Our overall results mask a great heterogeneity of the impact of treatment between EU countries, trading partners and types of trade agreements. For example, higher-income EU countries (Belgium/Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) experienced a much stronger improvement in quality than other EU countries. For the group of low-income countries in the EU (Greece, Portugal and Spain), trade agreements have had an almost exclusive effect on price reduction and not on quality. In recent work, we examine the effects of trade agreements negotiated by the EU between 1993 and 2013 (Berlingieri et al. 2018). In this context, the EU provides an interesting case study, given that it is the largest trading bloc in the world and has been a productive negotiator of trade agreements over the past two decades. Tags: trade agreements, EU trade policy, consumers, quality, diversity We consider this estimate for a number of reasons as a lower limit for the real welfare gains of trade agreements. The impact of trade agreements on consumers is an area that has recently been somewhat neglected by research. One of the central principles of the international economy is that reducing barriers to trade increases prosperity. Trade agreements between countries reduce trade barriers for imported products and should, in theory, provide consumers with well-being gains through increased diversity, access to higher quality products and lower prices. While economists have tried to quantify the total benefits of openness (for example.
B Costinot and Rodriguez-Clare 2014), there is little evidence of genuine trade agreements, and little is known about the relative importance of the channels through which trade agreements affect well-being. Given the recent public and political opposition to new agreements (such as the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the proposed EU-US agreement), it is important to understand the impact of past trade agreements on consumers. The European Union has free trade agreements  and other agreements with a trade component with many countries around the world and negotiates with many other countries.  These results underline the importance of considering quality.