Trade Blocs

Aleid Brouwer*, Tristan Kohl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Trade blocs are generally formed when two or more countries pursue policies of tariff reductions that are designed to increase trade between the participating countries. Most trade blocs are formed between neighboring countries; there is a positive relationship that exists between trade blocs and geographical proximity, but also other factors, such as common language, common culture, and common history, play an important role. Contemporary trade arrangements have a complex geography of economic and noneconomic exchanges that involve both nearby and distant partners, as well as formal and informal linkages. This article describes various spatial permutations of trade interactions highlighting in particular the forces that drive the geographies of trade.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
EditorsAudrey Kobayashi
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780081022962
ISBN (Print)9780081022955
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Absolute and relative distance
  • Bilateralism
  • Clusters
  • Culture
  • International trade
  • Multilateralism
  • Proximities
  • Regionalism
  • Trade agreement
  • Trade blocs
  • Value chain

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