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Bilateral Trade Agreements and the Feasibility of Multilateral Free Trade

In: Economic Analysis of the Rules and Regulations of the World Trade Organization

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  • Kamal Saggi
  • Halis Murat Yildiz

Abstract

We studied how the pursuit of bilateral free-trade agreements (FTAs) affects the likelihood of achieving multilateral free trade. We derive and compare the stable Nash equilibria of two games of trade liberalization: in the FTA game, each country can either form an FTA with one of its trading partners or both of them or none of them, whereas in the (restricted) No FTA game, purely bilateral FTAs are not permitted. The major result is that there exist circumstances under which the freedom to pursue (discriminatory) bilateral FTAs is necessary for achieving multilateral free trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Kamal Saggi & Halis Murat Yildiz, 2018. "Bilateral Trade Agreements and the Feasibility of Multilateral Free Trade," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Kamal Saggi (ed.), Economic Analysis of the Rules and Regulations of the World Trade Organization, chapter 8, pages 168-185, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:wschap:9789813233058_0008
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multilateral Trading System; Trade Agreements; Trade Liberalization; International Tariff Cooperation; WTO Disputes; Case Studies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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