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The Regionalization of the World Economy$
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Jeffrey A. Frankel

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780226259956

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226260228.001.0001

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Why Do Countries Seek Regional Trade Agreements?

Why Do Countries Seek Regional Trade Agreements?

Chapter:
(p.63) 3 Why Do Countries Seek Regional Trade Agreements?
Source:
The Regionalization of the World Economy
Author(s):

John Whalley

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226260228.003.0004

This chapter argues that a wide range of considerations arise when countries seek to negotiate regional trade agreements. Some see trade agreements as providing underpinnings to strategic alliances, and hence implicitly form part of security arrangements (as in Europe). Smaller countries see trade agreements with larger partners as a way of obtaining more security for their access to larger country markets (as in the Canada–U.S. Free Trade Agreement). Some countries have tried to use regional (and multilateral) agreements to help lock in domestic policy reform and make it more difficult to subsequently reverse (Mexico in the North American Free Trade Agreement). Regional trade arrangements around the world are thus different one from another, not the least because countries have different objectives when they negotiate them. This chapter also looks at the regional trade agreements notified to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in operation as of January 1, 1995, and included in a recent WTO volume on regionalism.

Keywords:   regional trade agreements, strategic alliances, security, Canada–U.S. Free Trade Agreement, North American Free Trade Agreement, domestic policy, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, World Trade Organization

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