The protectionist risk associated with preferential agreements is evident in bilateral trade pacts. Many bilateral negotiations, particularly among major players, are less likely to reduce the rules or facilitate third-party market access because they are organized by powerful lobbies. In many cases, prices do not fall as a result of such transactions. Despite several bilateral transatlantic agreements between the US and the EU, an American traveller to Europe would find that many retail prices in the EU are twice as high as in the US. Under international law, the relationship between China and ASEAN is the relationship between a state and an international organization. They are both subjects of international law, but their legal status is different and the conduct of certain bilateral cases requires the necessary participation of ASEAN Member States. Compared to multilateral trade agreements, bilateral trade agreements are easier to negotiate, since only two nations are parties to the agreement. Bilateral trade agreements are initiating and reaping trade benefits faster than multilateral agreements. The United States has signed bilateral trade agreements with 20 countries, including Israel, Jordan, Australia, Chile, Singapore, Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Peru, Panama and Colombia. The Dominican Republic-Central America (CAFTA-DR) is a free trade agreement between the United States and the small central American economies. It is called El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras. NAFTA replaced bilateral agreements with Canada and Mexico in 1994.
The United States renegotiated NAFTA as part of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, which came into effect in 2020. Trade between contracting and non-contracting parties to the Basel Convention is not prohibited. However, in order to strengthen the principle of non-discrimination and equal treatment, the Basel Convention calls, in accordance with Article 11 of its contracting parties, for bilateral agreements or arrangements that are no less environmentally friendly than those provided for by the Basel Convention. As a result, contracting and non-contracting parties must comply with environmental protection standards recognized as essential by the international community in controlling the cross-border movement of hazardous waste. Trade restrictions against non-contracting parties are intended not only to encourage non-parties to join the agreements, but also to achieve the non-discrimination objective. Article 11 of the Basel Convention on Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements, which complements the provisions of Article 4, prohibits cross-border transfers of waste with non-contracting parties. Article 11 authorizes such movements through the conclusions of agreements or agreements that are no less strict than the provisions of the Basel Convention. The objective of Articles 4 and 11 of the Basel Convention is therefore to establish international standards for cross-border movements of hazardous waste that must be respected by the contracting and non-contracting parties to the Basel Convention. This approach to the Basel Convention reinforces the principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination. A more complex formula can be used for several parties: CIPO does not require that the investment or loan be used to cover the export of equipment from the United States, while equipment generally imported into industrialized countries would not be covered (since export credit coverage should be available). CIPO is not limited by the OECD consensus.
Chart 4. China`s trade profile. Ti china to its partners (above) and partner in China (below) within 5 years of the effective date of each BTA.