Over the past three decades, free trade agreements (FTAs) have become an integral and enduring part of the global trading system. The number of FTAs notified to the World Trade Organization increased from 19 in 1990 to 292 by January 2019.1 However, debate on the economic case for following the FTA path as an alternative to multilateral and unilateral trade liberalisation is far from settled. The purpose of this note is to assess key themes of this policy debate. The focus is solely on the economic rationale of FTAs, even though political considerations play a key role in the proliferation of FTAs.
|Journal||Foreign Trade Review|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|