General Agreement On Trade In Services Notes

No no. The results of the sectoral negotiations are specific new commitments and/or exemptions for the sector concerned. They are therefore not legally independent of other sectoral obligations and are not different agreements from the GATS. New obligations and exemptions from the MFN were included in existing lists and exception lists in separate GATS protocols. The provision of many services often requires the simultaneous physical presence of the producer and the consumer. There are therefore many cases where, in order to be commercially reasonable, trade obligations must extend to cross-border consumer movements, the establishment of a commercial presence in a market or the temporary free movement of the service provider. The presentation of this report is organized as follows: Section II deals with general principles and obligations, including dispute resolution and institutional rules. Section III analyses, sector by sector, the specific sectoral provisions contained in the annexes, decisions, declarations and understanding. Sections IV and V contain some brief comments on the timing of commitments or the MFN exemption lists.

While the concept of progressive liberalisation is one of the fundamental principles of the GATS, Article XIX provides that liberalisation takes place in accordance with national political objectives and the level of development of members, both in the various sectors and in the various sectors. Developing countries will thus have flexibility to open fewer sectors, liberalize fewer types of transactions and gradually expand market access depending on their development situation. Other provisions ensure that developing countries have greater flexibility in implementing the policy of economic integration, maintaining constraints on the reasons for the balance of payments and determining access and use of their telecommunications networks and services. In addition, developing countries are entitled to technical assistance from the WTO secretariat. The GATS, like all other Uruguay Round agreements, is an annex to the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement. It therefore does not have its own signing and ratification process, but will come into force at the same time as the WTO agreement and all other annexes. There is no opt-out of the GATS: those who want to take advantage of the other elements of the Uruguay cycle must also respect the GATS. While services currently account for more than two-thirds of world output and employment, they account for no more than 25% of total trade, as measured by the balance of payments.