Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/80065
Authors: 
Adlung, Rudolf
Mamdouh, Hamid
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
WTO Staff Working Paper ERSD-2013-08
Abstract: 
This paper deals with claims, recently raised in various circles, that structural faults in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) have prevented WTO Members from advancing services liberalization under the Agreement. The GATS is generally associated in this context with a bottom-up (positive-list) scheduling approach where the sectors on which trade commitments are undertaken are selected individually. This is claimed to be less efficient, in terms of liberalization effects, than alternative approaches under which everything is considered to be fully committed unless specifically excluded (top-down or negative listing). However, a closer look at services negotiations conducted in various settings, including the Doha-Round process, WTO accession cases and different types of regional trade agreements, suggests that such structural issues have limited, if any, impact on the results achieved. What ultimately matters are not negotiating or scheduling techniques, but the political impetus that the governments concerned are ready to generate.
Subjects: 
GATS
trade in services
liberalization commitments
JEL: 
F13
F15
F53
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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