The increasing impact of the international trade governance regime on the domestic regulatory sphere and the growing inter-linkages between international companies through their involvement in global value chains, have complicated corporate political activity (CPA) in the trade arena and changed the way companies interact with governments in this context. This paper draws on several recent examples of novel forms of CPA in trade conflicts at both multilateral and regional (E.U.) level, to provide an updated conceptual framework of trade policy CPA, which takes account of the increasing complexity and interconnectedness in the world economy. We highlight, in particular, the fact that this changing context means that “domestic” interests are often heterogeneous. The international linkages of a firm may dictate trade policy preferences more than its nationality. In addition, non-government actors increasingly react to globalization by mobilizing transnationally, with positive and negative impacts for CPA. CPA strategy has adapted to that reality, in both home and host country contexts, leading to novel cross border alliances and even political activity in countries where, although their local presence is relatively low, companies find common interests.