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Bilateral and regional free trade agreements: Some critical elements and development implications

Third World Network

New Book Release

Bilateral and Regional Free Trade Agreements: Some Critical Elements and Development Implications


Publisher: TWN (ISBN: 978-983-2729-59-4)
Year: 2008
No. of pages: 128


BILATERAL and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) between developed and developing countries are proliferating. They usually contain tariff-reduction commitments and disciplines deeper than at the World Trade Organisation and also contain rules that are not in the WTO.

This book argues that the comprehensive and strict obligations these FTAs impose will seriously constrain the developing-country party’s policy-making capacity to pursue national socioeconomic and development goals. As a result of this erosion of policy space and the drastic market-opening demanded by FTAs, no less than the country’s development prospects would be undermined.

This book examines the development implications of FTAs for signatory developing countries in each of the major areas typically covered by these agreements, including trade in goods, trade in services, investment, government procurement, competition policy and intellectual property rights. In light of the very real risks posed, developing countries should assess the costs and benefits of an FTA before deciding whether to enter into or conclude negotiations.

The book uses the typical FTA that the United States adopts with developing countries as the main basis of its analysis. FTAs adopted by other developed countries share many of the same features.

How to Order the Book

Order your copy from TWN’s online bookstore:
or contact Third World Network at 131 Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia, Tel: 604-2266159,
Fax: 604-2264505, Email: for further information