Free trade agreements (FTAs) have dominated global trade for over a decade. This dominance is likely to continue for many years on every continent. Already, more than half of all international trade takes place under FTAs.

Principles of Free Trade Agreements, from GATT 1947 through NAFTA Re-Negotiated 2018 examines the origins of free trade agreements (FTAs) and customs unions (CUs) in Article 24 of the GATT 1947 agreement. Article 24 permits but attempts to regulate their creation, an effort that failed early on. A sleeping giant for decades, FTAs were re-awakened by the path-breaking Canada-U.S. FTA of 1989. In 1994, NAFTA triggered an onslaught of hundreds of FTAs around the globe, overwhelming the impact of the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995. The coverage, trade rules and trade remedies of the world’s FTAs are remarkably and complexly diverse.

Perhaps surprisingly, the hostility of President Trump to multilateral trade agreements like TPP-12, the WTO, the EU and NAFTA 1994, caused the number of FTAs to increase. America’s trade partners and competitors rushed to secure trade deals not involving the USA. TPP-11, the Japan-EU FTA, the expanded Mexico-EU FTA, and the China-driven RCEP provide excellent examples. Meanwhile, despite being characterized by President Trump as “the worst trade deal ever”, the United States, Canada and Mexico completed re-negotiation of NAFTA in 2018.

All of this, and more, is covered in this book. Designed for students, lawyers, government officials and people in business, the author addresses the interests not only of Americans, but also those located outside the USA who are concerned about the law and economics of free trade agreements.

Active links for the e-book and downloadable versions of this Concise Hornbook are provided throughout.


Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: Concise Hornbook Series
Publication Date: 05/28/2019
Related Subject(s): International-Business Trans, International-Organizations

Ralph H. Folsom, University of San Diego School of Law

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