OTTAWA--Senior government officials have just returned from a negotiating session in Geneva to expand the reach of the World Trade Organization's services agreement into areas usually considered the exclusive prerogative of domestic policy-making. On the table are public services such as education and health care, and public interest regulations such as tobacco control and environmental...
About this Publication
Non-governmental organizations have lifted the veil of obscurity on the little-known General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). To counter the growing public opposition that has resulted, the WTO and OECD recently published two booklets trying to reassure citizens and governments about what they call GATS "scare stories."
This book critiques these official responses. Meticulous and clear, it explains the practical implications of key features of the GATS, showing how the WTO and OECD reassurances are frequently simplistic or misleading. The book demonstrates that the key concerns of critics are well-founded: the GATS does in fact threaten essential public service systems and public interest regulation.
The GATS - and the negotiations now underway to expand it - are certain to be hotly contested during the broad new round of WTO negotiations. This timely book will be an essential resource for researchers, academics, policy-makers, activists and ordinary citizens as the debate about the GATS comes to a boil.