Trade agreements can be unilateral, bilateral, or multilateral.

In unilateral trade agreements, a country lowers its trade restrictions to help generate more trade with others. A bilateral trade agreement is made between two countries who both agree to lower their trade restrictions for each other. A multilateral trade agreement involves three or more countries agreeing to reduce their trade restrictions among themselves.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is responsible for four international trade agreements: the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights agreement (TRIPS), the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the Trade-Related Investment Agreement (TRIMS).

RTAs are Regional Trade Agreements between two or more countries. They formalize the rules of trade for all participants. Examples include the European Union (EU), the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Singapore could be considered the country with the freest trade in the world. The economy is open and imports do not attract tariffs. Additionally, there are few or no restrictions on foreign ownership of Singaporean companies.