IBE Essay Jeroen Achterberg

Submitted By Jeroen-Achterberg
Words: 2629
Pages: 11

2014
The
changing prospect of Regional 4

December

Trade Agreements and Multilateral Trade Liberalisation

Jeroen Achterberg

L o n d o n S o u t h B a n k U n i v e r s i t y

Jeroen Achterberg

Student number: 3323695

The changing prospect of Regional Trade Agreements and Multilateral Trade Liberalisation Does the spread of regional trade agreements conflict with and threaten the process of multilateral trade liberalisation?

Jeroen Achterberg 3323695 International Business Economics London South Bank University Mr. N. Grimwade 08/12/2014, London Word count: 1.889

THE CHANGING PROSPECT OF REGIONAL TRADE AGREEMENTS AND

2

MULTILATERAL TRADE LIBERALISATION

Jeroen Achterberg

Student number: 3323695

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction ................................................................................................................ 4 2. Multilateral Trade Liberalisation and Regional Trade Agreements ........ 5 3. Regional Trade Agreements in contrast to Multilateral Trade Liberalisation ...................................................................................................................... 7 4. Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 9 Reference List .................................................................................................................. 10

THE CHANGING PROSPECT OF REGIONAL TRADE AGREEMENTS AND

3

MULTILATERAL TRADE LIBERALISATION

Jeroen Achterberg

Student number: 3323695

1. INTRODUCTION

“Despite the GATT and now the WTO, regional trade arrangements have proliferated, resulting in what Bhagwati (1995) calls a ‘Spaghetti Bowl’ of tariffs.” (Kermal, 2004, p.313)

In recent years, the progress of multilateral trade liberalisation has been, in a way, hibernated. Nevertheless, this does not necessarily mean that the global integration of trade has been stagnant. The reason for that is closely associated with the development of regional trade agreements, (RTAs) which, in the last two decades, has gone skyrocket. The development can be clearly seen in the following: 10 agreements in 1958, compared to nearly 400 signed agreements of today. This phenomenon has led to the concern that the development of regional trade agreements could be undermining the development of multilateral trade liberalisation and its trading system (Freund and Ornelas, 2010).

This essay discusses the hypothesis whether the spread of regional trade agreements in recent years conflicts with and threatens the process of multilateral trade liberalisation, which has been taking place…