Global trade program celebrates 20-year anniversary

October 18, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University-based program that helps researchers and policymakers analyze international trade is turning 20 years old.

The Global Trade Analysis Project maintains data on more than 948,000 bilateral trade flows linking 130 economies around the world. GTAP is housed in Purdue's Department of Agricultural Economics.

An anniversary celebration will take place Monday (Oct. 22) from 2-4 p.m. in the Krannert Building on Purdue's West Lafayette campus. The event includes a panel discussion and reception. The public is invited.

"Because of the way funding and policies change, it is very rare for a project like GTAP to last more than a half dozen years," said Thomas Hertel, GTAP's executive director and founder. "This is bigger than one person."

Started in 1992 by Hertel, his graduate students and collaborators from other institutions, GTAP began as a tool to analyze World Trade Organization policies. In the past two decades the project has grown from tracking data on 13 regions around the world to collecting data on nearly 130 regions worldwide. About 10,000 people in more than 150 countries use the GTAP database.

"There are three ways to think about GTAP," Hertel said. "It is a network of people who have a common interest in trade, a database of information enabling economic models and an institution coordinating the efforts of many people around the world, each of whom could not do this kind of work on their own."

GTAP maintains data on a range of trade-related issues, including production, consumption, import/export activity, export subsidies, economic policies and tariffs. The data can be used to evaluate how production and employment in the United States is affected by economic growth or trade policies in any of the 128 other regions in the database.

"By providing this common platform for analyzing global trade issues, GTAP helps promote international understanding and removes many of the unnecessary grounds for trade disputes," Hertel said.

For more information about GTAP, visit its website at

Hertel and other founding members of GTAP will attend the anniversary celebration. The schedule of events:

* 2-2:15 p.m., Krannert Auditorium - Opening remarks by Jay Akridge, Purdue's Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, and Terrie Walmsley, GTAP director.

* 2:15-3 p.m., Krannert Auditorium - Panel discussion, "Purdue's Role in International Outreach." Speakers are Hertel; Vic Lechtenberg, Purdue acting provost; Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer, associate dean, Purdue International Programs in Agriculture; and Ken Foster, head, Department of Agricultural Economics.

* 3-4 p.m., Krannert Anniversary Drawing Room - Reception.

Writer: Steve Leer, 765-494-8415,

Source: Thomas Hertel, 765-494-4199,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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