Content of agreements The essential element of each agreement is trade in goods (including tariff reductions and other trade restrictions). They regulate trade in industrial products (SH chapters 25-97), fish and processed agricultural products. Trade in unprocessed agricultural products is generally governed by separate bilateral agricultural agreements. Free trade agreements are international treaties between two parties (countries or transnational groups) to ensure free trade. The signatories to a free trade agreement form a free trade area (for example. B Switzerland-EU). It is not a customs union, that is, the signatories of the agreement retain their own external tariffs. On the other hand, in the case of a customs union, there are only common external customs duties. Once the goods have crossed this line and reached the market, they can move freely between the different countries without any other tariffs. Examples of customs union: European Union or Swiss-Liechtenstein. Free trade agreements have reduced the price of products for Swiss consumers and broadened the supply.
At the same time, Swiss producers benefit from lower prices for half-products and raw materials. Most Swiss agreements are concluded under the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). In addition, Switzerland also has the right to negotiate free trade agreements without efTA participation, as has been the case, for example, with China, Japan and the Faroe Islands. In its 2019 trade policy agenda, the Trump administration says the U.S. “will continue to pursue new trade agreements in 2019 – and implement them more,” as part of an “ongoing upgrade to adapt U.S. trade policy to the realities of the 21st century.” Switzerland should be considered a top of the list. What we need now is a formal market opening agreement. The Trump administration should prioritize its search for a trade and investment pact with Switzerland. The fact that both economies are based on market principles should make it much easier to reach an agreement with Switzerland than with other nations already negotiating. In addition to trade in goods, the new agreements often address other aspects, including the protection of intellectual property rights, trade in services, investment, public procurement and technical regulations. These are so-called “second generation agreements.”