Plurilateral agreements are a type of trade agreement that involves a small group of countries agreeing to specific trade rules and regulations. These agreements are different from multilateral agreements, which involve multiple countries agreeing to a set of trade rules and regulations.
Plurilateral agreements are often used when negotiations among many countries are too difficult due to differing interests or when the countries involved have a specific interest in a particular trade sector. For example, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a plurilateral agreement that involves 11 countries agreeing to specific trade rules and regulations in the Asia-Pacific region.
One of the key differences between plurilateral and multilateral agreements is that plurilateral agreements are not bound by the Most Favored Nation (MFN) principle, which requires countries to extend preferential treatment to all other countries in the agreement. This means that countries in a plurilateral agreement can negotiate specific trade rules and regulations without having to worry about how they will affect other countries outside the agreement.
Another key difference is that plurilateral agreements are not subject to the same level of scrutiny by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as multilateral agreements. While both types of agreements are subject to WTO rules, plurilateral agreements are not required to go through the same review and approval process as multilateral agreements.
Despite these differences, plurilateral agreements are still subject to the same principles of fairness, transparency, and non-discrimination as multilateral agreements. They must also ensure that the interests of all parties involved are taken into account, and that the agreement does not create unfair advantages or disadvantages for any particular country.
Overall, while plurilateral agreements may not be as well-known as multilateral agreements, they still play an important role in shaping global trade rules and regulations. By allowing a small group of countries to agree on specific trade issues, plurilateral agreements can help to facilitate trade and promote economic growth.