Article

Politics of Preferential Trade Agreements

Mark Manger

in Political Science

ISBN: 9780199756223
Published online November 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0055
Politics of Preferential Trade Agreements

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Preferential trade agreements (PTAs) are international agreements to reduce the barriers to trade and other forms of commerce between two or more countries. In the absence of a PTA, states usually trade on a most-favored-nation (MFN) basis. MFN tariffs are nondiscriminatory, so imports from all sources are treated equally. In a PTA, the members grant each other better market access than they give other states. PTAs are therefore an exception to the MFN principle that underpins the World Trade Organization (WTO) and are permitted only under Art. 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and Art. 5 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). PTAs fall into four categories: partial scope agreements that liberalize only some of the trade between their members; free-trade agreements (FTAs), in which each member retains the right to set its own MFN tariffs; customs unions that share an external tariff; and common markets in which all factors of production flow freely.

Article.  8681 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions ; Political Methodology ; Political Theory

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