General Agreement On Trade In Services Notes

i. Most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment is the cornerstone of the GATS, which aims to provide equal opportunities for service providers from all WTO members. However, there was a temporary exception to respect, for a period of ten years, the preferential agreements already signed by the Member States with trading partners. ii. The GATS binds market access and domestic treatment obligations to all WTO Members. According to the WTO, “obligations are virtually guaranteed conditions for foreign exporters and importers of services and investors in the sectors to do business.” It is important that public services are not subject to the GATS obligation, as they are not used for commercial purposes. There is nothing in the GATS that obliges governments to privatize services and industries. In fact, the word privatization does not even appear in the GATS. Nor are state or even private monopolies imposed. The provision of many services often involves the simultaneous physical presence of the producer and the consumer. There are therefore many cases where, in order to be economically viable, commercial obligations must extend to the cross-border movements of the consumer, the establishment of a commercial presence on a market or the temporary movement of the service provider.

Some activist groups believe that the GATS undermines the ability and authority of governments to regulate commercial activities within their own borders, with the effect of stealing power from commercial interests before the interests of citizens. In 2003, the GATSwatch network published a critical opinion supported by more than 500 organisations in 60 countries. [1] At the same time, countries are not required to conclude international agreements such as the GATS. For countries that like to attract trade and investment, the GATS adds a degree of transparency and legal predictability. Legal barriers to trade in services may have legitimate political reasons, but they can also be an effective instrument of large-scale corruption. [2] The GATS is essentially a step towards trade in services achieved during the Uruguay Round. As part of this liberalization, the liberalization of trade in services is at the entry-level level. As a multilateral regime for the application of rules and trade liberalization, the GATS needs to be expanded through further discussions. Services provided by governments are excluded from the GATS. These are services that are not provided in a market economy (e.g.B. Social security systems, health education, etc.). In addition, air services are also exempt from the coverage of traffic rights.

The GATS divides services liberalization obligations into two general commitments and specific obligations. With regard to trade in these services, the GATS provides for the following obligations and disciplines: the initiative to include services in the Uruguay Round came from OECD countries. The growing importance of trade in services in global economic relations has highlighted the need for a rules-based framework, which would involve in particular the most advanced non-OECD members. Once this objective has been achieved, this document will provide a detailed description of the new global rules on trade in services. The GATS agreement has been criticized for tending to replace the authority of national law and justice with that of a GATS dispute settlement body that conducts concluded hearings. Spokesmen for WTO member states and the government have an obligation to reject such criticism because they have committed themselves beforehand to the perceived benefits of the dominant trade principles of competition and “liberalization”. . . .

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