Free Trade Agreements Have Limited Impact (Because Manufactured Goods are a Perfect Market)



David Henig & Anna Guildea | ECIPE

Free Trade Agreements between two or more countries or parties have been the centrepiece of international trade policy since the formation of the World Trade Organisation 25 years ago. Since 1995, no major round of multilateral trade liberalisation has been concluded, but there has been a sharp rise in the number of bilateral trade agreements. While some of these agreements have real consequences for trade in services and some administrative rules for trade, most of them do not because they focus mainly on tariffs on industrial and agricultural goods. Yet the economic gains from these reductions are now extremely limited. In fact, it is now difficult to improve the global market in goods by cutting tariffs.


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