Professionals in the field of international trade policy tend to receive their knowledge on-the-job, often with a considerable component of mentoring. While this was a reasonable knowledge transfer mechanism in a period when interest in trade policy was confined to narrow constituencies and a limited range of trade policies, it may no long be appropriate in the era of globalization. In recent years both those with an interest in trade policy and the range of issues that come under the purview of trade policy have increased substantially, yet there is little formal education provided on trade policy. As a result, there is a shortage of trained professionals in the field of trade policy. While the shortage is widespread in developed countries, it is endemic in developing countries - leading to a major training effort by the World Trade Organization, regional trade organizations and through bilateral aid. These efforts are stopgap measures and solving the problem will require the incorporation of trade policy in academic curricula. The reasons for trade policy training retaining its traditional form are explored and suggestions regarding alternatives provided.


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