In the first two decades of the agreement, regional trade increased from about $290 billion in 1993 to more than $1 trillion in 2016. Critics are divided on the net impact on the U.S. economy, but some estimates amount to 15,000 a year. Environmental protection measures can prevent the destruction of natural resources and crops. Labour laws prevent poor working conditions. The World Trade Organization imposes rules on free trade agreements. A free trade agreement is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to trade between imports and exports. Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders without government tariffs, quotas, subsidies or bans. A free trade area deals with the abolition of tariffs and trade measures applied to Member States. This means that there are no common policies that apply to all members and that each country in the free trade area imposes its own tariffs and quotas. The world has achieved almost more free trade in the next round, known as the Doha Round Trade Agreement.
If successful, Doha would have reduced tariffs for all WTO members overall. Since WTO members are required to communicate their free trade agreements to the secretariat, this database is based on the official source of information on free trade agreements (called the WTO-language regional trade agreement). The database allows users to obtain information on trade agreements that are communicated to the WTO by country or theme (goods, services or goods and services). This database provides users with an up-to-date list of all existing agreements, but those that are not notified to the WTO may be lacking. In addition, reports, tables and graphs containing statistics on these agreements, including preferential tariff analysis, are presented.  The creation of free trade zones is seen as an exception to the nation`s most privileged principle (MFN) in the World Trade Organization (WTO), as the preferences that parties to a free trade area agree to each other go beyond their membership obligations.  Although GATT Article XXIV authorizes WTO members to establish free trade zones or to conclude interim agreements necessary for their establishment, there are several conditions relating to free trade zones or interim agreements leading to the creation of free trade zones. In principle, free trade at the international level is no different from trade between neighbours, cities or states.