The Difference Between Customs Union and Trade Agreements

A customs union and a trade agreement are terms often used in the field of international trade. While they both aim to promote economic cooperation between countries, there are some key differences between the two.

Firstly, a customs union is a deeper form of economic integration than a trade agreement. It involves the removal of barriers to trade, including tariffs and quotas, between member countries. Additionally, a customs union requires the establishment of a common external tariff applied to non-member countries. This means that member countries share a unified trade policy towards non-member countries.

On the other hand, a trade agreement is a less comprehensive form of cooperation. It typically focuses on reducing trade barriers but does not involve the establishment of a common external tariff or a unified trade policy towards non-member countries. Trade agreements can take many forms, such as free trade agreements or preferential trade agreements.

Another difference between customs unions and trade agreements is the level of integration they provide. Customs unions usually involve a higher level of integration, including the coordination of economic policies and the adoption of common regulations and standards. Trade agreements, on the other hand, tend to focus more on reducing trade barriers without requiring extensive policy harmonization.

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