Apr 11

Trade policy The EU`s position on trade, negotiating areas, background documents and news. There are pros and cons of trade agreements. By removing tariffs, they reduce import prices and consumers benefit from them. However, some domestic industries are suffering. They cannot compete with countries with lower standards of living. This allows them to leave the store and make their employees suffer. Trade agreements often require a trade-off between businesses and consumers. Let us assume, for example, that Japan sells bicycles for $50, that Mexico sells them for $60, and that they both expect a $20 dollar in the United States. If tariffs on Mexican products are removed, U.S. consumers will transfer their purchases of Japanese bicycles to Mexican bicycles.

The result is that Americans will buy from a more expensive source, and the U.S. government does not receive customs revenue. Consumers save $10 per bike, but the government loses $20. Economists have shown that when a country enters such a “trade” customs union, the cost of trade diversion can outweigh the benefits of enhanced trade with other members of the customs union. The result is that the customs union could degrade the country. Although the WTO embodies the principle of non-discrimination in international trade, Article 24 of the GATT authorizes the creation of free trade zones and “customs unions” among WTO members. A free trade area is a group of countries that remove all tariffs on trade with each other, but retain their autonomy in setting their tariffs with non-members. A customs union is a group of countries that remove all tariffs on trade between them, while maintaining a common external tariff for trade with countries outside the EU (which is technically contrary to the MFN). In total, the United States currently has 14 trade agreements with 20 different countries. As a multilateral trade agreement, GATT calls on its signatories to extend the status of the Most Preferred Nation (MFN) to other trading partners participating in the WTO.

MFN status means that each WTO member enjoys the same tariff treatment of its products in foreign markets as the “preferred” country that competes in the same market, thus excluding preferences or discrimination from a Member State. The derogation from the customs union was intended in part to take account of the creation of the European Economic Community (EC) in 1958. The EC, originally made up of six European countries, is now known as the European Union (EU) and has 27 European countries. The EU has gone beyond simply removing barriers to trade between Member States and creating a customs union. It has moved towards greater economic integration by becoming a common market – a regulation that removes barriers to mobility from factors of production such as capital and labour between participating countries. As a common market, the EU also coordinates and harmonizes each country`s tax, industrial and agricultural policies. In addition, many EU Member States have created a single currency area by replacing their national currencies with the euro. The United States has free trade agreements with 20 countries. These free trade agreements are based on the WTO agreement, with broader and stronger disciplines than those of the WTO. Many of our free trade agreements are bilateral agreements between two governments. But some, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Dominican Republic-Central America-U.S.

Free Trade Agreement, are multilateral agreements between several parties.

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