: Why an Economic Agreement with China is Necessary for Canada’s Continued Prosperity 
Wilson Perspectives: The Trans-Pacific Partnership
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Setting the Standard and Raising the Bar

Past Publications (2014-2011):

Toward Free Trade in Canada: Five Things the Federal Government Can Do To Open our Internal Market
Projected Economic Effects of the Integrity Framework
Made in the World: Defragmenting Rules of Origin for More Efficient Global Trade
Opportunities for Canada from Mexican Energy Sector Reform: This Time It’s Different
Canada’s trade with Mexico: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going and Why it Matters
North American Competitiveness: The San Diego Agenda
Canada and the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Entering a New Era of Strategic Trade Policy
Strong Medicine: Can Free Trade Agreements Cure Canada’s Pharmaceutical Ills?
A Safe and Smart Border: The Ongoing Quest in U.S.-Canada Relations
Sustaining the Crude Economy: Future Prospects for Canada’s Global Energy Competitiveness
Credit Where Credit Is Due: How Collateralized Lending in the Americas Helps MSMEs Grow
Potash and Blackberries: Should Canada Treat all Foreign Investment the Same?
Can Canada Join the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Why Just Wanting it is Not Enough
Laura Dawson comments on new border tax for Canadians
Laura Dawson comments on new U.S.-Canada border agreement

Previous Terms

Public Policy Scholar, Wilson Center, Sept-Dec, 2011 Project: "Strengthening North American Economic Competitiveness in a Post-NAFTA World"