Each free trade agreement is negotiated and agreed separately by the participating countries. A country may be a member of several free trade agreements. Preferential rules of origin are applied to prevent third countries from benefiting from preferential tariffs under a free trade agreement without presenting reciprocal benefits. In most modern economies, there are many possible coalitions of interested groups and the diversity of possible unilateral barriers is important. In addition, some trade barriers are created for other non-economic reasons, such as national security or the desire to protect or isolate local culture from foreign influences. It is therefore not surprising that successful trade agreements are very complicated. Some commonalities in trade agreements are reciprocity, a most favoured nation (MFN), and national treatment of non-tariff barriers. Trade agreements are any contractual agreement between states on their trade relations. Trade agreements can be bilateral or multilateral, i.e. between two states or more than two states. DeRosa D.A. and Hufbauer G.C. (2007) What do gravity models tell us about the effects of PTAs on trade flows: more creation or more distraction? Available here, Henri Joel NKUEPO is a doctoral student in International Essrecht (University of Western Cape) and a research intern with the Human Rights Commission of South Africa.

His research focuses on the regulation of natural resource trade, the protection of human rights, the environment and the protection of foreign direct investment in natural resources. Free trade agreements lead to two main concepts: trade diversion and the creation of trade. The creation of a trade means that a free trade area creates a trade that would not have existed otherwise. In the case of market creation, the supply is made by a more efficient producer of the product, as an increase in imports supersedes less efficient domestic production. This is beneficial to the economy and has a positive impact on the population. A preferential trade zone (including preferential trade agreements, PTA) is a trading bloc that offers preferential access to certain products from participating countries. This requires a reduction in tariffs, but not in their total abolition. A ZEP can be implemented through a trade pact. This is the first step in economic integration. The border between a EPZ and a Free Trade Area (EEA) can be blurred, as almost all ATPs have the main objective of becoming a free trade agreement in accordance with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The fourth EU Implementation Report (other languages), published in November 2020 and preceded by the preface by DG Commerce Director-General Sabine Weyand (other languages), provides an overview of the results achieved in 2019 and the remarkable work for the EU`s 36 main preferential trade agreements.

The accompanying staff working document provides detailed information in accordance with the trade agreement and trading partners. Second, the term “preferential trade agreements” can be used for agreements with a partial scope. These agreements provide preferential market access by reducing import tariffs to a limited amount of goods. Free trade is the unrestricted purchase and sale of goods and services between countries without conditions such as tariffs, tariffs and quotas. Free trade is a win-win proposition because it allows nations to focus on their key competitive advantages, maximizing economic performance and promoting income growth for their citizens.