Talk:Free-trade area

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I have removed the following paragraph

The theory of comparative advantage rests on the necessary condition of "capital immobility." If financial (or labor) resources can move between countries, then the comparative advantage theory erodes, and absolute advantage dominates. Given the liberalization of capital flows under free trade agreements of the 1990s, the necessary condition of capital immobility no longer holds. As a consequence, the economic theory of comparative advantage no longer supports free trade theory.

For reasons see the Talk:Comparative advantage. Skatehorn, 6 Feb 21:21 CET

Suggested split/disambiguation[edit]

NO GOOD: free trade agreement currently directs to this article. This is extremely confusing. Free trade agreement needs a separate article (into which the exsisting list of free trade agreements should be integrated). the FTA disambiguation page also needs an entry just on Free Trade Agreement. I have no idea how to do such things, though I'd be willing to contribute to a new 'free trade agreement' article if someone else could please arrange the above. Bine maya 12:36, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

quite right!


Do you mean that Cumulation is between "Free Trade Area"'s of between the countries of an FTA? --bodben 08:25, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Both. There is bilateral, diagonal, full, regional, etc. types of cumulation. I think that they apply to countries, but in some cases they apply to groups, like EEA.Alinor 18:23, 11 January 2006 (UTC)


I advocate a merger between free trade area and free trade zone given the identical coverage of both articles. The direction of the merge is purely arbitrary, and can be settled on through a poll if requested for. Ariedartin JECJY Talk 04:27, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Oppose FTZs are special places in some countries, where their regular trade/industry laws are not fully aplicable, with the aim of ensuring better conditions for investors. FTAs are agreements between two or more states about abolishment of the tariffs on imports between them - with the aim of increasing the trade turn-over. Thus FTA is totaly different thing from FTZ. Of course because the terms are regulary used in the wrong place - both articles should have links to one-another. Alinor 18:50, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose A free trade zone is a special administrative area with-in a country. A free trade area is a special agreement between countries. they are different ideas.
  • Oppose Agree to the above, Free Trade Zones and Free Trade Area are two very different concept and should be kept that way.
  • Oppose Agree to the above. FTAs necessarily involve multiple countries (A,B,C for the sake of argument); they deliver incentives to trade between members of the 'area' whether these firms are located in Country A, Country B, or Country C. FTZs generally exist in a single country (though often at a border) and deliver incentives only to those firms located inside the FTZ (provided they meet other requirements for incentives such as export share of sales, employ local citizens, etc). That is, a FTZ in Country A would allow for a company to import raw materials and intermediate goods from Country B free from import duties; however, a firm in Country B importing goods from a firm in the FTZ in Country A would still be subject to all customs duties and taxes levied in Country B.

Tariff preference area[edit]

It would be great if we had an article about Tariff preference area, with some comparisons against FTA. Marcelobbr (talk) 22:05, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

The EU is not a free trade area[edit]

As far as I know the European Union is not a free trade area, but a custioms union. Can someone change the links at the "See also". Blablame (talk) 12:17, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

To be a customs union, you have to be a free trade union. But anyways, the see also section needs to be fixed. It's basically a mess. Cheers --Patrick (talk) 02:28, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Major problem with the list from the WTO[edit]

see also here

Blindly utilising the list of FTA/CU from the WTO is not good. In many cases this "official" list is wrong. There are CUs/FTAs/etc. NOT NOTIFIED to the WTO (in breach of the rules, or just because the participants are not WTO members - for example Russia). In other cases some agreement is reported as "in force", but in practice it is not implemented. I think that the previous arrangement was better - the FTAs/CUs were listed in a single location (eg. FTA-only on the FTA list, CU+FTA on the CU list, etc.), only "proper" agreements were listed (some non-functional, etc. were ALSO mentioned in a different category, some "wishfull/to do" agreements were listed as "future/in negotiations"). Some current examples for wrong entries (but maybe there are other MISSING):

