External Publications External Book Chapters

Le régionalisme commercial, quelle réalité, quels dangers ? Françoise Nicolas in Annuaire français des relations internationales 2007, Bruylant, 2007

The movement of proliferation of regional trade agreements (RTAs), since the creation of the WTO, stands out from previous movements due to its dynamism, the intertwining of agreements (bilateral, regional and multilateral), the ambition displayed in these agreements, and the involvement of countries with a similar development level and countries with diverging development levels. Yet, this rise of regionalism must be put in perspective: the movement is not that dramatic (it often involves small economies and the agreements are not always correctly implemented) and it does not reflect a will to organise trade according to regional rather than multilateral rules. The main hazards of regionalism lie in the difficulty to implement RTAs and in the managing costs associated with them, especially for small economies, as well as in the confusion they may create. WTO member states must then seek to enhance consistency between multilateral and regional frameworks.