The Preferential Liberalization of Trade in Services

The Preferential Liberalization of Trade in Services

Comparative Regionalism

Edited by Pierre Sauvé and Anirudh Shingal

The book’s core focus is on comparative scholarship, directing attention to the substantive features of services PTAs around the globe and exploring the iterative nature of rule-making and market opening in a still nascent field of trade diplomacy. It advances a number of ideas on how to multilateralize PTA advances in services and takes stock of the likely impact on the WTO system of ongoing attempts at crafting a plurilateral agreement on trade in services.

Chapter 2: The preferential liberalization of services trade: economic insights

Aaditya Mattoo and Pierre Sauvé

Subjects: law - academic, international economic law, trade law


This chapter takes stock of the most recent wave of PTAs with a view to informing some of the policy choices developing countries face in negotiating preferential agreements in services. The chapter first considers the economics of preferences in services and asks whether services trade differs sufficiently from trade in goods as to require different policy instruments and approaches in the context of preferential liberalization. The chapter discusses whether and how PTAs in services allow deeper forms of regulatory cooperation to occur and highlights the importance for third countries of multilateral disciplines on PTAs and the criteria suggested by economic theory to minimize adverse effects on non-members.

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