Wto General Agreement On Trade In Services Pdf

In addition to these general commitments, the GATS contains specific commitments that are binding on Members that make such commitments in their schedules (see below). These obligations are not general obligations, but arise from the negotiation process. The two main specific obligations are market access and national treatment: however, the schedules were only a first step in the complex process of liberalizing trade in services, and many countries continue to impose restrictions and conditions on both market access and national treatment. These restrictions are set out in each country`s calendar. The continuation of the ongoing GATS services negotiations aims to remove these restrictions and conditions. In certain circumstances, the GATS allows governments of WTO Member States to restrict trade in services in areas where the Member has made specific commitments. For example, if a member government experiences (or is threatened with) serious balance-of-payments difficulties, it may apply emergency guarantees to restrict trade in services as long as these guarantees do not expire in a discriminatory, temporary and improving manner. Negotiations are under way in the GATS Rules Committee on the development of an agreed emergency response mechanism for services. While the overall objective of the GATS is to eliminate barriers to trade, Members are free to choose which sectors to “liberalize” gradually (i.e. market and privatize).

what type of procurement would apply to a particular sector; and to what extent this “liberalization” will take place over a certain period of time. Members` obligations are subject to a ratchet effect: obligations are unilateral and cannot be cancelled after their completion. The reason for this 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 (US and EU). In November 2008, Bolivia announced that it would withdraw its health care commitments. Market access (Article XVI): Each WTO Member accords to the services of another Member treatment no less favourable than that provided for in the Member`s timetable. .

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