The Proliferation of Free Trade Agreements in the Post-Doha Round Period

The paper analyses the shift taking place in multilateral approaches to international trade following the de facto failure of Doha Round negotiations. In this new context all significant participants to international trade either already signed or are negotiating free trade agreements as an operational second best to a real multilateral regulation. The paper presents and analyses the position of European Union which is involved in negotiations covering the Atlantic area, the Euro-Mediterranean area and the Pacific area. Based on this research the authors draw a number of conclusions regarding the chances of conclusion of free trade area agreements and the impact of each of these three areas on the competitivity of European Union in the world economy. At the same time the authors conclude that the current trend towards free trade agreements does not imply a reorientation from multilateralism to bilateralism in the regulation of international trade but an operational solution to the new context determined by the cumulated effects of the failure of Doha Round negotiations and the economic crisis.

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