free trade area
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Free Trade Zone
An area, especially consisting of two or more countries, in which there are few or no tariffs or other trade barriers discouraging international trade. For example, the countries in a free trade zone do not subsidize favored industries in order to make them less expensive compared to international competitors. Proponents of free trade argue that it is more economically efficient and helps consumers by promoting competition to keep prices low. Critics contend that free trade is detrimental to local jobs, especially in the developed world. For example, Canada, Mexico and the United States form a free trade zone because they are all members of NAFTA.
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free trade areasee TRADE INTEGRATION.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
free trade areaa form of TRADE INTEGRATION between a number of countries in which members eliminate all trade barriers (TARIFFS, etc.) among themselves on goods and services but each continues to operate its own particular barriers against trade with the rest of the world. The aim of a free trade area is to secure the benefits of international SPECIALIZATION and INTERNATIONAL TRADE, thereby improving members’ real living standards. The EUROPEAN FREE TRADE ASSOCIATION (EFTA) is one example of a free trade area. See GAINS FROM TRADE, NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT, MERCOSUR, ASIAN PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION, ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005