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Multilateralising Regionalism: How Preferential Are Services Commitments in Regional Trade Agreements?

Author

Listed:
  • Sébastien Miroudot

    (OECD)

  • Jehan Sauvage

    (OECD)

  • Marie Sudreau

    (OECD)

Abstract

This report examines services schedules of commitments in 56 regional trade agreements (RTAs) where an OECD country is a party. The preferential content of RTAs is assessed through an analysis of market access and national treatment commitments at the level of the 155 sub-sectors of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) Sectoral Classification List. Partial commitments are broken down according to nine categories of non-conforming measures. The report confirms that on average RTAs in services go beyond GATS with commitments in about 72% of sub-sectors, among which 42% correspond to preferential bindings (GATS-plus commitments). In addition, the report provides an overview of rules of origin for services providers and MFN clauses in services chapters in order to see whether commitments granted might be extended to non-parties to minimise discrimination among foreign services suppliers. Despite the heterogeneity found in schedules of commitments, there is a certain degree of commonality in new and improved commitments that suggests that multilateralising RTAs is achievable. The multilateralisation of services commitments would however imply a more symmetric and systematic liberalisation than what is seen in the schedules of RTAs. In the end, this is a matter of political will and negotiations.

Suggested Citation

  • Sébastien Miroudot & Jehan Sauvage & Marie Sudreau, 2010. "Multilateralising Regionalism: How Preferential Are Services Commitments in Regional Trade Agreements?," OECD Trade Policy Papers 106, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:traaab:106-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5km362n24t8n-en
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    Citations

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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.
    2. Sébastien Miroudot & Ben Shepherd, 2014. "The Paradox of ‘Preferences’: Regional Trade Agreements and Trade Costs in Services," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(12), pages 1751-1772, December.
    3. Roy, Martin, 2011. "Services commitments in preferential trade agreements: An expanded dataset," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2011-18, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    4. United Nations ESCAP (ed.), 2011. "Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2011: Post-crisis trade and investment opportunities," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), number aptir2596.
    5. Jeongmeen Suh & Sihoon Nahm & Seung-Gyu Sim, 2016. "The Most Favored Nation Principle: Passive Constraint or Active Commitment?," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 32, pages 77-99.
    6. Bernard Hoekman, 2017. "Trade in services: Opening markets to create opportunities," WIDER Working Paper Series 031, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Adlung, Rudolf & Miroudot, Sébastien, 2012. "Poison in the wine? Tracing GATS-minus commitments in regional trade agreements," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2012-04, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    8. Sébastien Miroudot & Ben Shepherd, 2015. "Regional Trade Agreements and Trade Costs in Services," RSCAS Working Papers 2015/85, European University Institute.
    9. Sauvé, Pierre & Shingal, Anirudh, 2011. "Reflections on the Preferential Liberalization of Services Trade," Papers 146, World Trade Institute.
    10. Erik der Marel & Sébastien Miroudot, 2014. "The economics and political economy of going beyond the GATS," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 205-239, June.
    11. Alexander Daniltsev & Olga Biryukova, 2015. "Beyond the GATS: Implicit Engines in Services RTAs," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 62(3), pages 321-337, June.
    12. Nianli Zhou & John Whalley, 2014. "How Do the "GATS-Plus" and "GATS-Minus" Characteristics of Regional Service Agreements Affect Trade in Services?," NBER Working Papers 20551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Woori Lee, 2017. "Services liberalization and GVC participation: New evidence for heterogeneous effects by income level and provisions," CTEI Working Papers series 08-2017, Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute.
    14. Marchetti, Juan & Roy, Martin & Zoratto, Laura, 2012. "Is there reciprocity in preferential trade agreements on services?," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2012-16, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    15. Bernard M. Hoekman & Petros C. Mavroidis, 2013. "WTO 'à la carte' or WTO 'menu du jour'? Assessing the case for Plurilateral Agreements," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/58, European University Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    commitments; free trade agreements; GATS; market access; MFN; multilateralisation; national treatment; preferential trade agreements; regional trade agreements; RTA; rules of origin; services;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services

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