Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Trade in Services

Research Handbook on Trade in Services

Research Handbooks on the WTO series

Edited by Pierre Sauvé and Martin Roy

This Research Handbook explores the latest frontiers in services trade by drawing on insights from empirical economics, law and global political economy. The world’s foremost experts take stock of the learning done to date in services trade, explore policy questions bedevilling analysts and direct attention to a host of issues, old and new, confronting those interested in the service economy and its rising salience in cross-border exchange. The Handbook’s 22 chapters shed informed analytical light on a subject matter whose substantive remit continues to be shaped by rapid evolutions in technology, data gathering, market structures, consumer preferences, approaches to regulation and by ongoing shifts in the frontier between the market and the state.

Chapter 10: A technical barriers to trade agreement for services?

Bernard M. Hoekman and Petros C. Mavroidis

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


Services are regulated for a variety of reasons. Regulation is typically influenced by political economy forces and may thus at times reflect protectionist motivations. Similar considerations arise for goods, but the potential for protectionist capture may be greater in services as many are self-regulated by domestic industry. The GATT embodies specific disciplines on product regulation in a separate agreement on technical barriers to trade (TBT) encouraging the use of international standards and norms that only impact on trade to the extent necessary to achieve the regulatory objective. The GATS does not include similar disciplines. We discuss reasons for this discrepancy and assess whether consideration should be given to seeking to adopt TBT-type disciplines that apply to trade in goods.

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