Trade policy - once a subset of foreign policy far removed from domestic concern, focused squarely on border issues and subject to the rules of international diplomacy - is now a central concern on the public policy agenda as trade issues have become increasingly entwined with traditionally domestic policy issues. Consequently, demands have been made for more openness in trade policy formation and, in response, many governments have undertaken openness initiatives. Despite these developments there has been only a little research into the increased openness of trade policy processes in general and no research aimed at developing a consistent framework for categorizing various openness initiatives and permitting a meaningful comparison of initiatives between trading partners. In this paper, the general issue of increasing the openness of trade policy is examined, an openness framework is proposed and the implications for trade policy are assessed.


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