Bilateral Trade Agreements
19 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2007
Bilateral Trade Agreements (BTAs) have been proliferating. Why are they so popular? What are their impacts on multi-lateralism and the world trade system? The article identifies the general and specific factors driving the growth in BTAs, and examines how BTAs in general and different types of BTAs are affecting the world trade system. Although the sheer number of BTAs is fragmenting the world trade system, the impact of individual BTAs often depends on their underlying motivation. The article also portrays scenarios for the future landscape of world trade and possible responses. Is the consolidation of BTAs into region-wide agreements a solution or simply a new problem? How can we multi-lateralise bi-lateralism and repair the world trade system? The article attempts to answer these questions, with or without Doha.
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