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Free Trade Agreements versus Customs Unions

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  • Anne O. Krueger

Abstract

Until NAFTA, analyses of preferential trading arrangements began by assuming a customs union with a common external tariff, and the differences between customs unions and free trade agreements (FTAs) have been little analyzed. This paper points to some of the differences between FTAs and customs unions, and shows that on welfare grounds a customs union is always Pareto-superior to an FTA. Moreover, the political economy of FTAs will lead to more opposition to further multilateral trade liberalization than will customs unions.

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  • Anne O. Krueger, 1995. "Free Trade Agreements versus Customs Unions," NBER Working Papers 5084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5084
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    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1993. "Emerging Currency Blocs," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233209, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    2. Kala Krishna & Anne Krueger, 1995. "Implementing Free Trade Areas: Rules of Origin and Hidden Protection," NBER Working Papers 4983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. International Monetary Fund, 1992. "Regional Trade Arrangements," IMF Occasional Papers 93, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    5. Deepak Lal, 1993. "Trade Blocs and Multilateral Free Trade," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 349-358, September.
    6. Corden, W.M., 1984. "The normative theory of international trade," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 63-130 Elsevier.
    7. Levy, Philip I, 1997. "A Political-Economic Analysis of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 506-519, September.
    8. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
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