There are also arguments that suggest that it may be the opposite. A simple argument is that the ATR negotiations help officials develop the expertise needed to implement international trade agreements, which could be useful in future WTO negotiations. In addition, RTAs also destroy rents in some parts of the economy. If the rental landlords who lose with the RTAs were the ones that slow down multilateral discussions, then the RTAs can effectively give a boost to multilateral negotiations. As Baldwin (1994) says, liberalization (regional or multilateral) leads to greater liberalization. Regional trade agreements are multiplying and changing their nature. In 1990, 50 trade agreements were in force. In 2017, there were more than 280. In many trade agreements, negotiations today go beyond tariffs and cover several policy areas relating to trade and investment in goods and services, including rules that go beyond borders, such as competition policy, public procurement rules and intellectual property rights. ATRs, which cover tariffs and other border measures, are “flat” agreements; THE RTAs, which cover more policy areas at the border and at the back of the border, are “deep” agreements. Today, ATRs are evolving in a way that goes beyond existing multilateral rules. The areas that cover them – investment, capital and people, competition and state-owned enterprises, e-commerce, anti-corruption and intellectual property rights – are key policy issues that need to be addressed in today`s more interconnected markets.
Mega-regional initiatives are of a completely new scale and allow preferential access to Member States` markets by attempting to conclude 21st century trade agreements with deep and comprehensive market integration. Regional trade agreements refer to a treaty signed by two or more countries to promote the free movement of goods and services beyond the borders of its members. The agreement contains internal rules that Member States comply with each other. As far as third countries are concerned, there are external rules to which members comply. One of the main advantages of regional trade agreements is the removal of trade barriers. This is an advantage because it acts as a catalyst for more trade and growth, as states have easier access to foreign markets. RTAs are, by their nature, much smaller than mega-regional trade agreements and extremely extensive global trade agreements. This makes it much easier and quicker to successfully conclude a regional trade agreement because there are fewer parties involved.