Presentation on theme: "WTO Trade in Services Professor dr. juris Ola Mestad"— Presentation transcript:
1 WTO Trade in Services Professor dr. juris Ola Mestad Centre for European Law and Scandinavian Institute of Maritime LawInternational Economic Law Course Spring 2009
2 Character of GATS The GATS is basically a framework for negotiations Much more so that the GATTAt the same time: A legal systemNegotiating rounds in the WTOIncluding servicesCurrently the Doha RoundNegotiations broke down 29 July 2008
3 Importance of Trade in Services Services approximately 68 per cent of world GDPOnly 20 per cent of global cross-border trade (Van den Bossche p 476)Why?Potential gains from liberalisation of trade in services two to four times those of liberalistion of trade in goods (Van den Bossche p 402)Is this possible to calculate?Are services more difficult to trade?Protectionism?
4 Some Main Rules of GATS Most-Favoured-Nation (Art. II) No discrimination between different foreign service providersMarket access (Art. XVI)Right to provide services to or within a countryNational treatment (Art. XVII)No discrimination between foreign and national providersDomestic regulation (Art. VI)All general national measures shall be ”administered in a reasonable, objective and impartial manner”
5 The Difficulties in Expressing Opinions on GATS Law The wording of the agreement is vague and abstract, without claryfing additional agreementsThe agreement is very new with little clarification in case lawGATT was agreed in 1947 and has much case lawThe US – Gambling case is centralServices are much more complex phenomena than goodsBut much of the language in GATS has been drawn from GATT
6 Complex Areas of Application for GATS-rules A few types of services fully excludedSome transport services de facto excludedNext level: Minimum effect: coverage only by some general rules, e.g. on transparency (Art. III), and listed exemptions from the Most-Favoured-Nation clauseNormal application: general rules and Most-Favoured-Nation treatmentStepping up: Sector and, eventually, qualified, application with respect to market access and national treatment (This can be varied in many ways)Last step: Full unconditional sector commitment
7 GATS and Different Sectors GATS covers international trade in servicesA broad services conceptTrade in services include establishment of foreign service providersGATS covers practically all types of servicesSome annexes to GATS reduce the applicability
8 Sector Based Scheduling System Each country has its own schedule where it can list market access and national treatment obligations and exceptionsThe system is taken from the GATT goods systemSee e.g. China’s list, available onE.g. 52 members have listed commitments in 11.A Maritime Transport ServicesScheduling based on 4 modes of delivery of servicesFrom one member territory to another (cross border)In one member territory to service consumer of another member (consumption abroad)Supplier of one member with commercial presence in another territoryPresence of service supplying natural person in territory of another member
9 The Four Modes of Supply, Art. I:2 2. For the purposes of this Agreement, trade in services is defined as the supply of a service:(a) from the territory of one Member into the territory of any other Member; [cross border](b) in the territory of one Member to the service consumer of any other Member; [consumption abroad](c) by a service supplier of one Member, through commercial presence in the territory of any other Member; [commercial prescence](d) by a service supplier of one Member, through presence of natural persons of a Member in the territory of any other Member. [prescence of natural persons]
10 Which Modes Are Difficult? Importance in current tradeMode 1) and 3) 40 per cent of world trade eachMode 2) 20 per centMode 4) insignificant (Van den Bossche p 338)Strongest interference with national markets and organisationMode 3 and 4?
11 The exception for some public services in GATS Art. I.3 GATS covers all international trade in services”except services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority”, ref. Art I.3.b.which means: ”any service which is supplied neither on a commercial basis nor in competition with one or more service suppliers”This is a very narrow exceptionProbably mainly not important in most cases
12 Article II: Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment 1. With respect to any measure covered by this Agreement, each Member shall accord immediately and unconditionally to services and service suppliers of any other Member treatment no less favourable than that it accords to like services and service suppliers of any other country.2. A Member may maintain a measure inconsistent with paragraph 1 provided that such a measure is listed in, and meets the conditions of, the Annex on Article II Exemptions.…
13 Some Clarifying Definitions Article XXVIII (a) “measure” means any measure by a Member, whether in the form of a law, regulation, rule, procedure, decision, administrative action, or any other form;(b) “supply of a service” includes the production, distribution, marketing, sale and delivery of a service;
14 Some Clarifying Definitions Article XXVIII Con’t (c) “measures by Members affecting trade in services” include measures in respect of(i) the purchase, payment or use of a service;(ii) the access to and use of, in connection with the supply of a service, services which are required by those Members to be offered to the public generally;(iii) the presence, including commercial presence, of persons of a Member for the supply of a service in the territory of another Member;(d) “commercial presence” means any type of business or professional establishment, including through(i) the constitution, acquisition or maintenance of a juridical person, or(ii) the creation or maintenance of a branch or a representative office,within the territory of a Member for the purpose of supplying a service;
15 Article XVI: Market Access 1. With respect to market access through the modes of supply identified in Article I, each Member shall accord services and service suppliers of any other Member treatment no less favourable than that provided for under the terms, limitations and conditions agreed and specified in its Schedule.2. In sectors where market-access commitments are undertaken, the measures which a Member shall not maintain or adopt either on the basis of a regional subdivision or on the basis of its entire territory, unless otherwise specified in its Schedule, are defined as:(a) limitations on the number of service suppliers whether in the form of numerical quotas, monopolies, exclusive service suppliers or the requirements of an economic needs test;(b) limitations on the total value of service transactions or assets in the form of numerical quotas or the requirement of an economic needs test;
16 Article XVI: Market Access con’t (c) limitations on the total number of service operations or on the total quantity of service output expressed in terms of designated numerical units in the form of quotas or the requirement of an economic needs test;(d) limitations on the total number of natural persons that may be employed in a particular service sector or that a service supplier may employ and who are necessary for, and directly related to, the supply of a specific service in the form of numerical quotas or the requirement of an economic needs test;(e) measures which restrict or require specific types of legal entity or joint venture through which a service supplier may supply a service; and(f) limitations on the participation of foreign capital in terms of maximum percentage limit on foreign shareholding or the total value of individual or aggregate foreign investment.
17 Article XVII: National Treatment 1. In the sectors inscribed in its Schedule, and subject to any conditions and qualifications set out therein, each Member shall accord to services and service suppliers of any other Member, in respect of all measures affecting the supply of services, treatment no less favourable than that it accords to its own like services and service suppliers.2. A Member may meet the requirement of paragraph 1 by according to services and service suppliers of any other Member, either formally identical treatment or formally different treatment to that it accords to its own like services and service suppliers.3. Formally identical or formally different treatment shall be considered to be less favourable if it modifies the conditions of competition in favour of services or service suppliers of the Member compared to like services or service suppliers of any other Member.
18 Preparation for Next Week Read central parts of Appellate Body report: United States – Measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling and betting services, 7 April 2005, WT/DS285/AB/RRead Markus Krajewski. “Public Services and Trade Liberalization. Mapping the Legal Framework”, 6 Journal of International Economic Law (2003) pp