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Free Trade Agreement Governance

Free Trade Agreement Governance: Exploring the Rules and Regulations of International Trade

Free trade agreements (FTAs) have been gaining traction in recent years as a popular mechanism for easing trade restrictions between countries. As a professional, I understand the importance of creating content that is informative, engaging, and optimized for search engines. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of free trade agreements and the governance structures that regulate them.

What is a Free Trade Agreement?

A free trade agreement is a legal agreement between two or more countries that removes or reduces trade barriers such as tariffs, quotas, and subsidies. FTAs are designed to promote economic integration and cooperation between countries, allowing for more efficient trade and increased investment flows. There are two main types of FTAs: bilateral (between two countries) and multilateral (between multiple countries).

Bilateral FTAs are agreements made between two countries, with the goal of liberalizing the trade relationship between them. These agreements are usually signed to give exporters from one country greater access to the market of another country, and to reduce or eliminate tariffs and other trade barriers. Examples of bilateral FTAs include the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) and the Singapore-Australia FTA.

Multilateral FTAs, on the other hand, involve multiple countries and are often associated with regional trade agreements. The most well-known multilateral agreement is the World Trade Organization (WTO), which has 164 member countries. The WTO’s primary goal is to make trade between member countries as smooth and predictable as possible, and to ensure that rules and regulations are applied consistently.

Governance of Free Trade Agreements

Free trade agreements are governed by a set of rules and regulations that outline the terms of the agreement, including the types of goods and services that can be traded, the amount of trade allowed, and the measures that can be taken if the terms of the agreement are violated.

Each free trade agreement has its own unique governance structure, which is typically overseen by a committee of representatives from each participating country. These committees are responsible for monitoring trade flows and ensuring that the terms of the agreement are being upheld.

In addition to these committees, FTAs may also establish dispute settlement mechanisms to resolve disputes that arise between participating countries. These mechanisms can range from informal consultations to formal arbitration proceedings, depending on the severity of the dispute.


Free trade agreements have become increasingly prevalent in today`s globalized economy. By removing barriers to trade and promoting economic cooperation between countries, these agreements have the potential to create significant economic benefits for participating countries. Furthermore, proper governance of FTAs is essential to ensure that the agreements are enforced and that trade flows smoothly between countries. As a professional, I hope that this article has provided valuable information on the different types of FTAs and the governance structures that regulate them.