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Canada-United States Trade Center (CUSTAC)

What is CUSTAC?

UB’s Canada-United States Trade Center (CUSTAC) was launched in 1989 with a  mission to conduct applied and policy-oriented research on the evolving nature of Canada-US commercial relations, including trade, capital investment, border management, and regulatory conditions.

We are currently re-launching the center with an expanded mission to better reflect our current faculty expertise and the needs of the trade and development policy and practitioner communities. As an independent research center, CUSTAC is uniquely positioned to

conduct new research on international trade and investment, and the social, environmental, and economic development impacts associated with trade and investment patterns and policies.

While our location in Western New York, at the heart of the Niagara Binational Region, naturally orients us to Canada-US trade issues, our faculty, graduate students, and research associates have a wide variety of interests that extend beyond Canada-US trade. In light of this, we are expanding the scope of CUSTAC’s mission to encompass international trade research more generally.

International Trade at UB

CUSTAC is part of the Geography Department’s innovative International Trade program (including standalone BA and MA degrees [link to International Trade BA on Geo website] in International Trade, and PhD students focusing on trade issues). The International Trade program prepares students to critically assess the process of globalization operating in the world today, including the growth of multinationals and foreign direct investment, international trade, the internationalization of capital and financial markets, new international divisions of labor, and the rapid development of technology and innovations across a wide range of industries.

International Trade Program in Singapore

A new International Trade program was recently established in Singapore at the University at Buffalo-Singapore Institute of Management (UB-SIM) campus.  Asia now accounts for one-third of world trade, and is the world’s largest destination for foreign direct investment among developing countries. China is the second largest trading partner of both Canada and the United States. In recognition of the growing markets in this region, the United States has established free trade agreements with South Korea and Singapore.  Similarly, Canada has just announced its first Asia-Pacific free trade agreement with South Korea. CUSTAC is well-positioned to understand trends in trade between Asia, Canada and the United States. The program in Singapore attracts students from the region, and it offers opportunities for cross-continental exchanges of ideas and research between students in North America and Asia. 


Together, CUSTAC and the International Trade program are designed to inform corporate decision-makers, government policy makers, and non-governmental organizations as they face new social, economic, and environmental challenges resulting from the reorganization of the global economy. We will continue to partner with other organizations and programs in this effort. Recent partners include UB’s Canadian-American Studies Committee and Canadian Studies Academic Program, the Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy, the US Department of Commerce Buffalo Export Assistance Center, the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara (WTCBN), the Buffalo World Trade Association (BWTA) and the US Consulate General (Toronto).

We also maintain a network of CUSTAC affiliates that includes alumni from the Geography Department and other professionals working in the international trade field who participate in CUSTAC events, contribute to CUSTAC research projects, and serve as mentors to current students.

Please contact us ( if you would like to become a CUSTAC partner, if you are looking for student or faculty research collaborators or consulting services, or for more information about any of our initiatives.