NAFTA and the Single European Act

  • Kenneth M. Holland


On 1 January 1993, Europe achieved an unprecedented level of economic integration as the last tariff barriers fell among the twelve members of the EC. On 17 December 1992, an agreement creating an even larger free trade area called the North America Free Trade Area, embracing Canada, the USA and Mexico, was signed by the three nations. As beneficiaries of the multilateral trading system operating under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the nations of East Asia and the Pacific naturally view these developments with alarm. They fear that regional trading blocs are motivated by protectionist sentiment, that they may become an alternative to global free trade, and that their effects are essentially trade-diverting instead of trade-creating. Although countries outside the two blocs have some reason to be concerned, their anxieties are disproportionate to the real danger. This chapter presents an overview and assessment of the SEA and NAFTA in order to lay the foundations for subsequent chapters which explore the impact of these agreements on specific nations and regions of the global community. This overview should provide the analytical context within which to analyse crucial issues created by the emergence of trade blocs. In particular, this volume is concerned with the question of whether the efforts to integrate the economies of Western Europe and North America in fact enhance the openness of the international trade regime, increase the total volume of world trade and complement the Uruguay Round of the GATT negotiations completed in 1993. Later chapters will focus especially on whether the emergence of trade blocs works to the benefit of Japan, Australia and the NICs of the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and ASEAN which are, as a group, the most important and most rapidly growing trading states that are not members of these two trade blocs.


European Union Foreign Direct Investment Free Trade Free Trade Agreement North American Free Trade Agreement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth M. Holland

There are no affiliations available

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