Trade Policy at Work

GATS Disciplines on Domestic Regulations Negotiations : Brief Analysis of Developing Country Issues

Despite recognising the right of members to regulate services domestically, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) also provides that measures relating to qualification requirements and procedures, technical standards and licensing requirements should not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade in services. On this basis, the WTO Council for Trade in Services established the Working Party on Domestic Regulations (WPDR) to develop generally applicable disciplines as appropriate for individual sectors or groups. This note briefly analyses the main issues under negotiation in the development of the above disciplines, highlighting some of the concerns faced by developing countries and mapping the way forward.