GATS – Inadequacy for Complying E-Services

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (“GATS”) establishes the global rules for trade in services. The aim of drafting GATS was to set forth conditions of transparency so as to spur the progressive liberalization of worldwide trade. In spite of its efforts, the GATS rules of classifying services are inadequate and have failed to properly address emerging trends in the trade of services (including, without limitation, e-services). This has derived from the fact that there was considerable ambiguity as to the classification of e-Services, and therefore it became very difficult to determine about the market access commitments (as suggested by WTO members) for many e-Services.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What are the drawbacks associated with the application of GATS to e-services?
What measures were adopted by the WTO in promoting Trade in Services relating to e-commerce?


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