From GATS to TiSA: Pushing the Trade in Services Regime Beyond the Limits

Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series (EUROYEAR, volume 7)


Trade in services agreements are creatures of neoliberalism. As normative and disciplinary instruments, they have evolved over time, reaching progressively deeper into the regulatory domain of nation states and imposing fetters on the autonomy and authority of governments to determine the best way to regulate services in the national interest. With the paralysis in the World Trade Organization (WTO), new generation free trade and investment agreements offered a way to redesign the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), align it to new technologies and corporate imperatives, and further circumscribe governments’ regulatory options. Ever-more aggressive ambitions, now being pursued through a plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) with a view to exporting it back into the WTO, have exacerbated the long-standing tensions that beset the GATS. As these agreements continue to push the boundaries, their attempts to lock governments into a more extreme version of the troubled neoliberal paradigm will heighten the problems of legitimacy confronting the agreements themselves and the WTO.


World Trade Organization Uruguay Round Service Agreement Regional Trade Agreement World Trade Organization Member 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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