Bilateral Trade


DEFINITION of 'Bilateral Trade'

The exchange of goods between two countries. Bilateral trade agreements give preference to certain countries in commercial relationships, facilitating trade and investment between the home country and the foreign country by reducing or eliminating tariffs, import quotas, export restraints and other trade barriers. Bilateral trade agreements can also help minimize trade deficits.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bilateral Trade'

In the United States, the Office of Bilateral Trade Affairs manages the country's bilateral trade agreements. Its roles include negotiating free trade agreements with new countries, supporting and improving existing trade agreements, promoting economic development abroad and more. The United States has bilateral free trade agreements with Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru and Singapore (as of 2010). Trade with these countries accounts for a large share of total U.S. exports.

  1. North American Free Trade Agreement ...

    A regulation implemented on Jan. 1, 1994, that decreased and ...
  2. Barter

    The act of trading goods and services between two or more parties ...
  3. Terms of Trade - TOT

    The value of a country's exports relative to that of its imports. ...
  4. Trade War

    A negative side effect of protectionism that occurs when Country ...
  5. General Agreement On Tariffs And ...

    A treaty created following the conclusion of World War II. The ...
  6. Wholesale Trade

    An economic indicator that measures the value in U.S. dollars ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Exploring The Current Account In The Balance Of Payments

    Learn how a country's current account balance reflects the country's economic health.
  2. Personal Finance

    What Is International Trade?

    Everyone's talking about globalization, so we explain what is it and why some oppose it.
  3. Economics

    Globalization: Progress Or Profiteering?

    Proponents of globalization argue that it helps the economies of developing nations and makes goods cheaper, while critics say that globalization reduces domestic jobs and exploits foreign workers. ...
  4. Economics

    What Is The World Trade Organization?

    The WTO sets the global rules of trade. But what exactly does it do and why do so many oppose it?
  5. Economics

    The 4 Countries That Produce the Most Food

    Learn about the four food superpowers -- China, India, the United States and Brazil -- and what sets them apart from the rest of the world.
  6. Economics

    These Will Be the World's Top Economies in 2020

    Discover the current economic forces that are anticipated to significantly shift the landscape of the world's most powerful economies over the next decade.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Colombia's GDP

    With a backdrop of armed rebels and drug cartels, the journey for the Colombian economy has been anything but easy.
  8. Investing

    How to Win More by Losing Less in Today’s Markets

    The further you fall, the harder it is to climb back up. It’s a universal truth that is painfully apparent in the investing world.
  9. Economics

    Is the U.S. Economy Ready for Liftoff?

    The Fed continues to delay normalizing rates, citing inflation concerns and “global economic and financial developments” in explaining its rationale.
  10. Economics

    Oil Is Cheaper Than Bread In Venezuela...The Country Is In Chaos

    Venezuela is floundering, and the story has more to do with just the falling price of oil.
  1. When do I need a letter of credit?

    A letter of credit, sometimes referred to as a documentary credit, acts as a promissory note from a financial institution, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. When has the United States run its largest trade deficits?

    In macroeconomics, balance of trade is one of the leading economic metrics that determines the trading relationship of a ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Which is more important to a nation's economy, the balance of trade or the balance ...

    There is no question the composition of a country's balance of payments is more important than its balance of trade. This ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between cost and freight (CFR) and cost, insurance and freight ...

    The difference between cost and freight (CFR) and cost, insurance and freight (CIF) is essentially the requirement under ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between Cost and Freight (CFR) and Free on Board (FOB)?

    The difference between cost and freight (CFR) and free on board (FOB) lies in who has responsibility for various shipping ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the ethical arguments against government subsidies to companies like Tesla?

    The ethical argument behind government subsidies is that they should be put into place to help industries that will, in turn, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  2. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  3. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  4. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  5. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  6. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!