It has been two years since the trade tensions erupted and not only captured policymakers’ but also the research community’s attention. Research has quickly zoomed in on understanding trade war rhetoric, tariff implementation, and economic impacts. The first article in the December 2019 issue sheds light on the consequences of the recent trade barriers.
Yet developments in other parts of the world have charted very different trade trajectories, revealing various bright spots in the midst of trade war paralysis elsewhere. IMF researchers have tracked these paths and posed highly interesting research questions. They have led to Africa, where machine learning and threshold models are employed to understand the existing barriers to fully reaping the benefts offered by a newly created free trade area; to Asia, where data on Vietnamese companies reveal insights on building networks for local producers to export globally—providing lessons on export intermediaries that can be applied worldwide; and fnally to cargo vessels that travel across the world and turn into big data suppliers for constructing a global trade index.
This journey into trade research will not be the last, as researchers continue to follow the various trajectories.