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History General

A Trading Nation

Canadian Trade Policy from Colonialism to Globalization

by (author) Michael Hart

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2007
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2007
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2003
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2002
    List Price

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Canada has always been a trading nation. From the early days of fur and fish, to the present, when a remarkable ninety percent of our gross national product is attributable to exports and imports, Canadians have relied on international trade to bolster our economy. A Trading Nation, Michael Hart's brilliantly crafted overview and analysis of the historical foundations of modern Canadian trade policy, is the first survey to address the history of Canadian commercial policy in over fifty years.

About the author

Michael Hart is Simon Reisman Chair in Trade Policy, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University. A former trade official in Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, he was the founding director of Carleton's Centre for Trade Policy and Law and is the author of numerous books and articles on international trade issues.

Michael Hart's profile page


  • Short-listed, Doug Purvis Memorial Prize, Canadian Economics Association
  • Short-listed, Donald Smiley Book Prize, Canadian Political Science Association
  • Short-listed, Dafoe Book Prize, J.W. Dafoe Foundation
  • Short-listed, Donner Prize, Donner Foundation
  • Winner, Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine

Editorial Reviews

This book is accessible to the non-specialist, detailed without being tedious, far-reaching in its relevance, chock-a-block with definite opinions, and full of provocative prescriptions.

International Journal, Autumn 2002

An elegant and scholarly account of one of the most contentious issues in Canadian politics. [Hart] is not a polemicist but he leaves little doubt that the evolution of Canada’s trade policies reflects an honest attempt to maximize Canada’s advantages while acknowledging the dictates and constraints of our geography.

Books in Canada

Written by someone who has been an active trade negotiator as well a teacher and writer on the subject (an unusual combination), this first-rate volume presents all there is to know about the history, recent evolution, and future prospects of trade policy in Canada.


[An] impressive and comprehensive history of Canada’s trade policy.

Foreign Affairs, November/December 2003

This book is the long-awaited, first modern, comprehensive history of Canadian trade policy ... It is an impressive and masterful work, which shows Michael Hart, the well-trained historian and veteran policy practitioner, at his intellectual best. It is not surprising that the book has attracted strong endorsements from the leading trade scholars.

Canadian Journal of Political Science

This book, by one of Canada’s most important practitioners and scholars of trade diplomacy, illuminates anew a key aspect of Canada’s heart and soul – its calling as a trading nation.

Policy Options

[Michael Hart] has given Canadians a remarkably complete survey of the history and political economy of Canadian trade policy. This fills a gap in the shelves of serious analysis of trade issues and should be high on the reading list of students and practitioners alike.

Bout de Papier, Vol. 19, No. 3

Other titles by Michael Hart