• Which of the following Agreement Deals with the Trade in Service

Which of the following Agreement Deals with the Trade in Service

The GATS agreement has been criticized for its tendency to replace the authority of national legislation and the judiciary with that of a GATS Dispute Settlement Committee, which conducts consultations behind closed doors. Spokesmen for WTO member states are forced to reject such criticism because they have previously pledged to reap the perceived benefits of prevailing trade principles of competition and “liberalization.” However, the timetables were only a first step in the complex process of liberalization of trade in services, and many countries continue to impose restrictions and conditions on both market access and national treatment. These restrictions are specified in each country`s annex. The continuation of the ongoing GATS services negotiations aims to remove these restrictions and conditions. National treatment: A national treatment obligation presupposes that the Member concerned does not implement discriminatory measures in favour of domestic services or service providers. The main requirement is not to change the conditions of competition, in law or in fact, in favour of the Member`s service sector. Here, too, the extension of national treatment in a particular sector may be subject to conditions and restrictions. The GATS aims to ensure that the laws and regulations applied by WTO member governments to trade in services are transparent and fair. Its main element of market opening is the list of specific obligations that each signatory has attached to the GATS as an integral part of the agreement. In these annexes, which resulted from the Uruguay Round negotiations, the signatories indicated the extent to which they would grant full market access and national treatment in certain services sectors. Since the entry into force of the GATS, sectoral negotiations on telecommunications and financial services have taken place. During the negotiations on basic telecommunications services, Member States amended their schedules of commitments and exemptions for the most favoured countries in order to allow foreign telecommunications service providers significant market openings. The results of these negotiations were included in the Fourth Protocol to the GATS, which entered into force on 5 February 1998.

Two rounds of negotiations on financial services have taken place – the first was completed in 1995 and the second in 1997. The second round, in which Member States amended their schedules of commitments and exemptions for the most favoured countries, led to significant market openings for insurance firms, banks and investment firms. These were included in the Fifth Protocol to the GATS, which entered into force on 1 March 1999. The content of the 1997 negotiations can be found in the WTO Agreement on Commitments in Financial Services on the website of the Office for Negotiations and Compliance of Trade Agreements of the Ministry of Commerce. The interests of developing countries have inspired both the general structure of the agreement and the individual articles. In particular, the objective of facilitating the increased participation of developing countries in trade in services has been enshrined in the preamble to the Agreement and is subject to the provisions of Article IV. This Article requires, inter alia, Members to negotiate specific commitments with regard to strengthening the domestic service capacities of developing countries; improving developing countries` access to distribution channels and information networks; and liberalization of market access in areas of export interest to those countries. Members are free to adjust the level of coverage of the sector and the content of these obligations at their own discretion.

Commitments therefore tend to reflect the objectives and constraints of national policies as a whole and in the different sectors. While some members have provided less than a handful of services, others have adopted market access and national treatment disciplines in more than 120 of the approximately 160 services. Canadian activist and politician Maude Barlow argued that the CSA does not protect semi-public services funded by private entities and public authorities. He rejected a deal that “will prevent governments from reversing privatization or reducing private sector influence. Governments will only be able to maintain privatized services as they are or extend liberalization. For-profit companies have been able to pursue a national judicial system in order to circumvent national courts. [22] Most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment. (Article II) The governments of WTO Member States are required to accord most-favoured-nation treatment to services and service providers of other Member States. This means that the treatment must not be less favourable than that provided to similar services and service providers in another country.

The GATS allows countries to maintain measures inconsistent with this most-favoured-nation principle, provided that such measures are listed and in line with the GATS Annex to the exemptions provided for in Article II (most-favoured-nation clause). [Link to this annex] More than 70 signatories have benefited from exemptions. In principle, these exceptions should not apply beyond 2004. . Any company in the United States that wishes to provide a service to a consumer in (or from) another WTO member country can benefit from the disciplines established by the GATS and the market opening negotiations conducted under its auspices. Digital rights advocates also drew attention to the fact that the agreement contains provisions that would significantly weaken existing data protection rules in signatory states. In particular, the agreement would remove existing safeguards to keep confidential or personally identifiable data within national borders, or to prohibit their transfer to other countries where similar data protection laws do not apply. [15] Commitments contained in the GATS can be divided into two broad groups: general obligations that apply to all members and all services sectors, and obligations that apply only to sectors listed in a member`s schedule of commitments.

These obligations are set out in individual lists, the scope of which may vary considerably from one member to another. The relevant terms and concepts are similar, but not necessarily identical, to those used in the GATT; For example, national treatment is a general obligation in trade in goods and is not tradable as under the GATS. Canada`s GATS online point of contact allows service suppliers from developing countries to receive this information quickly and accurately. If a country has not restricted market access or national treatment for a particular service sector or type of supply, it has added “none” to the list. If it did not wish to enter into obligations to grant market access or national treatment, it joined the “untied obligation”. Domestic regulation (Article VI) Liberalization of trade in services is particularly complicated by the fact that services are regulated by governments in order to achieve various national policy objectives such as health and safety. Such regulation affects the extent to which services can be freely traded. Governments of WTO member states are required to ensure that all national laws, regulations, rules, procedures, decisions and administrative measures affecting trade in services are managed “in an adequate, objective and impartial manner”.