In Victoria 3 are trade agreement and custom unions two way how to use “diplomacy” for optimization of your markets. Trade agreements eliminates tariffs and maintenance costs of your trading routes but custom unions could be more interesting for you. Let’s take look on this possible play which you should use to increase your economy.
Custom union versus Trade agreement
Custom unions merge markets to one bigger and every country could have profits from lower prices and also you could have problems when there will be shortage. But if there will be problems then there will be also more economics which optimize prices that should be much better for you.
On other side there is trade agreement in which you don’t merge markets to bigger once. Main purpose of trade agreement is to reduce costs of trade routes and also tariffs. If you are focused on earnings from trade with another country isn’t good accepting this agreements.
Parameters of custom union
Custom union works in two directions. If you are main country and you invite other to your custom union then you increase your market to another country. Or if someone invite you to his union then you will join his union and in your country will be market of others.
This union means that you will have one big market in which are merged to one. So there will change demand and supply of goods. This should mean that if you have big prices of wood and other country has less then you’ll meet somewhere “across the way” and price will decrease.
🔹 Small country use-cases:
If you play as small country with not enough possibilities then you could join another bigger custom union to get access to new goods or to optimize lower prices of your goods.
🔴 Powerful country use-cases:
If you play as power and large country then is essential to expand your market to another countries which should be way how to optimize prices when you connect specialized economies. Also you could export more goods and get more money on tariffs.
If you play as powerful countries then you need to focus to increase the size of your custom union so that you have more goods at better prices to gain an advantage over other countries.
Diplomacy parameters of forming custom unions
If you need to form custom union you must be good diplomat and manager because without good relations and economy strength you will be limited. Main parameters which you should affects are:
- comparison of GDP (larger GDP then other is better for you)
- is good to have trade routers between markets
- is good to have positive attitude
- is good to have positive relations
Also you could get obligation which adds +50 “acceptance score” and for form or invite other countries to your custom unions you need have positive acceptance. Also you could invite countries which are in other custom unions but you must have higher acceptance score than they have now.
Good strategy how to increase your custom unions is to bankroll other countries and also works on better relations. This increase acceptance score and you still could have -25 acceptance score but with using obligation you will be in positive.
Different standard of living in custom unions
In custom unions also works great on migrations principles. If you have sightly higher standards of living then other countries which are in your union then people from other countries will migrate to your country so is good to focus on increasing standard of livings.
Yes you both have same prices of goods but you could use decrees which will encouraging migration or you could have lover taxes for your pops which should be interesting for people living in other countries.
Problems after joining custom unions
When you are joining or expand custom union you could have fluctuation in your goods prices. So after joining to custom union is good to check how was your prices changed and you must react on this changes of price with changing production methods or building more factories. Good for you could be that after joining custom union there will be more countries to optimization prices and AI could helps but it’s not gonna be self-sustaining, so be really careful.
Problems after leaving custom unions
On other side if you want to leave custom union is good to check that you have enough production of critical goods for your country. Because by leaving custom union you could also have fluctuation on prices.
To identify if you potentially have problems with leaving custom union is check how productive are other countries and which you could missing after your leaving. This you could find in Goods view > Members and after that you must focus on important areas with largest GDP.
Also leaving custom union could harm relations with the country you leave in the union. So it makes sense to start working on improving relations after you leave to prevent problems.