Liverpool Law Review

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 225–235 | Cite as

Regional Trade Agreements and the Neo-Colonialism of the United States of America and the European Union: A Review of the Principle of Competitive Imperialism

  • Gonzalo Villalta Puig
  • Omiunu Ohiocheoya


The recent proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) in the last two decades raises questions about the paradigm shift from the multilateral trading system of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to bilateral and regional preferential trade arrangements. Even more questionable is the fact that the United States of America (USA) and the European Union (EU), among the other trading powers of the world, are leading the use of RTAs to the detriment and neglect of non-discriminatory trade liberalisation. It has been suggested that neo-colonialism may be the motivation for the use of RTAs by the USA and the EU as their international trade policy of choice within a broader competitive process for imperial domination of their preferential trading partners. This article reviews this suggestion in order to propose an alternative explanation for the RTA practice of the USA and the EU.


International trade law Bilateral and regional trade liberalisation Preferential trade agreements Imperialism and neo-colonialism Competitive imperialism United States of America/European Union 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong
  2. 2.The Liverpool Law SchoolThe University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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