U.S Preference Programs
The U.S. government uses tools to assist developing countries in trade to enhance the trading relations of the country with the U.S., these tools are called preference programs. The trading relations are strengthened by providing the developing countries enhanced access to the U.S. market.
The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is one of the oldest and most successful preference programs initiated by the U.S. It was introduced in 1976. Preferential duty-free treatment is offered by the GSP for around 5000 products from specific beneficiary countries from all over the world.
Initiated in 2000 and allowing free-trade from beneficiary countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa is the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which is another preference program the U.S. is involved with.
Some other preference programs that the U.S. accepts include the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) Program and the Nepal Preference Program.
International Regional Trade Agreements
Regional Trading Agreements are treaties that are signed by two or more countries to allow free trade of goods and services among their regions. Rules that the countries in agreement with the treaty differ from the rules that non-member countries have to follow for trade. There are six different types of Regional Trading Agreements. These are:
- Preferential Trade Areas
- Free Trade Area
- Customs Union
- Common Market
- Economic Union
- Full Integration
Benefits of Regional Trade Agreements
Regional trading agreements offer three major benefits. These are:
- Economic Growth Boost
Through these agreements, many job opportunities have been created which has resulted in a drop in the unemployment rates, and market expansion. It has also attracted investors to invest in developing countries.
- Trade Volume
Businesses in the countries tied with the treaty enjoy benefits of trading in new markets in response to the trading conditions that were included in the agreement.
- Quality and Variety of Goods/ products
Access to new market is gained through trade agreements, which in turn makes the market more intense. The competitiveness of the market encourages businesses to produce more products of higher quality to make their name in the market. New products attract more and new consumers which is always a positive point for businesses and trade.
International Trade Agreements Database
The International Trade Agreements Database also known as the Global Preferential Trade Agreements Database (GPTAD) allows trade policy makers and business owners to understand the world of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTA) better. The database provides information on PTAs from everywhere in the world, even the agreements that have not been registered in the World Trade Organization (WTO).