Opening Markets for Trade in Services
Countries and Sectors in Bilateral and WTO Negotiations
Edited by Juan A. Marchetti
Edited by Martin Roy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2009
Online Publication Date:December 2011
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511812392.015
The treatment of services in preferential trade agreements provides an important point of comparison with their treatment in the multilateral trading system. Recently, several studies have examined aspects of the treatment of services in PTAs. These analyses have provided insights into a number of important questions: (a) To what extent are countries willing to make broader and deeper commitments regarding services liberalization in PTAs as compared to the GATS? (b) Why is this so? (c) What costs does the proliferation of such commitments entail? (d) Can such commitments serve as building blocks for multilateral liberalization, or are they more likely to undermine it? An important related question concerns possibilities for the eventual multilateralization of commitments on services liberalization in PTAs (Baldwin, Evenett, and Low, 2007).
To date, analysis of the treatment of services in PTAs has focused on provisions governing trade in services that are purchased by private entities. These provisions are important in their own right and provide a logical point of comparison with the treatment of services in the GATS. The focus on commercial trade in services overlooks another important component of services trade, however, namely the government procurement of services. To the extent that it is regulated by PTAs, government procurement is usually governed not by the general services provisions of such agreements, but by their provisions on the government procurement of services and goods.