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RSM2127H – Economic Environment of International Business

General Information


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Applicable Major(s):
(c) = Core, (r) = Recommended

  • Global Management (c)

Instructor Bio

Daniel Trefler is the Chair in Competitiveness and Prosperity at the Rotman School of Management. He is an internationally respected trade economist, known for his path-breaking contributions to fundamental research. This research has been instrumental in the design and pursuit of trade agreements that promote productivity, innovation and investment while minimizing the harmful effects on workers and the most disadvantaged. In recent years, he helped frame the economic document that launched the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA), participated heavily in the NAFTA discourse, and is currently working with Global Affairs Canada and the WTO on policies to deal with China’s increased prominence in the global economy. The importance and influence of Professor Trefler’s work has been recognized through numerous distinctions including all three major awards of the Canadian Economics Association, a Canada Research Chair, the 2016 Bank of Canada Fellowship Award, and the 2016 Killam Prize in Social Sciences (Canada’s ‘Nobel Prize’).

Target Audience

This course is designed for those interested in international trade issues, including those with a general interest perspective, a policy perspective, and a business perspective.


January 4-13, 2023 (8 classes, including Saturday, January 7), lectures every day from 1:30-5:00 pm

Course Mission

Ever wonder about the big international questions of the day like why is China so successful, do we need a Canadian industrial policy, did Trump make America great again, was USMCA a good deal for Canada, will COVID-19 bring back supply chains from East Asia, will sanctions against Russia or China work, what makes countries successful both socially and as investment targets, and what is driving inflation? Do you wonder what your business should be addressing as it enters China or rushes to protect itself from new foreign competitors? This course will cover the theory of international trade, its practice, and how to think about the big policy issues surrounding the Great Globalization of our era.

Course Scope

The course reviews the core concepts of international trade, but rather than teaching these as sterile theories they will be framed by the above questions. Class discussion is central. You will leave this course as a high-functioning economist who brings a unique perspective to your international business problems and who impresses potential employers with knowledge of the great issues of our day.

Evaluation and Grade Distribution

ComponentDue DateWeight
First TestFirst Wednesday of class15%
Second TestSecond Monday of class15%
Group ReportDuring exam period30%
Final ExamSecond Friday of class – Jan 1340%

Required Resources

The course will be based on a course package largely designed by the instructor.

Last Updated: 2022-09-28 @ 11:57 am