A Multi-disciplinary Perspective
Edited by Faïz Gallouj and Faridah Djellal
Chapter 22: The Role of Standards for Trade in Services: Hypotheses and First Insights
Knut Blind 22.1 Introduction After addressing the reduction of non-tariff barriers to trade in goods markets since signing the Maastricht treaty in 1992 in order to achieve the Single Market within the European Community, and the Tokyo round of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) negotiations in 1979, the focus in the discussion about the liberalisation of trade has shifted towards the trade in services. In 1995, the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) was published, and in 2006, the European Union published the European Directive on the trade of services, which is based de facto on the country of destination principle, but relies heavily in its implementation on service standards to be produced by the European standardisation bodies. Despite the high and still increasing relevance of trade in services, trade statistics covering the service sectors – in contrast to trade in manufacturing sectors or of products – are still not well developed. Nevertheless, first studies based on simulation studies (Copenhagen Economics, 2005) show that the liberalisation of trade in services will have positive impacts on trade volumes, and also on growth and employment. However, in contrast to the regulatory non-tariff barriers to trade, the issue of standards published by national, European or international standardisation bodies, as well as standardisation consortia, has not yet been addressed, either in the theoretical or in the empirical trade literature. Swann et al. (1996) followed by Blind and Jungmittag (Blind and Jungmittag, 2005a, 2005b) analysed the role of technical standards in the goods...
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