Free Trade Agreements Trading Bloc

Trade blocs are relationships between countries generally located in the same region to facilitate free trade agreements. Trade blocs include the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the Association of South Asian Nations (ASEAN), the European Union (EU), Mercado Comun del Sur (Mercosur) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Southeast Asia has experienced unprecedented and astonishing economic growth over the past three decades since the creation of ASEAN. In 1967, ASEAN`s total trade was $10 billion. In 2006, total trade reached $1.4 trillion. The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1995 during the GATT negotiations in Uruguay. The WTO has officially succeeded THE GATT. The WTO is the only international organization dealing with global rules of trade between nations. Its main role is to ensure that trade is as fluid, predictable and as free as possible. The WTO is focused on its multilateral trading system, which operates by seeking consensus among all Member States (over 150).

The concept of consensus facilitates cooperation and, potentially, an agreement that is most beneficial to all the countries concerned. An Indonesian product containing, for example, Australian coins could expect tariffs elsewhere in the Asean Free Trade Area. A `common market` (or internal market) is the first important step towards full economic integration and occurs when Member States act freely with all economic resources, not just material goods. This means that all barriers to trade in goods, services, capital and labour will be removed. In addition, non-tariff barriers are reduced and eliminated. For a common market to be successful, it also requires a considerable degree of harmonization of microeconomic policies and common rules for monopoly power and other anti-competitive practices. There may also be common policies for key industries such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the European Internal Market (COMMON Fisheries Policy) (COMMON Fisheries Policy( ECF). Many Member States have already concluded free trade agreements, but there are restrictions.

Free trade zones are created when two or more countries in the same region agree to remove or remove trade barriers for all other members` products. Free trade zones, the logical development of free trade agreements, will most likely be implemented until all separate agreements form a broader, almost entirely universal agreement. An internal market is a kind of trading bloc in which most barriers to trade (for goods) have been removed. The number of ATRs has increased from about 70 in 1990 to more than 300 today, reflecting both the transition to stronger intra-regional trade, particularly among many fast-growing emerging economies around the world. No regional trade agreement is the same! While NAFTA has its controversies and adversaries, it is generally considered the most impressive free trade agreement to date. Opponents argue that energy taxes, particularly those that generated billions in losses in 2006, are directly caused by NAFTA regulations that do not adequately protect the interests of private citizens between nations. In addition, some argue that government subsidies to those protected by NAFTA are an unfair monetary advantage over those not covered by NAFTA, particularly those in the agricultural sector. A 2008 poll of U.S. voters suggests that about 53 percent of Democrats do not support NAFTA, while NAFTA has an approval rating of more than 62 percent in Canada. “Ratification is likely to be difficult in national parliaments, both because of anti-commercial and anti-Chinese sentiment,” he added.

A regional trading bloc is a group of countries in a geographic region that protect themselves against imports from non-members.

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