Number Of Free Trade Agreements

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994) originally defined free trade agreements that were to include only trade in goods. [5] An agreement with a similar purpose, namely the improvement of trade in services, is referred to as the “economic integration agreement” in Article V of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). [6] However, in practice, the term is now commonly used [by whom?] to refer to agreements that concern not only goods, but also services and even investments. Environmental provisions have also become increasingly common in international investment agreements, such as free trade agreements. [7]104 The creation of free trade zones is seen as an exception to the nation`s most privileged principle (MFN) in the World Trade Organization (WTO), as the preferences that parties to a free trade area accord exclusively go beyond their membership obligations. [9] Although GATT Article XXIV authorizes WTO members to establish free trade zones or to conclude interim agreements necessary for their establishment, there are several conditions relating to free trade zones or interim agreements leading to the creation of free trade zones. It should be noted that with regard to the qualification of the original criteria, there is a difference in treatment between inputs originating and outside a free trade agreement. Inputs originating from a foreign party are normally considered to originate from the other party when they are included in the manufacturing process of that other party. Sometimes the production costs generated by one party are also considered to be those of another party.

Preferential rules of origin generally provide for such a difference in treatment in determining accumulation or accumulation. This clause also explains the impact of a free trade agreement on the creation and diversion of trade, since a party to a free trade agreement is encouraged to use inputs from another party to allow its products to originate. [22] Such agreements are an exception to the World Trade Organization`s treatment of the most advantaged nations, whereby all WTO members agree to uniform and non-discriminatory treatment. Free trade agreements, which are free trade zones, are generally outside the scope of the multilateral trading system.

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