Trade in Services

Semestre Semestre 1


Understand how services are related to other trade areas (e.g. goods), their role in global trade as well as the existing and, particularly, the forthcoming legal framework applicable to their trade.


As services are becoming an ever more integral component of developed and developing economies and cross-border trade, this course will provide a general overview of the impact of the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (“GATS”). The course will introduce the basic purposes and concepts that are used in constructing the GATS, and will explain how to interpret the various services schedules that determine the extent to which each member state has liberalized its trade in services. Second, the course will examine the obligations the GATS requires of member states, as well as potential repercussions for violating the GATS and its obligations. The course will conclude with a survey of various cases that will impart understanding of the practical application of the GATS, as well as a look to the progression of liberalization in trade in services in the future.

This course will provide prospective students with an understanding of:

• The context and history of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) and the background of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (“GATS”) in facilitating cross-border trade in services.

• How the four modes of supply impact cross-border trade in services and how the principles of transparency, most-favoured-nation treatment, market access, and national treatment impact commitments made liberalize trade in services.

• How to interpret the various services schedules and understand the unconditional and conditional obligations that flow from the GATS.

• How domestic laws and regulations by member states are affected by the GATS and how GATS commitments are enforced by the WTO’s dispute settlement system.

• GATS principles in practice through the study of various WTO cases, e.g., the U.S.–Gambling case, the Mexico–Telecommunications case, and the China–Audiovisuals case.

• How requests for service sectoral commitments among member states occur, the future of negotiations regarding trade in services, and possible misconceptions about the GATS.