  • Latin American Integration Association (ALADI)
  • South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (SPARTECA)

Maybe even on the WTO list these are PTAs and not FTAs.... Alinor (talk) 15:13, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

If something is not listed in WTO docs, it should be added, but referenced by the original agreement. Do not underestimate the "sleeping" agreements: APTA has recently been ressurected, ALADI is considered one of the base documents for SAU. See also here. Emilfaro (talk) 14:05, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I checked at the WTO and it seems that I was right - APTA is not a FTA, but a PTA [1]; same for ALADI [2] and SPARTECA [3].
This only confirms my argument that we should not blindly copy from the WTO list - it is inaccurate: depends on states notifying the agreements/changes to signatories (and this is not aways done); sometimes considers "in force" agreements that are signed, but not yet ratified/implemented (or gives no note when some particular signatories have not ratified/withdrawn); uses different classification and thus mixes up customs union, single market, economic and monetary union. So, WTO list could only be a starting point. Alinor (talk) 11:01, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Another problem with the WTO list is that it classifies agreements according to the treaty text submitted to the WTO, but in many cases actual implementation of some provisions does not follow or is postponed indefinitely (even after ratification). Alinor (talk) 17:44, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I sorted most of the organizations to the applicable lists (Economic union, Customs and monetary union, Economic and monetary union, etc.) - eg. listing each only once, at the "highest" level, as the lower levels have a note about what higher levels contain the respective arrangement (eg. on single-market-list is written that EMUs also have single markets). Alinor (talk) 15:13, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that the content from Free trade agreement be merged into this article. It is only a few sentences, mostly about statistics that can go into some of these lists anyway: List of free trade areas, List of bilateral free trade agreements, List of free trade agreements (whether we need three or less lists is another topic). Initially the FTAgreement was redirect Free Trade, then to FTArea, then the current stub appeared. Its topic is deeply connected (if not the same) as the topic of this article and as it does not contain much content - it is most appropriate to be merged and redirected here (or alternatively to rename FTArea to FTAgreement). Alinor (talk) 09:57, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Overhaul done. For further change proposal see here. Alinor (talk) 20:08, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Biased, does Not meet Wiki standards.[edit]

So called "free" trade agreements and so forth are highly controversial, both in the US and world wide. Not a hint of that here, --as if the magical "free lunch" exists. Please see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead section):
"It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies." ...consideration should be given to creating interest in reading more...
-- (talk) 21:54, 9 May 2014 (UTC) Doug Bashford

The controversy is covered in Free trade#Opposition. Loraof (talk) 20:10, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Dr Hufbauer's comment on this article[edit]

Dr Hufbauer has reviewed this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:

1. This is a good start.

2. The article should mention the extensive work, using gravity and computable general equilibrium (CGE) models, to estimate trade created and diverted by FTAs, and their economic payoff (national income gains). 3. The article should also mention the inspiration to foreign direct investment that is associated with FTAs. 4. Modern FTAs cover many subjects besides tariffs and quotas -- for example, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards, investor-state dispute settlement, intellectual property rules, labor and environmental standards. These deserve mention.

We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.

Dr Hufbauer has published scholarly research which seems to be relevant to this Wikipedia article:

  • Reference : Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Yee Wong, 2005. "Prospects for Regional Free Trade in Asia," Working Paper Series WP05-12, Peterson Institute for International Economics.

ExpertIdeas (talk) 17:34, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 3 September 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved all as uncontroversial, and per precedent at Talk:Free-trade zone No such user (talk) 08:58, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

– Invert redirection towards the correct spelling (see Encyclopædia Britannica and Talk:Free trade zone#Requested move 28 August 2016). Truth Inepter (talk) 18:09, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


The categories also should be corrected in the same way (such as Category:Free trade agreements, Category:Free trade agreements of Australia etc.). See the discussion on Talk:Free-trade zone#Categories? (talk) 18:15, 21 October 2016 (UTC).

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