The GATS and Temporary Migration Policy
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW AND NATIONAL AUTONOMY, pp. 193-215, M. Lewis & S. Frankel, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2010
23 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 4, 2010
This chapter addresses the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in relation to temporary migration policy. It is argued that Mode 4 of the GATS remains essentially subject to strict domestic regulations and limitations. Yet, many countries accept the importance of temporary migration as a necessary element to become more competitive in a knowledge-based society. In the European Union (EU), for example, a new global approach is needed so that migration strikes the right balance amidst the risk of labor market shortages, economic impacts, negative social consequences, integration policies, and external policy objectives. Moreover, the changing demands of an ageing society and a labor market in constant evolution have challenged established assumptions about migration from outside the EU. Therefore, it is argued that the EU needs more temporary migration from an economic point of view.
The movement of people has increased markedly in recent decades, with international migration doubling since 1975. However, migration patterns today are very different from those in previous cycles of globalization. Temporary migration, which is often work-related, has increased across the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development over the past two decades, and migration of highly-skilled people has also become much more common. As competitiveness is increasingly shaped by a country’s ability to attract and retain a skilled workforce, competition among countries for highly-skilled workers is likely to continue to increase.
Keywords: GATS, Mode 4, Temporary Migration Policy, Domestic Regulation, Knowledge-Based Society, Highly-Skilled Workers
JEL Classification: F13, F15, F22, J21, J23, J24, J44, J61, J62, K33
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