Chapter

Introduction

A. Estevadeordal and K. Suominen

in The Sovereign Remedy?

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780199550159
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720253 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199550159.003.0001
Introduction

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Trade debates are intricately and explicitly connected to the other headline-makers. Indeed, trade and the rapidly proliferating preferential trading arrangements (PTAs) have not only aroused passions for decades; they have in the popular parlance long been linked to major trends in the global economy and politics. While some blame PTAs for exporting jobs, sowing poverty, furthering illegal migration, robbing national sovereignty, and balkanizing the world trading system, others praise them as lynchpins of growth, pillars of peace, guarantors of security, and engines of globalization. Still others view them as useful instruments for fostering trade and investment, yet ones that are only the second-best option to the global trade liberalization and effective only when accompanied by ‘open regionalism’ — simultaneous liberalization toward non-members — sound macroeconomic policies, rule of law, and first-rate infrastructures. Do PTAs merit the blame shoved on them, or do they live up to the hopes pinned on them? Why do countries keep forming PTAs? Can PTAs be the ‘Sovereign Remedy’ that will fuel economic exchanges and perpetuate peace, as Winston Churchill surmised at the beginning of the post-war era? The purpose of this book is to open avenues to answering these questions. It examines PTAs in a historical context, map out their key contents, analyze their effects, and propose ways to make more of them for the benefit of global free trade and welfare.

Keywords: preferential trading arrangements; international trade; world trade organization; trade liberalization; PTAs

Chapter.  4596 words. 

Subjects: International Economics

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