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Global Markets - Regional Economic Trading Blocs around the World

Updated on September 27, 2011

American Companies Exploit Overseas Job Market

In an article filed December 27, 2010 on the Huffington Post, author Pallavi Gogoi reported that large American corporations were actively hiring but not in the United States of America. Indeed while the U.S. economy lagged and the unemployment rate continued at 9.8% at the end of 2010, American corporations and entrepreneurs found demand for their products and services in overseas markets. Consequently, many top American corporations such as Caterpillar, Dupont, Coca Cola and UPS experienced profits and higher stock prices due to expanded operations around the world in emerging markets like Brazil, India, and China.

That American corporations expand operations to other regions of the world is only natural in this age of globalization. Indeed, global markets and especially emerging markets like China, India, Brazil as well as regional trading blocs like ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations); NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement); European Union; and Mercosur (the Common Market of the South) have allowed American corporations to find new opportunties that they would not otherwise have in the United States alone.

This hub introduces the reader to some of the regional economic trading blocs around the world.

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European Union

The European Union (EU) formed under the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 is the world's largest political and economic trade bloc. The EU, which traces its beginning to a six member pact called the European Economic Commission, currently has 27 members. As of 2009, the combined nominal GDP of the European Union was just under $16.5 trillion making it the second largest economic trading bloc in the global markets behind the three member NAFTA economic bloc. The 27 members include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was first signed in 1994 to establish a free economic trade bloc amongst Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America. According to an article posted on the Council on Foreign Relations website, "The central thrust of the agreement is to eliminate the vast majority of tariffs on products traded among the United States, Mexico, and Canada." As of 2008, the combined GDP of the three NAFTA members estimated at nearly $17 triliion which makes it the world's largest economic trading bloc just ahead of the European Union.

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Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was founded in 1969 as an alliance promoting both political and economic alliance. This political alliance and economic trading bloc in Southeast Asia has ten members including:

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

ASEAN is the world's third largest economic trading bloc behind the European Union and NAFTA. In 2010, trade between the ten Southeast Asian nations was expected to surpass $1.5 trillion. Moreover, ASEAN is the United States' fourth largest regional trading partner with over $200 billion in trade in 2008.

Mercosur - Common Market of the South

Founded in 1991, the purpose of Mercosur is to allow for free trade among member nations. Mercosur has four permanent member nations including Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay; and six associate members including Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. According to an article posted by the U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations, Mercosur is the world's fourth largest trading bloc after the European Union, NAFTA, and ASEAN with a collective GDP of $2.4 trillion in 2008. The total population of the four permananet members plus Venezuela was 270 million people. Venezuela's petition for full membership is still pending approval by Brazil and Paraguay.

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    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 

      6 years ago from Pune( India)

      I am an Indian, came to know importance of Trading Blocs.Globalization has opened the door for free trade,and India in 1991 opened her economy and linked with global markets.Local communities certainly benefitted by such trading blocs.Trading and technology tranfers became so easy that i can place order for product and get at my doorstep.the hurdles of rules and regulations have been removed and economies are advancing.

      Thank you Sir.

    • ecoggins profile imageAUTHOR

      ecoggins 

      6 years ago from Corona, California

      Hi Donna, Thank you for the enocuraging feedback. I am glad you found this hub helpful.

    • profile image

      Donna 

      6 years ago

      Thank you so very much for this article. There does not seem to be much information on the impacts of the trade blocs on the global economy. Your article has been extremely helpful. I thank you again.

    • Irwan Sukmawan profile image

      Irwan Sukmawan 

      7 years ago from Bandung, West Java, Indonesia

      Pretty useful Information, Thanks for sharing. :)

    • ecoggins profile imageAUTHOR

      ecoggins 

      7 years ago from Corona, California

      dusy7969, thank you for taking the time to read my hubs and to comment. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words. I hope that others will learn at least a little something from what I write. All the best to you.

    • dusy7969 profile image

      dusy7969 

      7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Hopefully the sections above have contributed to your understanding of Global Markets - Regional Economic Trading Blocs around the World. Share your new understanding about Global Markets - Regional Economic Trading Blocs around the World with others. They'll thank you for it.

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