For Economics 3901: International Trade Assignment
This guide includes:
Trade Data Online
Maintained on the Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada web site (formerly Industry Canada), with information from Statistics Canada and U.S. Census Bureau. Includes international trade statistics for Canada and its trading partners by country and product or industry.
- can search by product (HS) Harmonized System (to 6-digit level) or by industry (NAICS) North American Industry Classification System or browse to find the code for your product or industry. (Search tips in 19p. "Assignment Resource Material" in Moodle.)
A Statistics Canada "Key Resource". CANSIM (Canadian Socio-economic Information Management System) is Statistics Canada's largest database of social and economic data. It contains millions of time series and thousands of tables on most topics for which Statistics Canada collects data. Updated daily. (Search tips in 19p. "Assignment Resource Material" in Moodle.)
Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database (CIMT)
A Statistics Canada database providing detailed export and import data using the HS Classification to the 6-digit level (more detailed than some CANSIM tables allow, for specific products like grapes, soybeans, etc.)
- can search or browse by commodity.
UNcomtrade (United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database)
- this is the most comprehensive trade database available (over 1 billion records) continuously updated
- has import and export data reported by almost 200 countries, and standardized by the UN, from 1962 to the present
- also uses the HS at the 6-digit level.
Trade Policy & Regulations:
Global Affairs Canada
- the main Canadian government site for trade policy; see news releases, speeches, etc.
- under the "Trade" tab see "Opening New Markets" for all of Canada's trade negotiations and agreements, and related information.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
- An international organization of 164 member countries, including Canada, who have all signed WTO agreements providing the legal ground rules for international trade. Member countries have to inform the WTO when trade regulations, policies or practices change. Every member country is also reviewed regularly by the WTO.
- Key resources, under "Trade Topics": WTO Trade Policy Reviews (each review has a policy statement by the government under review and a report written by the WTO Secretariat, among other documents) and Trade Monitoring Database (Searchable by country and product to see all trade measures implemented since 2008.)
Other international organizations, regional trade groups, etc., also collect and make available trade-related policy information on their websites. One way to see what regional groups may be relevant for the countries you are looking at, see in Trade Data Online: "Related Sites and Information" - "Trading Partner" - "Economic Areas/Union".
Trade Research, Analysis & News:
The government departments, agencies and IGOs involved in trade have many economists on staff and publish a lot of trade-related research and analysis. For example:
World Trade Organization
- select "Documents, Data & Resources" -- Key publications include the World Trade Report, and World Trade Statistical Review. Both are annual publications analyzing trends.
Global Affairs Canada
- Select tab: "Trade" -- "Services & Tools" -- "Office of the Chief Economist" for their research and analysis, e.g. key annual publication: Canada's State of Trade.
- search the whole site by keyword or browse by subject: International Trade. Sources found are grouped under "Data" and "Analysis".
All federal government websites can be searched by using the canada.ca search engine and Google's site search: e.g. oilseeds site:gc.ca (Canada.gc.ca websites are in the process of being transferred to canada.ca)
Use the Library Catalogue to find books in the library and ebooks (QuickLink on the library homepage)
The library has books on globalization, international trade issues, economic theories, individual commodities and industries. Enter the commodity as a Subject for the most relevant results, or combine a product keyword with others (e.g. sugar and trade).
The library subscribes to many different kinds of article databases. Access these through the library web site Quick Link: "A-Z List of Databases" or The Economics Subject Guide "Find Articles" tab. Some databases that should be useful for this assignment:
ABI/INFORM Collection (and ProQuest All)
- ABI/INFORM includes databases with over a thousand international scholarly business and economics journals, as well as trade journals, magazines, news sources, reports and other sources.
- can limit searches by subject terms (see thesaurus link at top), by NAICS code, by classification codes for broad subjects like international trade, or for types of articles, among other limiting fields
- can search ABI together with other databases in ProQuest (All), to include more Canadian content: major Canadian newspapers and business magazines, journals, trade and popular magazines, alternative press, research publications, etc.
- note: If searching ProQuest(All) some search features will no longer apply.
- contents of individual publications can be browsed or searched separately by selecting the "Publication" tab and entering the title (e.g. Globe and Mail).
- click on "Browse" button to see special reports available (e.g. Industry, Commodity, and Country reports by the Economist Intelligence Unit among others)
Business Source Premier
- database of over two thousand business and economics journals (heavy emphasis on U.S. content); also has Datamonitor Industry overviews.
- search features similar to ABI/INFORM
- database primarily of peer-reviewed, academic journals
- limit search fields to Abstract/Title/Keyword for most relevant results
- can limit to Economics Journals only
- recommended for international news coverage
- select "Search by Subject or Topic", then "All News", and select Source types and Geographic region
- anomaly: truncation symbol is: ! (for all possible endings) and wildcard is: * (replaces one letter)
Search Tips for most Databases:
- limit by using the fields available (e.g. abstract, subject, etc.)
- use the Thesaurus to find subject terms where possible (controlled vocabulary)
Keyword searching tips:
- use double quotes: " " for phrases
- use the truncation symbol: * at the end of a word root to get all possible endings (e.g. econom*)
- use wildcard symbol: ? to replace one letter in a word (e.g. globali?ation)
- use boolean operators: "and" to ensure both keywords are included in a search; use "or" to broaden a search to include synonyms or variations of a term
- use parentheses when a search includes two or more different boolean operators e.g. Canada and (import or export)
- limit articles found by source type, as required
- articles found can be sorted by date (e.g. most recent first)
NOTE: Use Journal Finder directly (see under "Quick Links" on the library home page) to access the full text of journal articles found through other sources.
Before using statistics, look for the metadata: Source, date (of collection, compilation, coverage, etc.), definitions of terms, details on data collection, presentation, methodology, etc. If basic details are not available or are inadequate, the source may not be appropriate for use. More tips on evaluating sources are on the library website under Research Help.
How to Cite Statistics Canada Products By Statistics Canada.
- has good examples of citing statistics including CANSIM tables and graphs, but elements may need to be adjusted to be consistent with the formatting style used for the rest of your bibliography or reference list.
Tip sheets and guides to citing sources are on the library website under Research Help.
Trade Terms, Abbreviations & Codes:
Where possible, use the definitions provided in the source you are viewing.
Dictionary of International Trade: Handbook of the Global Trade Community. HF 1373 H554 2010 REF. (main floor)
- has over 4,000 economic, banking, legal and shipping terms and abbreviations used in international trade, plus 33 appendices of related information.
Dictionary of Trade Policy Terms. 5th ed. By WTO. HF 1373 G66 2007 REF. (main floor)
- has over 2,000 terms and concepts used in trade negotiations.
Harmonized System Nomenclature, 2017 Edition. By the World Customs Organization.
- The Harmonized System (HS) is the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System comprised of about 5,000 commodity groups; each identified by a six digit code. The system is used by more than 200 countries and economies as a basis for their Customs tariffs and for the collection of international trade statistics. Over 98 % of the merchandise in international trade is classified in terms of the HS.
Industry Classification Systems (NAICS, SIC, etc.) By Statistics Canada.
- Has the latest (2017 version 2.0) North American Industry Classification (Canada) and several others. NOTE: NAICS Canada 2017 Version 1.0 is available in pdf.
Product Classifications (NAPCS, etc.) By Statistics Canada.
- The latest (2017) North American Product Classification System, a new grouping for import and export statistics, replacing SIGs and SEGs (Summary Import & Export Groups). Not just for transportable goods, but less detailed than the HS.
Questions? Please contact Anita Cannon, Economics Subject Librarian at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in at the library to make an appointment.