New Dimensions in Regional Integration

Interest in regional integration has recently revived in both developed and developing countries. The United States has responded to the lack of progress in the Uruguay Round of the GATT by pursuing bilateral trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico, while the developing countries' trade liberalizations of the 1980s have prompted them to re-evaluate the potential benefits of regional integration. The tendency for the world trading system to divide into three blocs - the European Community, the Americas and East Asia - is providing their members with guaranteed access to large markets, but non-member countries will suffer from the loss of access and there is an increasing risk of trade wars. In this book, derived from a conference organized jointly by the World Bank and CEPR in April 1992, leading international experts assess the renewed attractiveness of regional integration to individual countries, the types of integration that are suitable to various circumstances, the conditions necessary to their success, and the relationship between regionalism and multilateral free trade.