The concept of free trade is the opposite of trade protectionism or economic isolationism. For example, a nation could allow free trade with another nation, with exceptions that prohibit the importation of certain drugs not authorized by its regulators, animals that have not been vaccinated, or processed foods that do not meet their standards. At the international level, there are two databases of access to free movement that have been developed by international organizations for policy makers and businesses: a free trade agreement (FTA) is an agreement between two or more countries to facilitate trade and remove trade barriers. The aim is to eliminate tariffs completely from day one or over a number of years. The creation of free trade zones is seen as an exception to the most privileged principle of the World Trade Organization (WTO), since the preferences of the parties to the exclusive granting of a free trade area go beyond their accession 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. A free trade agreement is an agreement between two or more countries in which countries agree on certain obligations that affect trade in goods and services as well as the protection of investors and intellectual property rights. For the United States, the primary objective of trade agreements is to remove barriers to U.S. exports, protect U.S. interests abroad, and improve the rule of law in partner countries or countries of the free trade agreement. 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.