Select Page

Trade agreements are generally unilateral, bilateral or multilateral. Trade unions and environmentalists in rich countries have been the most active in seeking labour and environmental standards. The danger is that the application of such standards could simply be an excuse for protectionist protectionism in rich countries, which would harm workers in poor countries. In fact, people in poor, capitalist or working-class countries were extremely hostile to the imposition of such standards. For example, the 1999 WTO meeting in Seattle was partially unsuccessful because developing countries opposed the Clinton administration`s attempt to include labour standards in multilateral agreements. As soon as the agreements go beyond the regional level, they need help. The World Trade Organization intervenes at this stage. This international body contributes to the negotiation and implementation of global trade agreements. The largest multilateral agreement is the agreement between the United States, Mexico-Canada (USMCA, formerly the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The Doha Round would have been the world`s largest trade agreement if the United States and the EU had agreed on a reduction in their agricultural subsidies. As a result of its failure, China has gained ground on the world`s economic front through cost-effective bilateral agreements with countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In total, the United States currently has 14 trade agreements with 20 different countries. The failure of Doha has enabled China to reach a global level of trade. It has signed bilateral trade agreements with dozens of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Chinese companies have the right to develop the country`s oil and other raw materials. In return, China provides loans and technical or commercial assistance. For many countries, unilateral reforms are the only effective way to reduce trade barriers to domestic trade. However, multilateral and bilateral approaches – removing trade barriers in coordination with other countries – have two advantages over unilateral approaches. First, the economic benefits of international trade will be strengthened and strengthened if many countries or regions agree to remove trade barriers.