* Global Trade Analysis Project

May 23, 2007

Global trade conference coming to Purdue on June 7-9

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Changes brought on by global warming affect not only the weather, but also world economies. A conference sponsored by Purdue University will examine, among other topics, the economic impact of a rise in the Earth's temperature.

The Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) Conference takes place June 7-9 in Purdue's Stewart Center. GTAP is an international network of researchers and policy-makers who analyze global environmental and trade issues. The network is centered at Purdue.

"Recently, political pressure in the United States has been building to do something about climate change," said Thomas Hertel, a Purdue agricultural economist and GTAP founder. "One of the conference topics will address the question of economic impacts of climate change policy. How much will it likely cost and how effective are current methods for assessing those costs?"

A presentation on this issue is by William Pizer, senior fellow at Resources for the Future in Washington, D.C. His talk will be from 8:30-10:30 a.m. June 8 in Stewart Center, Room 214A-D.

Climate change has been a prominent issue in many foreign countries, Hertel said. A GTAP team led by an environmental official from The Netherlands has been crunching the numbers for quite some time, he said.

"As a low-lying country, Holland has a lot to lose from a rising sea level," Hertel said.

Ton Manders, from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, will speak on the economics of climate change from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 7 in Stewart Center, Room 204.

Biofuels also will be featured during the conference. Speakers will discuss various biofuel issues and what the industry might experience in the future.

"Higher gasoline prices, coupled with generous subsidies, have led to a boom in ethanol production," Hertel said.

A presentation on the economic changes in biofuels, presented by Purdue agricultural economics professor Wallace Tyner, will take place from 4-6 p.m. June 8 in Stewart Center, Room 214A.

Another conference topic is the economic impact of international trade agreements.

Discussing such agreements can be controversial because there are winners and losers, and some form of compensation for the losers is often required, Hertel said. Most agreements are now being analyzed using the GTAP analytical framework, he said.

A presentation on the topic will be made by Robert Koopman, director of the Office of Economics from the U.S. International Trade Commission, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 7 in Stewart Center, Room 214A.

The conference is GTAP's 10th, and participants will focus on the accomplishments of the past decade and determine future goals.

"The purpose of the Global Trade Analysis Project is to contribute to informed decision making," Hertel said. "The Global Trade Analysis Project doesn't influence economic activity, it influences decision making."

Preregistration is required to attend the conference. More conference information is available at the GTAP Web site,

Writer: Elizabeth Fritz, (765) 494-8402,

Source: Thomas Hertel, (765) 494-4199,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: Individual sessions are open to media, and there will be time for questions with speakers.

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