In general, trade diversion means that a free trade agreement would divert trade from more efficient suppliers outside the zone to less efficient suppliers within the territories. Whereas the creation of trade implies the creation of a free trade area that might not otherwise have existed. In any case, the creation of trade will increase a country`s national well-being. [15] The economist has attempted to assess the extent to which free trade agreements can be considered public goods. First, they deal with a key element of free trade agreements, the system of on-board tribunals, which act as arbiters in international trade disputes. These serve as a clarification of existing statutes and international economic policies, as confirmed by trade agreements. [18] A free trade agreement (FTA) or treaty is an agreement contrary to international law establishing a free trade area between cooperating states. Free trade agreements, a form of trade pacts, set tariffs and tariffs on imports and exports by countries, with the aim of reducing or removing barriers to trade and thereby promoting international trade. [1] These agreements “generally focus on a chapter with preferential tariff treatment,” but they often contain “trade facilitation and regulatory clauses in areas such as investment, intellectual property, public procurement, technical standards, and health and plant health issues.” [2] Regional trade agreements (RTAs) have multiplied over the years and are succeeding, including a significant increase in major multilateral agreements being negotiated.

Non-discrimination between trading partners is one of the fundamental principles of the WTO; However, reciprocal preferential agreements between two or more partners are one of the exceptions and are allowed by the WTO subject to a number of provisions. Information on WTO-notified ATRs is available in the RTA database. Member States benefit from trade agreements, including increased employment opportunities, lower unemployment rates and increased market opportunities. Since trade agreements generally come with investment guarantees, investors who wish to invest in developing countries are protected from political risks. 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 Unlike a customs union, parties to a free trade agreement do not retain common external tariffs, i.e. apply different tariffs and other policies with respect to non-members. This function allows non-parties to free themselves as part of a free trade agreement by entering the market with the lowest external tariffs.