The formation of regional trade blocs: prospects for a trilateral world order
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The world is fomiing into trade blocs. The European Community in Europe, the North American Free Trade Area in North America are the clear signs of this formation. Although it is hard to mention a concrete bloc in East Asia, there is strong potential in the region as well as many alternatives through which these countries may come together. This trend has two consequences for world trade. The first is the increasing intra-regional trade between the members. The second one is the increasing inter-regional trade among the three regions. These two consequences, automatically, leads to discrimination in trade and highlight the probable protectionist attitudes by these regions towards non-member countries. Under these circumstances, the countries that do not belong to any bloc will be at a disadvantage vis-a-vis these blocs in the coming years.