Gordon Ritchie brings unparalleled experience in trade negotiations to this discussion as former Canadian ambassador for trade negotiations responsible for the FTA. After leaving the public service, in the run-up to the NAFTA he advised both the Canadian and Mexican governments. In 2005, he served as senior adviser to the Government of Canada in the softwood lumber dispute. He is now a Principal Advisor – Public Affairs at Hill and Knowlton.
Gordon wrote Wrestling with the Elephant: The Inside Story of the Canada-US Trade Wars (Macfarlane, Walter and Ross, 1997), recounting his 22-year public service career in trade, and industrial and economic development. He also served as associate deputy minister of the Department of Regional Industrial Expansion and deputy secretary of the Ministry of State for Economic Development.
On leaving government, Gordon embarked on a 25-year career in the private sector, founding and running his own consulting firm, Strategico, and serving as a director of leading Canadian companies in the financial, communications, transportation, mining and food processing sectors, from which he has now retired.