The United States has another multilateral regional trade agreement: the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This agreement with Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua eliminated tariffs on more than 80% of exports of non-textile industrial goods to the United States. It should be noted that, as regards admission to the origin criteria, there is a difference in treatment between intermediate consumption of origin within and outside a free trade agreement. Normally, inputs from one part of the FTA are considered to be products originating in the other party when they are included in the manufacturing process of that other party. Sometimes the production costs incurred by one party are also considered to be those of another party. Preferential rules of origin generally provide for such a difference in treatment in the determination of cumulation or accumulation. Such a clause also explains the above-mentioned effects of a free trade agreement on the creation and reorientation of trade, given that a party to a free trade agreement has an incentive to use inputs originating in another party in order for its products to be eligible for originating status.  It is also important to note that a free trade agreement is a reciprocal agreement, which is permitted by Article XXIV of the GATT. Autonomous trade regimes for developing and least developed countries are authorized by the decision adopted in 1979 by the signatories to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) on differential and more favourable treatment, reciprocity and wider participation of developing countries (hereinafter referred to as the “enabling clause”). This is the WTO`s legal basis for the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).  Free trade agreements and preferential trade regimes (as indicated by the WTO) are considered to be most-favoured-nation derogations.  Economists have attempted to assess the extent to which free trade agreements can be considered public goods.
They address a key element of free trade agreements, namely the system of embedded courts that act as arbitrators in international trade disputes. While older trade agreements are considered “flat” because they cover fewer areas (such as tariffs and quotas), recently concluded agreements deal with a number of other areas, from services to e-commerce to data localization. Since transactions between parties to a free trade agreement are relatively less onerous than transactions with non-parties, free trade agreements are generally considered to be excluded. Now that deep trade agreements will improve regulatory harmonization and increase trade flows with non-parties, thereby reducing the applicability of the benefits of the FTA, next-generation free trade agreements retain essential features of public goods.  Once negotiated, multilateral agreements are very powerful. . . .