Trade agreements are generally unilateral, bilateral or multilateral. Both the creation of trade and the diversion of trade have a decisive impact on the establishment of a free trade agreement. The creation of trade will result in a shift in consumption from a cost producer to a low-cost producer, which will lead to an expansion of trade. On the other hand, trade diversion will mean that trade will move from a low-cost producer outside the zone to a more expensive producer in the free trade agreement. [16] Such offshoring will not benefit consumers under the free trade agreement, which will be deprived of the opportunity to purchase cheaper imported goods. However, economists note that trade diversion does not always harm the overall national well-being: it can even improve national well-being as a whole if the volume of misappropriated trade is low. [17] Free trade agreements may again undermine the importance of maintaining and implementing competition law, transparency and due process with respect to competition policy cooperation and consultation/notification provisions, particularly where anti-competitive behaviour may have affected trade and investment between countries. For example, New Zealand often attempts to introduce rules to restrict and discipline certain categories of subsidies that are of particular importance, including those that harm our export markets or harm the environment, such as fossil fuel subsidies or unsustainable fishing practices. Since WTO members are required to communicate their free trade agreements to the secretariat, this database is based on the official source of information on free trade agreements (called the WTO-language regional trade agreement). The database allows users to obtain information on trade agreements that are communicated to the WTO by country or theme (goods, services or goods and services). This database provides users with an up-to-date list of all existing agreements, but those that are not notified to the WTO may be lacking. In addition, reports, tables and graphs containing statistics on these agreements, including preferential tariff analysis, are presented.

[26] It should also be stressed that a free trade agreement is a reciprocal agreement that is authorized by Article XXIV of the GATT. Autonomous trade agreements for developing and least developed countries are permitted by the 1979 decision by the signatories of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) (“empowerment clause”) on differentiated and more favourable treatment, reciprocity and increased participation of developing countries. It forms the legal basis for the WTO`s Generalized Preference System (GSP). [13] Free trade agreements and preferential trade agreements (as mentioned by the WTO) are considered an exception to the MFN principle. [14] Few issues divide economists and the scope of public opinion as much as free trade.