This study provided quantitative evidence that, in most cases, BTAs lead to a strengthening of TL between the partners concerned in the first years after the agreement came into force. This finding further reinforces the conclusions drawn from previous studies on direct trade flows in the gravity model. However, our analysis goes beyond these studies by taking into account indirect effects, which are also transmitted through cross-sector input-exit connections. A positive impact index of the BTA may indicate that one of the main objectives of the negotiation process for the country concerned was to facilitate access to the partner`s internal market. The origins of such a positive index can then be twofold: on the one hand, the reduction of trade barriers allows to identify new market opportunities that lead to an increase in trade volumes between the contracting parties above average. On the other hand, a positive impact index of the BTA will be achieved if existing trade relations are replaced for the benefit of the contractor and at the expense of a third party. In order to quantify and identify the respective impact of trade production and diversification, it is necessary to carry out in-depth studies on trade relations between different countries, but beyond the scope of this work. However, we also identified BTAs with a non-positive BTA impact index. In these cases, the assumption that a BTA has a negative effect on these third parties is less likely. On the other hand, countries with a negative impact on NTOs could either pursue other strategic objectives than simply boost bilateral trade with their partners, or simply fail to achieve their initial objectives in implementing the ATO. Other free trade agreements, such as those negotiated by the United States, are much broader and cover other issues, including services and investment. These agreements generally serve as a reference to existing WTO agreements.
They often seek to go beyond what is stipulated in WTO rules. The Dominican Republic-Central America (CAFTA-DR) is a free trade agreement between the United States and the small central American economies. It is called El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras. NAFTA replaced bilateral agreements with Canada and Mexico in 1994. The United States renegotiated NAFTA as part of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, which came into effect in 2020. The EU has concluded or negotiates such bilateral trade agreements: bilateral agreements are not the same as trade agreements. The latter relates to the reduction or elimination of import quotas, export restrictions, tariffs and other trade barriers between states. In addition, the rules governing trade agreements are defined by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Figure 6.
The implementation of distributions of interconnected commercial links (A) TIout and (B) TIin supported all pairs of countries with a BTA (see Table 1 of the appendix for different choices of the maximum length of the max path). Distributions represent the IT values in the 2002 ITN. In both panels, the TI-ratio at its value is displayed with a maximum path length of max – 20. The field indicates the quartiles of distributions with the median shown in the field. Outliers are displayed when they exceed 1.5 times the range of the interquartil. These binding international agreements severely limit the political options of future governments and help stem economic reforms that could be imposed by the IMF, the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank or pursued by national governments themselves.
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