Links to eight plurilateral requests for services liberalisation that have been submitted in the WTO. These include: energy, environmental services, telecommunications, financial services, architectural and engineering, construction, maritime transport, and computer related services.
The United States joined the European Union, Japan, Canada and other industrialized nations yesterday in presenting requests under a new plurilateral approach in the stalled Doha Development Agenda services negotiations.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative
The United States today launched a new effort to jump start the WTO Services negotiations. Joining with like-minded developed and developing countries, the U.S. will push for a common set of liberalization objectives in services sectors key to global growth and development. Services are a significant and growing part of the U.S. economy as evidenced by the $56 billion surplus in services trade in 2005. Further, 8 of 10 U.S. jobs are in the services sector.
Today, the EU and other developed and developing country WTO partners have submitted new market access requests in several services sectors as part of the DDA negotiations in services. These joint requests mark the beginning of the 'plurilateral' negotiations in services as agreed by WTO members at last December
An agreement was reached among a number of countries to pursue common objectives in improving access to selected telecommunications markets around the globe. The markets selected reflect the interest of many countries to develop a modern telecommunications sector. There is a broad recognition that the opening up of telecommunications markets will bring significant benefits to customers. Foreign operators will bring with them - especially to developing countries - valuable technological knowledge acquired through their operations in their home markets. Enhanced competition brings down the overall cost of services and consumers enjoy higher quality, advanced services at affordable prices. The development of telecommunications markets promotes the performance of enterprises of all economic sectors as the cost of their operations will be reduced while speed in conducting business will be improved.
By Kanaga Raja, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Feb06/16)
The Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services, meeting this week for the first time since the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, has been taking up some organizational matters including on how to proceed with respect to the plurilateral process.
By Goh Chien Yen, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Feb06/17)
At a meeting on services at the WTO last week, several developing countries have stressed their understanding that participation in the plurilateral mode of negotiations would be on a voluntary and non-compulsory basis.
By Martin Khor, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Feb06/9)
Trade liberalization alone does not automatically lead to services growth and development in developing countries, and there is a need to establish necessary preconditions such as flanking policies and regulatory frameworks for liberalization to yield development-oriented results, according to a new UNCTAD paper.
By Martin Khor, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Feb06/8)
The commodities crisis continues to plague developing countries and international action, particularly by UNCTAD, has to be urgently taken to address it, according to several participants at the UNCTAD Commission on Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities which is meeting here this week.
By Martin Khor, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Feb06/5)
Developing countries put forward their positions and requests on a wide range of trade development issues at the start of this week's meeting of UNCTAD's Commission on Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities
Mark Metherell and Matt Wade, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 January
When the free trade agreement with the United States kicked in a year ago, Bill Rush saw his big chance. His company, Australian Defence Apparel, makes ceramic plates to be worn over bulletproof vests to protect troops against armour-piercing fire. The Australian-owned company has beaten German and Israeli competition to supply the British Army and London Metropolitan Police with its plates. The prospect of a $40 million-plus sale to the US Army beckoned.
International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation
The Global Union representing workers in the textile and clothing sector has released a new video drawing attention to the plight of workers in the sector following the liberalisation of trade at the start of 2005.
New Zealand is one of eight governments (US, EC, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, South Korea and Taiwan) pushing a scheme that would require all countries, rich and poor, to lock open a minimum number of their services to foreign firms