Challenges to multilateral trade: The impact of bilateral, preferential and regional agreements
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Progress in multilateral negotiations to liberalise trade under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has become more difficult since newer members are generally developing countries with different interests than the United States, the European Union and other industrialised countries.
More than 250 free trade agreements (FTAs) have come into effect since 1948. Partly as a result of the WTO impasse, over 130 FTAs have been ratified just in the past ten years; each agreement has been designed to eliminate trade restrictions and subsidies between the parties involved. Almost all of the WTO Members participate in one or more FTAs (some Members are party to twenty or more).
Most books on FTAs are country- or region-specific, while others deal with the subject from a particular perspective. This timely work – produced by some of the world’s leading experts in their respective fields – employs a broader approach exploring FTAs from the interdisciplinary perspectives of international law, political economy, culture and human rights.