Bilateral Agreements and Fair Trade Practices: A Policy Analysis of the Colombia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (2006)
REVISTA CONTEXTO, No. 42, julio-diciembre de 2014
20 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 26, 2016
This article brings to the attention of those public servants involved in the design and negotiation of free trade agreements between the United States and developing countries, such as Colombia, the potential benefits and drawbacks of negotiating in a bilateral forum. Rather than critiquing the free trade agreement for its particular provisions, this article examines the U.S. policy of negotiating bilaterally with developing countries as opposed to multilaterally in the world trade system and what effects such an approach might have on the economic development of the latter. Using an incremental policy analysis, the article critiques the bilateral approach in terms of economic development and fair trade negotiations using the recent Colombia-U.S. trade agreement as a case study. The article concludes that a bilateral approach that is disconnected from a broader multilateral context may be detrimental to developing countries and recommends increased oversight of such agreements by the World Trade Organization to ensure a higher degree of fairness.
Keywords: Free Trade Agreements, Economic Development, Trade, Bilateral, Multilateral
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