For example, a nation could allow free trade with another nation, with exceptions that prohibit the importation of certain drugs not authorized by its regulators, animals that have not been vaccinated, or processed foods that do not meet their standards. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994) originally defined free trade agreements that were to include only trade in goods.  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).  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. 104 The central point is that even in a world without tariffs and other direct trade barriers, trade costs would be influenced by a series of regulatory measures. A tariff can make it more difficult to sell a product in a given market because it increases the price; A health standard or performance requirement, with complex technical requirements that involve high compliance costs, can make selling impossible. 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.  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.  So what can we think of in this context when we talk about “free trade”? And given that after Brexit, the UK has positioned itself as a “free trade advocate,” what does this mean in practice for UK trade policy? Unlike a customs union, parties to a free trade agreement do not hold common external tariffs, i.e. different tariffs, or other policies concerning non-members. This function allows non-parties to free themselves as part of a free trade agreement by entering the market with the lowest external tariffs. Such a risk requires the introduction of rules for determining which products originate may be preferred under a free trade agreement, which is not necessary for the establishment of a customs union.  In principle, there is a minimum processing time leading to a “substantial processing” of the products, so they can be considered original products.
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