Regional versus multilateral liberalization of services
Many WTO members have been engaging in efforts at the regional level to liberalize services trade even as they are negotiating under the GATS. This duplication of negotiating effort might appear misplaced, unless regional trade agreements can actually produce results going beyond those at the multilateral level and thus serve the interests of their members. This paper explores in what areas regional agreements on services have surpassed the GATS in terms of delivering on three key objectives set out by all service agreements, namely the promotion of transparency, stability, and liberalization for services trade. The paper comments on how countries may evaluate where to best direct their negotiating efforts, according to the type of service activity in question, and suggests that regional agreements can prove to be useful in supporting and pushing forward multilateral services liberalization.
Volume (Year): 1 (2002)
Issue (Month): 02 (July)
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