DP11151 The Purpose of Trade Agreements

Author(s): Gene M. Grossman
Publication Date: March 2016
Keyword(s): international cooperation, multilateralism, regionalism, Trade agreements, trade pacts
JEL(s): F13, F53, K33
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11151

This paper reviews the literature on governments' motivations for negotiating and joining international trade agreements. I discuss both normative explanations for trade agreements and explanations based on political-economy concerns. Most of the paper focuses on the purpose of multilateral agreements, but I do discuss briefly the reasons we might see governments forming preferential or regional trade agreements that exclude some countries.