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Introduction and Overview

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Abstract

After 25 years of globalisation, the “crash of 2016”, due to Brexit and Trump, brought the fast spread of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to a halt, at least temporarily. Brexit ended 60 years of ever deeper and wider European integration, and the election of Trump ended 70 years of history with the USA at the front seat of the liberal world trade order. Against this background, this book takes stock of the FTAs and their globalisation, analysing world trade, trade institutions and the economic impact of FTAs in a coherent way. Combining descriptive and institutional analysis with assessments based on a new quantitative world trade model, this book provides a new world map of trade and FTAs, with numbers for all world regions and countries, combined with reason and qualitative insight. In this chapter, we introduce the trade policy context, present the underlying motivation and scientific pillars of the book, and provide a summary of later chapters.

Keywords

  • Free Trade Agreement (FTAs)
  • Transatlantic Trade And Investment Partnership (TTIP)
  • Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP)
  • General Agreement On Trade In Services (GATS)
  • Trade Policy Effects

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    FTAs can be customs unions (with a common external tariff); free trade agreements in WTO’s technical sense—with liberalisation between partners but no common trade policy viz. third countries; FTAs for trade in services; or FTAs between developing countries notified under WTOs “Enabling Clause” from 1979; see Chap. 4 for more on this.

  2. 2.

    Source: Melchior (Ed.). (2016). A typical EFTA delegation to FTA negotiations counts 30–40 persons, with delegations from counterparts counting up to about 100 (ibid.).

  3. 3.

    In the book, we leave out the institutional details of Brexit but address broader trade and trade policy issues that are relevant for Brexit (most of the book, but especially Chaps. 6, 8 and 9).

  4. 4.

    GTAP = Global Trade Analysis Project, trade model maintained at Purdue University, see https://www.gtap.agecon.purdue.edu/. The current version of the GTAP model has data for 57 sectors.

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Melchior, A. (2018). Introduction and Overview. In: Free Trade Agreements and Globalisation. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92834-0_1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92834-0_1

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

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