Trade is an important driver of economic growth around the world. CGD’s research focuses on how trade policies can support poverty reduction and economic growth in developing economies by promoting market access that opens the door to foreign investment and job creation.


Trade Policy book cover

CGD’s examines how trade policies affect developing countries and what the shift from multilateralism to regional and bilateral trade negotiations means for more vulnerable members of the international system. CGD also looks at the global implications of trade negotiations and suggests ways that policymakers can mitigate the negative effects for developing countries.

CGD’s work in food, agriculture, and biofuels focuses on how rich countries’ agricultural policies and practices impact people and economic development in the poor world. Trade is one part of that picture. Domestic subsidies, sanitary regulations, biofuel mandates, and demand for “fair trade” goods factor in as well.

Rich countries and emerging powers can help developing countries reap the developmental benefits of trade by offering them preferential market access. Some do, but their programs are often flawed and lack coordination. This initiative aims to expand market access for the poorest countries and to make more of it duty-free, quota-free.