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Prospects for Services Trade Negotiations

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Author Info

  • Schott, Jeffrey J.

    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Lee, Minsoo

    (Asian Development Bank)

  • Muir, Julia

    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Abstract

Trade and investment in services are difficult to measure, and the regulatory barriers that inhibit the free flow of services are hard to quantify. As a result, very little attention has been paid to dismantling barriers to services trade and investment. Rather, free trade negotiations tend to focus on liberalizing merchandise trade. This paper examines what has been achieved in both regional and multilateral compacts by surveying international precedents involving Asian countries in which services reforms have been included in bilateral and regional trade pacts. We then assess the prospects for services trade negotiations and explore how services trade negotiations could be pursued over the next decade through two distinct channels: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a plurilateral approach among groups of World Trade Organization countries. We find that in the case of developing Asia, free trade agreements have largely excluded services or have only committed to “lock in” current practices in a narrow subset of service sectors. This is also the case in agreements negotiated between developing countries, which have produced less substantial commitments to liberalize services than those negotiated between developing and developed countries. Multilateral negotiations on services have also underperformed, as substantive negotiations on services in the Doha Round never really got underway. To that end, we advocate a stronger effort by developing Asian countries to prioritize services negotiations in their regional arrangements, and to expand coverage of services in those pacts to a broad range of infrastructure services that are included in other free trade agreements in force or under construction in Asia and the Pacific region.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Asian Development Bank in its series ADB Economics Working Paper Series with number 319.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 30 Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbewp:0319

Note: http://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/pub/2012/economics-wp319.pdf
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References

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  1. Arunanondchai, Jutamas & Fink, Carsten, 2007. "Trade in health services in the ASEAN region," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4147, The World Bank.
  2. Peter A. Petri & Michael G. Plummer & Fan Zhai, 2012. "The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Asia-Pacific Integration: A Quantitative Assessment," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 6642.
  3. Jeffrey J. Schott, 2010. "KORUS FTA 2.0: Assessing the Changes," Policy Briefs PB10-28, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  4. Jeffrey J. Schott, 2007. "The Korea-US Free Trade Agreement: A Summary Assessment," Policy Briefs PB07-7, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  5. Jeffrey J. Schott, 2011. "What Should the United States Do about Doha?," Policy Briefs PB11-8, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  6. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Woan Foong Wong, 2010. "Figuring Out the Doha Round," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa91, November.
  7. Ben Shepherd & Gloria Pasadilla, 2012. "Services as a New Engine of Growth for ASEAN, the People’s Republic of China, and India," Trade Working Papers 23290, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  8. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & J. Bradford Jensen & Sherry Stephenson & Julia Muir & Martin Vieiro, 2012. "Framework for the International Services Agreement," Policy Briefs PB12-10, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  9. Lionel Fontagné & Amélie Guillin & Cristina Mitaritonna, 2011. "Estimations of Tariff Equivalents for the Services Sectors," Working Papers 2011-24, CEPII research center.
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Cited by:
  1. Bernard M. Hoekman & Aaditya Mattoo, 2013. "Liberalizing Trade in Services: Lessons from Regional and WTO Negotiations," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/34, European University Institute.

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