Trade pacts are often politically controversial because they can change economic practices and deepen interdependence with trading partners. Improving efficiency through “free trade” is a common goal. Most governments support other trade agreements. Global trade has grown rapidly in recent decades. This has been largely due to changes in production and increased competition in international trade. Another important factor contributing to trade growth has been the regular opening of successful multilateral trade negotiations. These discussions within the World Trade Organization (WTO) have significantly reduced tariffs on goods that cross national borders. Today, as the role of traditional trade barriers has gradually narrowed, trade policy has focused on the remaining non-tariff barriers, including trade facilitation. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); in Spanish: Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, TLCAN; In French: North American Free Trade Agreement, ALNA) is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the United States, which creates a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994 and replaced the 1988 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
THE NAFTA trade bloc is one of the largest trading blocs in the world, after gross domestic product. In December 2013, the WTO`s largest agreement, known as the Bali Package, was signed.  The WTO dispute settlement system “is the result of changes in rules, procedures and practices that developed over nearly half a century under the 1947 GATT.”  In 1994, WTO members agreed to the Agreement on Dispute Settlement Rules and Procedures (DSU), attached to the final act signed in Marrakech in 1994.  Dispute settlement is seen by the WTO as a central pillar of the multilateral trading system and a “unique contribution to the stability of the global economy.”  WTO members agreed that if they believe their colleagues are breaking trade rules, they will use the multilateral system to settle disputes instead of acting unilaterally.  A country wishing to join the WTO submits a request to the General Council and must describe all aspects of its trade and economic policy that affect WTO agreements.  The application is submitted to the WTO as part of a memorandum reviewed by a working group open to all interested WTO members.  In June 2012[update], the future of the Doha Round remained uncertain: the work programme lists 21 themes for which the initial deadline of 1 January 2005 was not met and the cycle remains incomplete.  The conflict between free trade in industrial products and services, but the maintenance of protectionism in agricultural subsidies to domestic agricultural sectors (demanded by industrialized countries) and the justification for fair trade in agricultural products (demanded by developing countries) remain the main obstacles. This impasse has made it impossible to organise new WTO negotiations beyond the Doha Development Round.
As a result, bilateral free trade agreements between governments are multiplying. [update] from July 2012, several negotiating groups were set up in the WTO system for the current stalemate in agricultural trade negotiations.  A trade agreement (also known as a trade pact) is a large-scale tax, customs and trade agreement, which often includes investment guarantees. It exists when two or more countries agree on conditions that help them trade with each other.