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How to include ’Mode 5’ services commitments in bilateral free trade agreements and at multilateral stage?

11-07-2018

Mode 5 refers to services which are incorporated into goods which are then traded across international borders. Unlike traditional services, Mode 5 services are not subject to the existing international trade regime under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Rather, they are subject to trade rules under the framework that governs trade in goods. As a consequence, trade in Mode 5 services is not fully liberalised, even though liberalisation would be in the best interest of international ...

Mode 5 refers to services which are incorporated into goods which are then traded across international borders. Unlike traditional services, Mode 5 services are not subject to the existing international trade regime under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Rather, they are subject to trade rules under the framework that governs trade in goods. As a consequence, trade in Mode 5 services is not fully liberalised, even though liberalisation would be in the best interest of international trade and the European Union. This report explores different avenues for including Mode 5 service commitments in multilateral trade agreements and free trade agreements, analyzing benefits and associated challenges. The broad conclusion is that while it may be possible to pursue Mode 5 options at the multilateral level, the most viable immediate strategy would consist in including such commitments in free trade agreements between the EU and its trading partners.

Awtur estern

Ms Marina FOLTEA

TiSA: Recommendations for the negotiations

26-01-2016

The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), currently under negotiation in Geneva, is a plurilateral agreement involving 50 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The aim is to liberalise trade in services among those countries, but the EU and others hope to make it part of the WTO rulebook at a later stage. The European Union is the world's largest importer and exporter of services and therefore has a vital interest in both supporting and building a sound regulatory basis for international trade ...

The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), currently under negotiation in Geneva, is a plurilateral agreement involving 50 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The aim is to liberalise trade in services among those countries, but the EU and others hope to make it part of the WTO rulebook at a later stage. The European Union is the world's largest importer and exporter of services and therefore has a vital interest in both supporting and building a sound regulatory basis for international trade in services. The European Parliament has actively followed TiSA negotiations since the start of the negotiations in spring 2013. During its February plenary session, the EP is due to vote on recommendations setting out for the Commission, as the EU negotiator, the Parliament's priorities for the remainder of the negotiations.

Comparison of the EU Service Offers for the TTIP and TiSA Negotiations

11-12-2015

A comparison of the services offers which the European Union has made for the negotiations on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) shows that, in general, both treaties follow similar approaches and points of difference are minor; both TiSA and TTIP apply a positive listing approach in regards to market access and negative listing in regards to national treatment, and the rules governing market access and national treatment do ...

A comparison of the services offers which the European Union has made for the negotiations on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) shows that, in general, both treaties follow similar approaches and points of difference are minor; both TiSA and TTIP apply a positive listing approach in regards to market access and negative listing in regards to national treatment, and the rules governing market access and national treatment do not differ between the two agreements. The most significant differences in sector-specific provisions are featured in the transport sector and educational services, while the highest harmonisation of provisions is in the energy sector and communications. Overall, the service provisions in TiSA and TTIP are very similar, although it seems that the level of trade liberalization is higher is TiSA.

Awtur estern

Christopher HARTWELL, Jan TERESIŃSKI, Bartosz RADZIKOWSKI and Karolina BEAUMONT

The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA):An end to negotiations in sight?

12-10-2015

Launched at the beginning of 2013 by a group of World Trade Organisation (WTO) members calling themselves Really Good Friends of Services, negotiations on the plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) are nearing an important juncture. The TISA agreement is the biggest free trade agreement currently under discussion when measured by the number of negotiating parties – 23 at present. It is designed to boost liberalisation of the global services sector, moving beyond the current, outdated GATS ...

Launched at the beginning of 2013 by a group of World Trade Organisation (WTO) members calling themselves Really Good Friends of Services, negotiations on the plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) are nearing an important juncture. The TISA agreement is the biggest free trade agreement currently under discussion when measured by the number of negotiating parties – 23 at present. It is designed to boost liberalisation of the global services sector, moving beyond the current, outdated GATS provisions and unlocking huge economic potential. The EU undoubtedly has important stakes in these negotiations as its economy is highly – and increasingly – dependent on the service sector. However, there remain several obstacles to the successful completion of the agreement and its effective WTO integration, with the most important of these being the inclusion of more WTO members among the signatories – and the hearts and minds of citizens.

Economic significance of trade in services: Background to negotiations on a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)

18-02-2015

Fifty-one members of the World Trade Organization (WTO): Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States, together with the European Union and its 28 Member States – have been trying to find a way to break the deadlock in the Doha Round on liberalising trade in services since March 2013. These countries together represent ...

