Economic agreements, such as free trade agreements (FTA) or foreign direct investment (FDI), signed by two states, are a common example of bilateralism. Since most economic agreements are signed according to the specifics of the States Parties, in order to give each other preferential treatment, it is not necessary to adopt a general principle, but a differentiation of situations. Thus, the bilateral will allows States to benefit from more personalized agreements and obligations that apply only to certain States Parties. However, states will face a compromise because they are more expensive than the multilateral transaction cost strategy. As part of a bilateral strategy, a new treaty must be negotiated for each participant. It therefore tends to be preferred when transaction costs are low and the surplus of members, which corresponds to the « production surplus » in economic terms, is high. Moreover, this will be effective if an influential state wants to control small states from the point of view of liberalism, because the establishment of a number of bilateral agreements with small states can increase the influence of a state.  Multilateral trade agreements are trade agreements between three or more nations. The agreements reduce tariffs and facilitate the import and export of companies. Because they belong to many countries, they are difficult to negotiate. In recent years, bilateral cooperation between Portugal and these countries has taken place within the framework of indicative cooperation programmes and, since 2015, within the framework of strategic cooperation programmes, which define cooperation between Portugal and each of the other countries, as well as the parameters of Portugal`s contribution to the economic and social development of the partner country. The first WTO project was the Doha Round of Trade Agreements in 2001.
It was a multilateral trade agreement among all WTO members. Developing countries would allow imports of financial services, particularly banks. This should modernize their markets. In return, developed countries would reduce agricultural subsidies. This would stimulate the growth of developing countries, which are good at food production. This broad scope makes them more robust than other types of trade agreements as soon as all parties sign. Bilateral agreements are easier to negotiate, but only between two countries. In general, the content of these agreements requires, in some cases, additional regulation defining specific measures of cooperation and assistance. A bilateral agreement, also known as clearing trading, refers to an agreement between parties or states to close trade deficits. It includes all payments and revenues from businesses, individuals and government. to a minimum. It depends on the nature of the agreement, the scope and the countries participating in the agreement.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership would have been larger than NAFTA. Negotiations ended on 4 October 2015. After becoming president, Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement. He promised to replace them with bilateral agreements. The TPP was located between the United States and eleven other countries bordering the Pacific Ocean. It would have abolished tariffs and standardised trade practices. There has been a long debate about the virtues of bilateralism in relation to multilateralism. The first rejection of bilateralism occurred after the First World War, when many politicians concluded that the complex pre-war system of bilateral treaties had made war inevitable.
This led to the creation of the League of Multilateral Nations (which had failed after 26 years). The Uruguay cycle began in September 1986 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The focus has been on extending trade agreements to several new areas. These include services and intellectual property. It has also improved the agricultural and textile trade.