The Association of South Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established in 1967 between Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand to encourage politics and the economy, and it helps them all to maintain regional stability.  Regional trade agreements (RTAs) have multiplied over the years and are succeeding, including a significant increase in major multilateral agreements being negotiated. Non-discrimination between trading partners is one of the fundamental principles of the WTO; However, reciprocal preferential agreements between two or more partners are one of the exceptions and are allowed by the WTO subject to a number of provisions. Information on WTO-notified ATRs is available in the RTA database. A free trade agreement removes all barriers to trade among members, which means that they can freely move goods and services between them. When it comes to dealing with non-members, each member`s trade policies continue to come into force. In the 1970s and early halves, progress in the liberalization of GATT, a clear slowdown in European integration and problems of economic adjustment to rising oil prices and the rise of emerging economies diverted governments` attention from regional trade agreements. Two developments are expected to put regionalism back at the centre of international trade negotiations: the European Community`s decision in the mid-1980s to complete its market integration process by 1992, and the signing of a free trade agreement by the Canadian and U.S. governments in 1988.
Until the early 1980s, U.S. governments were not enthusiastic about preferential trade agreements; The agreement with Canada and the proposals to extend it to Mexico, which led to the signing of NAFTA in 1994 and created the world`s largest free trade area at the time, sent a clear signal that the U.S. international trade strategy had changed and would not oppose ATRs elsewhere. Online Research Documents General documents relating to regional trade agreements carry the WT/REG document code. As part of the Doha Agenda trade negotiations mandate, they use TN/RL/O (additional values needed). These links open a new window: Allow a moment for the results to appear. However, the WTO has expressed some concerns. According to Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the WTO, the dissemination of regional trade agreements (RTA) is „… is the concern of inconsistency, confusion, exponentially increasing costs for businesses, unpredictability and even injustice in trade relations.  The WTO is how typical trade agreements (called preferential or regional agreements by the WTO) are to some extent useful, but it is much more advantageous to focus on global agreements under the WTO, such as the ongoing Doha Round negotiations.