Companies doing business with one EU country today find it easier and cheaper to deal with other EU countries. There is no longer any exchange rate risk and the removal of the need to convert currencies on the euro markets reduces transaction costs. In addition, a single currency makes pricing more transparent and consistent across countries and markets. BEARING IN MIND the decision of the Parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to conclude regional or general agreements among developing countries in order to remove or remove obstacles to their mutual trade. Since the mid-1980s, trade liberalization has been a central element of the structural reform process in Latin America and the Caribbean, when countries implemented unilateral trade liberalization measures. After NAFTA, countries began to take a more regional approach by concluding regional trade agreements. Some of the major trade agreements in North and South America are described in Table 1. A more regional approach has enabled countries to go beyond what was feasible or desirable at the unilateral and multilateral levels. Until now, most of the regional integration has been in trade in goods and is not as advanced in other sectors, such as trade in services or intellectual property rights. In this regard, Mexican liberalization has been most comprehensive thanks to the implementation of NAFTA.
(10) One of the fundamental principles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) administered by the WTO is the most-favoured-nation principle. As a general rule, the most-favoured-nation principle requires that trade concessions granted to one WTO member apply to the trade of all other signatories. By definition, SAAS are contrary to the most-favoured-nation principle, since products from RTA Member States enjoy preferential treatment over non-Member States. (11) However, the WTO allows Member States to conclude regional trade agreements under strict rules. The WTO`s position is that regional trade agreements can often support the WTO`s multilateral trading system by allowing groups of countries to negotiate rules and commitments that go beyond what was then possible under the WTO. The WTO has set up a Committee on Regional Trade Agreements that reviews regional groups and assesses whether they are WTO-consistent. (12) Regional trade agreements (RSTA) are trade agreements in which Member States grant each other preferential treatment in trade. SAAs can be classified as bilateral, multilateral or sub-regional. In the absence of formal definitions, these terms are sometimes used in bulk to describe different groups. A bilateral trade agreement is usually an agreement between two countries to reduce tariffs and quotas on goods between them. While this definition seems to indicate an agreement between only two countries, it is sometimes used to describe trade agreements involving more than two countries.
“An economically stronger Taiwan would not only gain influence on the mainland, but would also have more money to attract other allies than the 23 nations of the world that currently recognize the island as an independent state. Beijing hopes that closer economic relations will put Taiwan in orbit. Isaac Stone Fish, “Taiwan Inks Risky Deal with China,” Newsweek, July 2, 2010, accessed December 31, 2010, www.newsweek.com/2010/07/02/taiwan-inks-a-risky-deal-with-china.html. While the opposition in Taiwan sees the deal as a cover screen for reunification with China, the deal reduces tariffs on both sides, allowing companies in both countries to trade more.