Fifty-one members of the World Trade Organization (WTO): Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States, together with the European Union and its 28 Member States – have been trying to find a way to break the deadlock in the Doha Round on liberalising trade in services since March 2013. These countries together represent over two thirds of global trade in services. The services sector accounts for more than 70% of GDP in the EU and in other developed economies, as well as for a substantial share of GDP in emerging economies. The sector is also the largest employer in the EU and other advanced economies. Yet the proportion of services trade in total international trade lags well behind its importance in overall economic activity. Reasons for the low share of services in overall trade include lower tradability of (some) services, under-reporting of the importance of services for overall trade in the balance of payments, and barriers to trade in services. Policy-makers intervene in the services trade to enhance consumer protection, counter market failures and secure a beneficial equity position. At the same time, government-imposed barriers to trade can reduce the efficiency and range of services provided. As services are instrumental in ensuring the smooth running of the economy, and play an increasing role in facilitating international trade in goods, restrictions imposed on the services trade may lower the international competitiveness of an economy. Calculating equivalent tariffs for non-tariff measures and compiling indices on the restrictiveness of the services trade help to enable comparison of non-tariff measures across countries and serve as a reference point for governments and negotiators when considering renegotiating the framework governing international trade in services.

Financial Services in EU Trade Agreements

11-11-2014

This Policy Department A study for ECON covers rules on trade in financial services in preferential trade agreements (PTA), in view of current TTIP negotiations. The financial services sector is of strategic importance in trade policy. The EU has already obtained considerable PTA concessions, incl. new investor protection rights. Its PTAs also contain more developed disciplines on financial regulation, incl. prior comment obligations, data processing rules, prudential regulation and use of international ...

This Policy Department A study for ECON covers rules on trade in financial services in preferential trade agreements (PTA), in view of current TTIP negotiations. The financial services sector is of strategic importance in trade policy. The EU has already obtained considerable PTA concessions, incl. new investor protection rights. Its PTAs also contain more developed disciplines on financial regulation, incl. prior comment obligations, data processing rules, prudential regulation and use of international standards.

Awtur estern

Andrew LANG and Caitlin CONYERS

Trade in services: towards a plurilateral agreement

17-07-2013

Businesses across the world are increasingly interdependent, in so-called "global value chains". As the largest exporter of services in the world the EU has a strong interest in the liberalisation of services. In the light of stagnation in the Doha Round of trade talks, a separate international agreement on trade in services is seen as a way to increase efficiencies in production carried out around the globe. Some 20 countries, led by the United States, the EU and Japan, have recently begun negotiating ...

Businesses across the world are increasingly interdependent, in so-called "global value chains". As the largest exporter of services in the world the EU has a strong interest in the liberalisation of services. In the light of stagnation in the Doha Round of trade talks, a separate international agreement on trade in services is seen as a way to increase efficiencies in production carried out around the globe. Some 20 countries, led by the United States, the EU and Japan, have recently begun negotiating such an agreement on a plurilateral basis, bringing together some but not all WTO members.

Opening negotiations on a plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)

27-06-2013

With the aim of overcoming stalemate in the Doha Round, a number of WTO members, including the EU and the US, are about to launch negotiations on a plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).

With the aim of overcoming stalemate in the Doha Round, a number of WTO members, including the EU and the US, are about to launch negotiations on a plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).

The Plurilateral Agreement on Services : At the Starting Gate

11-02-2013

Faced with an impasse in World Trade Organisation's global multilateral trade talks, some 20 countries — accounting for two-thirds of the world's cross-border trade in services — began negotiating a plurilateral agreement on services in 2012 with the aim of opening domestic markets to foreign services and guaranteeing foreign and domestic companies equal treatment. Negotiations were confidential until recently, but on 15 January the US Trade Representative's office notified the US Congress of its ...

Faced with an impasse in World Trade Organisation's global multilateral trade talks, some 20 countries — accounting for two-thirds of the world's cross-border trade in services — began negotiating a plurilateral agreement on services in 2012 with the aim of opening domestic markets to foreign services and guaranteeing foreign and domestic companies equal treatment. Negotiations were confidential until recently, but on 15 January the US Trade Representative's office notified the US Congress of its intention to negotiate such an agreement. The European Commission is also expected to make its position public in the coming months by requesting an official mandate from the Council. The agreement has been calculated as offering the EU a potential EUR 15.6 billion and the USA EUR 10.4 billion. For the moment, China, India and Brazil remain outside the proposed trade agreement, and their entrance would increase the potential gain by 30 %. With this in mind, the agreement is likely to be crafted in such a way as to allow them a relatively easy accession in the near future.

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