Free Trade Agreements Timeline

The European Commission reports annually on the implementation of its main trade agreements in the previous calendar year. As far as the United States is concerned, the country has never participated in the trade liberalization that swept Europe in the first half of the 19th century. But in the second half of the century, protectionism grew considerably with the increase in tariffs during the Civil War, and then the mcKinley ultra-protectionist tariff law of 1890. The whole doctrine of mercantilism would be attacked by the writings of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, both of whom stressed the desire for imports and stated that exports are only the necessary cost of their acquisition. Their theories have become increasingly influential and have helped to create a trend towards trade liberalization, a trend that Britain should follow. The free trade agreement between the United States and Morocco came into force on January 1, 2006. When the agreement came into force, 95% of U.S. consumer and skilled industrial products were immediately exempt from tariffs. Tariffs on most of the remaining skilled products will be abolished over a period of up to nine years. For a limited number of products, tariffs will be phased out over a period of up to 15 years.

Here is a list of the free trade agreements that include the United States. In parentheses, the abbreviation, if any, membership, unless indicated in advance, and the date of entry into force. The doctrine of mercantilism dominated the trade policy of the great European powers for most of the 16th century until the end of the 18th century. According to the mercantilists, the main objective of trade was to achieve a « favourable » trade balance that would allow the value of its own exports to exceed the value of their own imports. In 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) followed THE GATT as a global supervisor of global trade liberalization after Uruguay`s round of trade negotiations. While the GATT was primarily focused, the WTO went much further in implementing policies on services, intellectual property and investment. The WTO had more than 145 members until the beginning of the 21st century, and China joined it in 2001. (Since Adam Smith praised the virtues of the division of labour and David Ricardo explained the comparative advantage of trade with other nations, the modern world is increasingly economically integrated. International trade has increased and the number of trade agreements has increased. While the trend over the past hundred years has been for greater openness and liberalization of trade, the path has not always been straight.

Since the implementation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the proliferation of multilateral trade agreements between three or more countries, as well as local and regional trade agreements, has undergone a double evolution. Given that European regionalisation has been able to launch many other regional trade agreements in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, it has also helped to advance the GATT agenda, with other countries seeking further tariff reductions to compete with the preferential trade that the European partnership has produced. Thus, regionalism has not necessarily increased at the expense of multilateralism, but in conjunction with it. The advance towards regionalism was probably due to the growing needs of countries to go beyond the GATT provisions at a much faster rate. However, all these protectionist measures were light compared to the previous mercantilist period and, despite the anti-free trade environment, including a series of isolated trade wars, international trade flows continued to increase.