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.
Statistics Canada Data (formerly CANSIM)
Statistics Canada data including thousands of tables that used to be in the CANSIM database are now accessible from this Data page. Limit by Subject: "International Trade", then search by keyword. Many trade tables are based on the NAPCS code.
Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database (CIMT)
A Statistics Canada database providing detailed export and import data from Customs agencies, based on the HS Classification to the 6-digit level. Can search or browse by commodity.
UNcomtrade (United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database)
The most comprehensive trade database available (over 1 billion records) continuously updated. Has import and export data reported by almost 200 countries, and standardized (to some degree) by the UN, from 1962 to the present. Based on 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 middle column titled: "Trade" see "Trade negotiations and agreements". Related information includes tariffs, environmental assessments of trade agreements, etc.
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" -- "Trade monitoring" include: 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 (Select "Explore" to search 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, and membership lists of countries in regional trade groups, 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 who publish trade-related research and analysis. For example:
World Trade Organization
Select "Documents, Data & Resources" -- Key publications include the World Trade Statistical Review and World Trade Report; both are annual publications analyzing trends.
Global Affairs Canada, Office of the Chief Economist
Has economic analysis and research on Canada's international trade. Key annual publication: Canada's State of Trade.
Search the whole site by keyword (incudes full-text search of articles; AND is default), or browse by subject: International Trade, then select "Analysis".
Federal government websites can be searched by using the search engine at the official Canadian government website: canada.ca or by using Google's site search feature: e.g. oilseeds site:gc.ca OR site:canada.ca (Departmental websites are mostly converted to canada.ca; agencies and other federal bodies have gc.ca URLs.)
Use the Library Catalogue: Novanet to find books in the library and ebooks (first QuickLink on the library homepage). Change the search scope from "Everything" to "Novanet Catalogue". 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. cocoa 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. Commodity, and Industrial Raw Materials reports by the Economist Intelligence Unit, among others)
Business Source Premier
Database of over two thousand business and economics journals
- search features similar to ABI/INFORM
Database primarily of peer-reviewed, academic journals, including many economics journals
- limit search fields to Abstract/Title/Keyword for most relevant results
- keyword searching only; no truncation or wildcard
Recommended for international news coverage
- select "Advanced Search", then "Content type". Limit search results as needed e,g, Subject: Trade, Geography, etc.
Database Searching Tips:
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. If no full text link is available, books and articles can be requested by Interlibrary loan.
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.
Good examples of information to include when citing statistics. 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 -- ask for assistance at Access Services)
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 -- ask for assistance at Access Services)
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. It 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. (Browse only.) Statistics Canada's Canadian Export Classification, 2018 is based on the HS. The PDF version can be searched by keyword.
Industry Classification Systems (NAICS, SIC, etc.) By Statistics Canada.
Has the latest (2017 version 3.0) North American Industry Classification (Canada) and several others.
Product Classifications (NAPCS, etc.) By Statistics Canada.
The latest (2017) North American Product Classification System, a new grouping for import and export statistics for goods and services, replacing SIGs and SEGs (Summary Import & Export Groups). Less detailed than the HS.
Questions? Please contact Public Services Librarian Laura Landon at email@example.com.