The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994) originally defined free trade agreements that were to include only trade in goods. [5] An agreement with a similar purpose, namely the improvement of trade in services, is referred to as the “economic integration agreement” in Article V of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). [6] However, in practice, the term is now commonly used [by whom?] to refer to agreements that concern not only goods, but also services and even investments. Environmental provisions have also become increasingly common in international investment agreements, such as free trade agreements. [7]104 Maliszewska M, Z. Olekseyuk and I. Osorio-Rodarte, March 2018, economic and distribution implications of a comprehensive and progressive agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the case of Vietnam. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group. A free trade agreement (FTA) or treaty is a multinational agreement under international law to create a free trade area between cooperating states. Free trade agreements, a form of trade pacts, set tariffs and tariffs on imports and exports by countries, with the aim of reducing or removing barriers to trade and thereby promoting international trade. [1] These agreements “generally focus on a chapter with preferential tariff treatment,” but they often contain “trade facilitation and regulatory clauses in areas such as investment, intellectual property, public procurement, technical standards, and health and plant health issues.” [2] Both the creation of trade and the diversion of trade have a decisive impact on the establishment of a free trade agreement. The creation of trade will result in a shift in consumption from a cost producer to a low-cost producer, which will lead to an expansion of trade. On the other hand, trade diversion will mean that trade will move from a low-cost producer outside the zone to a more expensive producer in the free trade agreement.

[16] Such offshoring will not benefit consumers under the free trade agreement, which will be deprived of the opportunity to purchase cheaper imported goods. However, economists note that trade diversion does not always harm the overall national well-being: it can even improve national well-being as a whole if the volume of misappropriated trade is low. [17] It should also be stressed that a free trade agreement is a reciprocal agreement that is authorized by Article XXIV of the GATT.