General Agreement on Trade in Services Deals in
General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a multilateral agreement that aims to liberalize global trade in services. The agreement was established in 1995 as part of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and it applies to all member countries.
GATS covers a wide range of services, including banking, insurance, telecommunications, and transportation. The agreement seeks to eliminate trade barriers and provide equal opportunities for service providers from different countries. GATS also promotes transparency and fairness in the provision of services.
One of the key features of GATS is the Most-Favored Nation (MFN) principle. This principle requires countries to treat all other member countries equally, without any discrimination or preference. This means that any benefit given to one country must be extended to all member countries.
Another important principle of GATS is the National Treatment principle. This means that foreign service providers must be treated the same way as domestic providers. This principle applies to all aspects of trade in services, including access to markets, regulation, and government support.
GATS also allows countries to make specific commitments on liberalizing trade in services. These commitments are made voluntarily and can be reviewed periodically. Countries can also negotiate and modify these commitments over time.
GATS has been a subject of debate and controversy, with some critics arguing that it puts the interests of multinational corporations over those of consumers and workers. Others argue that it promotes economic growth and creates new opportunities for service providers.
Despite the controversy, GATS remains an important agreement for promoting global trade in services. It provides a framework for countries to negotiate and establish rules for fair and transparent trade in services. As the world becomes more interconnected, GATS will continue to play a vital role in facilitating international trade in services.