Recent Preferential Trade Agreements’ Disciplines for Tackling Regulatory Divergence in Services: How far Beyond GATS?
Forthcoming in World Trade Review (2018)
39 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2018
Date Written: September 23, 2018
The paper reviews the disciplines for tackling regulatory divergence in services included in twenty three PTAs entered into by China, EU, Japan and the USA. It identifies a remarkable expansion in the number and extent of disciplines on regulatory transparency, regulatory coherence and regulatory cooperation compared with GATS which, subject to adequate implementation, will allow these agreements to deliver a degree of market integration well beyond what could be achieved simply by removing market access restrictions and discriminatory measures from the rule book. However, the paper calls for some restraint when estimating the potential impact of these disciplines, mainly because of the soft language used for phrasing some of them and the anticipated high implementation costs, particularly for countries with unsophisticated domestic legal systems.
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