Online Research Documents General documents relating to regional trade agreements carry the WT/REG document code. As part of the Doha Agenda trade negotiations mandate, they use TN/RL/O (additional values needed). These links open a new window: Allow a moment for the results to appear. In collaboration with partners such as the WTO and the OECD, the World Bank Group provides information and support to countries wishing to sign or deepen regional trade agreements. In practical terms, the work of the WBG is as follows: why some candidates opposed to free trade agreements such as the TPP and the TTIP? And the last element is to get involved. We must also realize that there is a lot of irrationality in public discourse. The fact is that trade agreements are needed to manage interdependence more and more and can generate welfare gains. Policy makers need to exchange evidence and educate the broader public, while looking at some unfounded arguments. How important is trade in the global economy? AG: Inequality is a complex phenomenon. It is the result of several and multiple economic forces.

It is difficult to define, measure and compare at the transnational level. But it is important to distinguish two different dimensions of inequality. First, we have what we call global inequality. It is inequality between people in the world, regardless of their country of residence. Second, inequality between people within a single country. Global inequalities far exceed inequalities in each country. A recent study by the World Bank Group in Lakner and Milanovic showed that global inequalities are still very high. However, global inequality has declined significantly since the 2000s.

This is largely due to the increase in the wealth of developing countries, particularly China, but to a lesser extent by India and others. Trade is far behind the success of these developing countries. However, increased trade is needed to eradicate poverty and reduce global inequality. At the end of the day, we have to recognize, and I am talking about my experience as a former trade minister in Costa Rica, that trade agreements, especially those that are effective, are difficult to negotiate and difficult to approve in Congress. Normally, there is a great political debate surrounding these agreements, but the fact that these discussions are lively and lively is positive. This is positive because it can provide a better understanding of the content of these agreements, what needs to be done to maximize their positive impact, and also what needs to be done to address the possible unintended consequences of the agreement. Regional trade agreements are multiplying and changing their nature. In 1990, 50 trade agreements were in force. In 2017, there were more than 280. In many trade agreements, negotiations today go beyond tariffs and cover several policy areas relating to trade and investment in goods and services, including rules that go beyond borders, such as competition policy, public procurement rules and intellectual property rights. ATRs, which cover tariffs and other border measures, are “flat” agreements; THE RTAs, which cover more policy areas at the border and at the back of the border, are “deep” agreements. AG: In some (advanced) countries, there is a reaction against trade agreements and, more broadly, against globalization.

Resistance can be rooted in several reasons. Part of the opposition may relate to the content of the agreement – there are provisions in these agreements that are contentious; some may be associated with a misunderstanding about the content of the agreements.