Proliferating Preferential Trade Agreements

Jagdish Bhagwati

in Termites in the Trading System

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780195331653
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199851850 | DOI:
Proliferating Preferential Trade Agreements

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Most preferential trade agreements (PTAs) are in the form of free trade agreements (FTAs), which is a rare few contain an added common external tariff that converts them into customs unions (CUs). John Maynard Keynes, arguably the twentieth century's most influential economist, was reverting to an antidiscrimination view that had begun to make increasing sense to economists during the 1930s. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was designed to make uncoordinated free-for-all actions on raising trade barriers difficult through “rules” and “bindings” that would govern and discourage a lapse into competitive raising of trade barriers. In general, it is stated that the world is marred by discriminatory trade, much as had been experienced in the 1930s, from which all sensible men and women had recoiled.

Keywords: preferential trade agreements; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; John Maynard Keynes; free trade agreements; GATT; customs unions; trade barriers

Chapter.  3543 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Economics

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