Regional protectionism

Competitive regional economic blocs
Economic regionalism
Discriminatory formation of regional trade groupings
Discriminatory trade agreements
The world is increasing settling into the pattern of three big protectionist trading blocs: the North American, European and Japanese-Asian.
The difficulties faced by developing countries in exporting have been heightened with the formation of regional groupings among industrialized countries and the consequent removal of barriers to their intra-trade. Among the countries outside these groupings, the developing countries tend to be most vulnerable to the resultant differential tariff and non-tariff treatment, given their initial competitive disadvantages. As a result of the formation of such groupings and other preferential arrangements, almost two-fifths of the intra-trade in manufactured and semi-manufactured products among the developed market economy countries are already on a preferential basis. With the enlargement of the EEC/EU, the share of preferential intra-trade among developed market economy countries is even greater. In addition, trade in industrial products between EEC/EU member states and other European developed market economy countries is increasingly on a preferential basis.
Multilateral trade produces a higher standard of living than is possible under competitive regional blocs.
(C) Cross-sectoral problems