n. an agreement in which the parties exchange promises that each should do something in the future. “Susette Seller promises to sell her home to Bobby Buyer, and Buyer promises that the seller will pay $100,000.” This is different from a “unilateral contract” in which there is a promise of payment when the other party decides to do something. “I`ll pay you $1,000 if you quit smoking.” These are essentially academic differences that are only important in the rare case where one person has acted in the expectation that the other also has obligations. (See treaty, unilateral treaty) For example, if someone offers to drive you to work on Mondays and Tuesdays in exchange for your promise to render service on Wednesdays and Thursdays, a bilateral contract will bind you as soon as you have provided consideration by agreeing to these conditions. But if the same person offers to pay you $10 each day you drove them to work, a one-sided contract only binding the promiser until you`ve provided consideration by driving them to work on a given day. In other jurisdictions, courts have simply expressed a preference for the interpretation of treaties as the creation of bilateral obligations in all cases where there is no clear evidence of the intent of a unilateral treaty. [Citation required] Economic agreements such as free trade agreements (FTA) or foreign direct investment (FDI) signed by two states are a frequent example of bilateralism. Since most economic agreements are signed according to the specific characteristics of the Contracting States in order to grant themselves preferential treatment, there is no need for a generalizing principle, but a situational differentiation. Thus, bilateral agreements and obligations enable States to obtain more personalized agreements and obligations that apply only to certain Contracting States.
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