The completion of the NAFTA on the one hand, the enlargement of the EU to 15 countries on the other hand, touch on the traditional regionalism vs. multilateralism debate. On the whole, econometric estimates indicate that regions are super-natural: nations belonging to the same region are engaged in bilateral trade flows which surpass what proximity, size, and income would suggest. Nevertheless, the trade diversion effect associated with this diagnosis does not disqualify the regionalisation process, as far as dynamic effects soften it. Moreover each process of regionalisation, appears to be the very basis for a multilateral discussion on compensations as third countries feel threatened.
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