A historical perspective on regionalism

This chapter explores the development of regionalism from a historical perspective, with a view to understanding how the world ended up with some 350 regional trade agreements (RTAs) (so far) of varying degrees of coverage, complexity and efficacy. Understanding the history of regionalism may shed light on how to multilateralize it; and an understanding of the factors that led nations to conclude trade agreements outside the multilateral trading system may help to identify some lessons for dealing with the increasing proliferation of RTAs.

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