Multilateral free trade agreements are agreements between several countries that aim to promote free trade. These agreements involve the elimination or reduction of tariffs, quotas, and other barriers to trade between the participating countries. In this article, we shall explore a list of multilateral free trade agreements that have been established across the world.
1. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
The North American Free Trade Agreement is an agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Established in 1994, the agreement eliminated most tariffs between the three nations, promoting trade flows across the region. NAFTA was replaced by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in 2020.
2. Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
The Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to create a free trade agreement among the Pacific Rim countries of the United States, Japan, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Although the United States withdrew from the agreement in 2017, the remaining countries proceeded with the agreement which became known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
3. European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
The European Free Trade Association is composed of four European countries: Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. The agreement establishes free trade among these countries and between them and the EU. EFTA also has free trade agreements with several other countries including Canada, Chile, Mexico, and South Korea.
Mercosur is a South American trading bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The agreement aims to promote economic integration between these countries by eliminating tariffs and other trade barriers. However, its effectiveness has been challenged due to political and economic turmoil in some of its member countries.
5. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional intergovernmental organization composed of ten countries in Southeast Asia. The group has established a free trade area among its members, known as the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). In addition, ASEAN has also signed free trade agreements with China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
6. African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
The African Continental Free Trade Area is a free trade agreement among 54 African Union member states. The agreement aims to eliminate tariffs on 90% of goods traded within the continent, promote intra-African trade, and boost economic growth and development.
In conclusion, multilateral free trade agreements have become increasingly important in today`s global economy. They have eliminated trade barriers and promoted economic growth and development among countries. The list of multilateral free trade agreements mentioned above has facilitated trade among several countries, promoting economic integration and cooperation across regions.