ABSTRACT. International communities of professionals matter generally, and matter in international trade reforms in particular. In this paper we explore the extension of scientific knowledge on liberal trade regimes, observing how professionals are becoming increasingly important and affect trade liberalization strategies based on the mutual exchange of knowledge. From recent developments in the American hemisphere, and specifically the case of the unsuccessful negotiations regarding the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), we identify some particularities concerning the trade policy community, suggesting that foreign trade policy is not about regulating a market, but about interconnecting distant markets, which has its own type of policy-making problems, as for example bringing together the worlds of regulators and trade negotiators. JEL Classification: F13; F59; Z13
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