General Agreement On Trade In Services Full Text

In addition, members who enter into a free trade agreement or customs union can liberalize trade in services among themselves without having to extend the agreement to other GATS members. However, their bilateral or regional agreement must have significant sectoral coverage and aim to reduce or avoid discrimination. While the overall goal of the GATS is to remove barriers to trade, members are free to decide which sectors will be progressively “liberalized” (i.e. commercialized and privatized); What type of delivery would apply to a particular sector and to what extent this “liberalisation” will take place over a fixed period of time. Members` obligations are governed by a ratchet effect: obligations are unilateral and cannot be terminated after resolution. The reason for the rule is to create a stable business climate (i.e. a market). However, Article XXI allows members to withdraw their commitments and, so far, two members have made use of this option (the United States and the EU). In November 2008, Bolivia announced that it was withdrawing its health commitments. The GATS agreement has been criticized for replacing the authority of national law and justice with that of an GATS dispute resolution body that holds closed hearings. Spokespeople for WTO government members have an obligation to reject this criticism because they had previously pledged to recognize the benefits of the dominant trade principles of competition and “liberalization. While national governments have the option of excluding certain services from liberalisation under the GATS, they are also under pressure from international trade interests not to exclude any “commercial” service. Important utilities, such as water and electricity, are most often linked to consumer purchases and are therefore clearly “commercially supplied”.

The same is true of many health and education services that some countries are supposed to “export” as profitable industries. [6] This definition defines virtually all public services as “commercial” and already covers sectors such as the police, army, prisons, justice, public administration and government. In a relatively short period of time, this could apply to the privatization or commercialization of a large part, and perhaps to all those who are now considered public services that are currently considered social requirements for the entire population of a country, structured, marketed, under-distributed to for-profit suppliers and ultimately fully privatized and are only available to those who can pay the price. This process is currently well advanced in most countries, usually (and deliberately) without properly informing the public or consulting whether this is what they want or not. Bilateral agreements between governments on recognition of qualifications must be open to other members who wish to join. In addition, each member must ensure that monopolies and exclusive service providers do not abuse their position. Similarly, members should discuss ways to eliminate business practices that may limit competition. The GATS foresees negotiations that will begin within five years in order to achieve a higher level of liberalization of trade in services. This liberalization will aim to strengthen the commitments set out in the timetables and reduce the negative effects of the measures taken by governments. In order to ensure maximum transparency, the agreement requires governments to publish all relevant laws and regulations. These measures must be implemented appropriately, objectively and impartially. The decision approves the agreement by which the WTO was created on behalf of the European Community (now the European Union -EU), including the General Agreement on Trade in Services The agreement is based on the principle of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN), whereby each Member State does not treat the enterprises of another Member State less favourably than its own or those of other countries.