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This paper investigates the implications of imperfect information and
matching/searching for international trade theory. I develop an illustrative model where firms fund such partners by a search through successive
matches. The consequences include linking today's import demand patterns to past changes in costs, protection and interest rates. Today's
policy decisions will likewise affect future trade. Trade diversion from a
preferential trading agreement may well persist as informational diversion well after the preferential agreement has been scrapped. This has
important implications for the timing of trade liberalisation.