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Emerging World Trade Blocs: The North American Free Trade Area and the European Union Compared


Dr. Olga M. Lazin, UCLA


The North American Free Trade Area, is together with the European Union, one of the largest manageable trade areas in the world. For all of its successes, the European Union is more than a customs union, it is a free mobility space for all European nationalities, which makes it the template, a model for progress. BRITexit has now complicated the configuration. Britain exite referendum on June 30th, 2016 will actually make Germany a stronger, more powerful actor in the European Union.

Another TPP, or the Trans Pacific Partnershi is being signed in August, 2016 between 12 countries, Korea, India, Thailand, Phillipines, Peru, Chile, the USA, and is actually a partnership against Japan, by Obama while in office. It is part of the liberal politics in the United States.

As we are looking back, and putting the formation of the EU into perspective, let us compare for the early 1990s:

(a) the 15 countries comprised in the European Union (data for which here include three countries that were to join in January 1995),

(b) the six Eastern European countries likely to join the European Union in the long term under the Europe Agreement,(1)

(c) the EU constituencies; 27 countries to date (2011),

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