This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book presents ata symposium sponsored by the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium: Competitiveness in International Food Markets. It reviews the evolution of trade models and the development of theoretical models to address product differentiation, direct foreign investment, and technology diffusion. The book argues that competition from imports stimulates productivity growth. Empirical evidence of sharply different rates of growth for the Florida winter vegetable industry is presented. The book focuses on how the competitiveness issue has shaped policy choices in Canada. It shows that governments should concentrate on providing a social and economic environment conducive to increased competition and upgrading the capabilities of labor and other resources. The book provides the responsibility to evaluate the lessons learned and to draw inferences of the value of competitiveness from the conference.