image of Introduction

In today’s open and interconnected global economy, efforts to streamline, speed up, and coordinate trade processes, as much as efforts to further liberalize trade policies, will contribute to the expansion of world trade and help countries to connect to an increasingly globalized production system. While trade agreements in the past were about “negative” integration – countries lowering tariff and non-tariff barriers – the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is about positive integration – countries working together to simplify processes, share information, and cooperate on regulatory and policy goals. The World Trade Report 2015 examines why the TFA is so important, what its economic impact is projected to be, and how the WTO is taking a number of important and novel steps to help countries to maximize its benefits.

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