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New-New Trade Policy


  • Dan Ciuriak
  • Beverly Lapham

    () (Queen's University)

  • Robert Wolfe

    (Queen's University)

  • Terry Collins-Williams

    (Carelton and Ottawa Universities)

  • John M. Curtis

    (Center for International Governance Innovation)


When national competitiveness is invoked as a policy objective, trade experts have learned to retort that countries don`t trade, firms do. This focus on the importance of the firm in international trade is consistent with the most recent developments in trade theory, but policy needs to catch up. Recognizing the growing anomalies in observed trade patterns relative to traditional models of trade based on national comparative advantage, the "new trade theory" of the 1980s looked at industries not countries, leading Nobel prize-winner Paul Krugman, a pioneer in this literature, to suggest the need for a new trade policy. Recent work on what some call the "new-new trade theory" focuses on the trading behaviour of individual firms, making a tight link between trade and productivity. In this paper we demonstrate how focusing on firms should be the foundation for a new-new trade policy, one that creates exciting opportunities for trade and investment promotion strategies, along with the need for much more targeted consultation strategies. We also discuss the implications of the new-new theory for regulatory coordination, and on new ways to cooperate with interlocutors in developing countries on the evolution of 21st century trade policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Ciuriak & Beverly Lapham & Robert Wolfe & Terry Collins-Williams & John M. Curtis, 2011. "New-New Trade Policy," Working Papers 1263, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1263

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dutt, Pushan & Mihov, Ilian & Van Zandt, Timothy, 2011. "Does WTO Matter for the Extensive and the Intensive Margins of Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8293, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Baddeley, Shane & Cheng, Peter & Wolfe, Robert, 2011. "Trade Policy Implications of Carbon Labels on Food," Commissioned Papers 122740, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
    2. Flentø, Daniel & Ponte, Stefano, 2017. "Least-Developed Countries in a World of Global Value Chains: Are WTO Trade Negotiations Helping?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 366-374.
    3. Zdzisław W. Puślecki, 2016. "Bilateral trade agreements and the rise of global supply chains," Journal of Economic and Financial Studies (JEFS), LAR Center Press, vol. 4(5), pages 17-23, October.

    More about this item


    New-new Trade Theory; Trade Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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