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:: Across the board ::

This section contains news and analysis of sweeping developments that affect the overall push and pull towards FTAs and bilateral investment treaties. This means major trends relating to bilateralism, often with global consequences, and other cross-cutting issues. New developments arising from US politics, the WTO or South-South alliance-building, for instance, are often reported here as they tend to have systemic impacts.

last update: May 2012

Opening up to worries
An interview with Chee Yoke Ling of Third World Network on globalisation, WTO and FTAs
Pitfalls aplenty on the fast track to trade
The distorting aspects of bilateral free trade agreements can be avoided by adopting a multilateral approach, argues Mohamed Ariff.
USTR 2006 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
USTR has recently released its latest annual country-by-country assessment of barriers to US trade around the world, Washington’s basis for unilateral trade sanctions.
Reasons to worry about bilateral trade pacts
An examination of the globalised approach by both EU countries and the US to bilateral FTAs shows that acceleration has occurred as the WTO has lost its effect. While it is easy to rationalise that the global north is acting independently because the WTO is failing, it is more fun to speculate that the global north is acting to stall the WTO since they get much better terms on a one-to-one basis in their agreements with developing countries.
US ’always in the driving seat in FTA talks’
The economic strength of the United States makes it "virtually impossible" for developing nations to negotiate a fair bilateral free-trade agreement, according to Argentina’s new ambassador to Thailand.
Free trade pacts are bad for business
The WTO on March 22 issued a report criticizing the US pursuit of free trade agreements. The report claims that US free trade agreements create political interests in other countries, which complicate the multilateral process.
US will seek fast renewal of trade authority: Portman
The top US trade official said on Wednesday he would push for quick renewal of trade promotion authority, which allows the White House to negotiate agreements that Congress must approve or reject but cannot change.
US seeks trade insurance with bilateral pacts
It’s always wise to have a Plan B. As the US urges progress in the “Doha round” of trade talks, it is also chasing bilateral trade deals across east Asia.
Penn serves notice on would-be trade agreement participants
Notice from USDA to countries that aren’t too well heeled but would like to try to negotiate a new free trade agreement with the United States: Don’t bother.
Roadmap for WTO negotiations on Art. XXIV GATT
The WTO rules for bilateral agreements, set by Art. XXIV of GATT are currently under re-negotiation in the WTO. Below is an internal informal WTO discussion paper on these negotiations. This is an invitation to discuss this paper on the Forum of this website on "bilateralism".


  • #A18DoA - Global day of action to defeat free trade and investment treaties
    Website for the global day of action to defeat free trade and investment treaties #A18DoA
  • 21st Century Trade Agreements: Implications for Long-Run Development Policy
    A publication of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. The paper examines the policy space available under various free trade regimes for countries pursuing industrial policies for development.
  • Alianza Social Continental
    La Alianza Social Continental es un foro de organizaciones y movimientos sociales progresistas de las Américas, creado para intercambiar información, definir estrategias y promover acciones conjuntas, todo ello encaminado a la búsqueda de un modelo de desarrollo alternativo y democrático, que beneficie a nuestros pueblos
  • ICC
    International Chamber of Commerce
    A multilingual (English, Spanish, Portuguese) website focusing on social movements and their campaigns, including those against bilateral and regional FTAs.
  • Pambazuka
    In this week’s edition of the Emerging Powers News Round-Up, read a comprehensive list of news stories and opinion pieces related to China, India and other emerging powers...
  • People over profit
    People Over Profit is a campaign network that unites peoples movements and NGOs across the globe to stop free trade agreements (FTAs) and corporate plunder, launched in October 2016.
  • Peoples Global Action
    In February 1998, movements from all continents met in Geneva to launch a worldwide coordination of resistances to the global market, a new alliance of struggle and mutual support called Peoples’ Global Action against "Free" Trade and the World Trade Organisation (PGA).
  • Regional/Multilateral Integration Agreements
    Selected research papers on regional trade agreements, from
  • SOMO
    SOMO links the negotiations and rules on international trade and investment with the actual conduct of corporations within these rules and agreements.
  • South Centre
    An intergovernmental organisation of developing countries
  • Stop fast track!
    10 days to stop fast track in the United States: Jan 22 - 31 2014
  • Third World Network
    TWN’s website is a good source of information and analysis about what’s happening within the multilateral trade system (WTO, UNCTAD, G77, etc).
  • offers a free library of current trade news and resources; a database of dispute settlement tables and statistics; and a user-friendly search tool for legal texts, and other documents.