Services rules in regional trade agreements: how diverse or creative are they compared to the multilateral rules?

Services trade represents about one- fifth of world trade as measured by the balance of payments and about one- third based on commercial presence/ establishment. Services have not escaped the recent flurry of regional trade agreements (RTAs), but as a relatively new subject in the trade negotiations arena, they have been less affected by this trend than trade in goods. As of December 2014 there were 122 RTAs with a services component that had been notified to the WTO, compared with 235 agreements with a goods component. The growing importance of RTAs in services raises questions about the rules on services in these agreements and this chapter tries to answer two somewhat provocative questions.

Related Topics: Regional trade agreements
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