Developing countries have joined join the "FTA bandwagon", especially since the early 2000s, and are negotiating bilateral treaties between themselves. Many of these are tariff reduction schemes (more commonly called "preferential trade agreements"), or bases for free trade zones, and don’t intrude much into each other’s economic or social policies.
While they can very seriously affect workers, farmers, manufacturers and other firms in both the participating and nearby neighbouring countries, by quickly shifting trade and capital flows, they usually don’t have the far-reaching policy effects of typical North-South FTAs.
Some are also limited to specific sectors only, like agricultural goods.
last update: May 2012
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