International trade and the rapidly proliferating network of trade agreements have aroused passions for decades. While some blame trade agreements for exporting jobs, sowing poverty, furthering illegal migration, and robbing national sovereignty, others praise them as lynchpins of growth, pillars of peace, guarantors of security, and engines of globalization. Still others view them as useful instruments for fostering global trade and investment. This book examineswhether trade agreements merit the blame levelled against them or the hopes pinned on them. It employs extensive new historical data on trade agreements to examine the features of the ongoing trade agreement wave; analyzes the future implications of trade agreements in the context of the multilateraltrading system, world trade, and international politics; and puts forth novel policy proposals to make trade agreements a more constructive force in the global economy.