Article

Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements

John Shijian Mo

in International Law

ISBN: 9780199796953
Published online March 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199796953-0019
Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements

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Bilateral trade agreements (BTAs) and regional trade agreements (RTAs) are an important social phenomenon in the world today. Literally, a bilateral trade agreement is one made between two contracting parties, and a regional trade agreement is one made between two or more contracting parties that share some common denomination known conceptually as “region.” The purpose of such agreements is to reinforce trade relations between the members. In this age of globalization, the world trading order is based on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement, which is a multilateral treaty. Within the WTO framework, many bilateral and regional trade agreements have been concluded to offer additional trade benefits and privileges to the contracting parties, in line with the broad principles set out in the WTO Agreement. Perhaps as the result of a value judgment, the WTO does not differentiate between a bilateral and a regional trade agreement. Instead, all the additional trade agreements between WTO members are referred to as RTAs. Accordingly, we must read the WTO information on RTAs as covering both bilateral and regional trade agreements. As of May 2011, some 489 RTAs had been notified to the GATT/WTO, and of these, 297 agreements were in force. This bibliography examines the major literature on bilateral and regional trade agreements from three perspectives: general, theoretical, and practical.

Article.  14145 words. 

Subjects: International Law ; International Courts and Tribunals ; Private International Law and Conflict of Laws ; Public International Law

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