Each free trade agreement is negotiated and agreed separately by the participating countries. A country may be a member of several free trade agreements. Preferential rules of origin are applied to prevent third countries from benefiting from preferential tariffs under a free trade agreement without presenting reciprocal benefits. A turnkey example is the Generalized Preference System (GSP): a one-sided preferential program proposed by many industrialized countries (for example. B United States, Switzerland, Japan and the EU) for a number of developing and least developed countries. Preferential rules of origin are applied to prevent third countries from benefiting from preferential tariffs offered to select GSP recipient countries. Most of the reciprocal agreements covered by this instrument are free trade agreements. Free trade agreements (FTAs) remove barriers to trade between members and provide preferential access to markets on a reciprocal basis. In addition to trade in goods, free trade agreements generally cover trade in services and investment rules and remove tariff and non-tariff barriers. They may also include a number of provisions relating to customs cooperation and trade facilities, as well as harmonising standards and promoting regulatory cooperation in various areas.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, several hundred bilateral THPs have been signed. The Canada Research Chair in International Political Economy`s TREND project[6] lists approximately 700 trade agreements, the vast majority of which are bilateral. [7] These tariff preferences have led to many differences in the principle of normal trade relations, namely that members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should apply the same duty to imports from other WTO members. [1] One of the fundamental principles of trade liberalization is non-discrimination under Articles I of the GATT, II of the GATS and IV of the TRIPS agreement. This principle, Most Favoured-Nation (MFN), means that WTO members must not discriminate against their trading partners. Therefore, if a member pays a favour to one member, he must grant the same favour to others. However, as an exception to this principle, paragraphs 4 to 10 of GATT Article XXIV have been introduced. It allows for the creation of an agreement between members, whereby one member can grant more favourable trade terms to other parties to the agreement, not to other WTO members. The enabling clause, which aims to increase the participation of developing countries, was also introduced as an exception to the MFN in favour of developing countries. It allows the establishment of PTAs for preferential trade agreements between these countries. All of the above agreements are free trade agreements, but for a variety of reasons, members prefer to name them under another name. In many cases, these names reflect the broader scope of agreements: many recent free trade agreements go beyond the scope of traditional trade agreements and cover areas such as public procurement, competition, intellectual property, sustainable development, labour and the environment, etc.