General Agreement on Trade and Services (Gats)

The General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) is a treaty established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to promote international trade in services. The agreement was signed by member countries in 1994 and entered into force in 1995.

The goal of GATS is to create a fair and open trading system that benefits all member countries. It aims to eliminate trade barriers and increase market access for services providers from different countries. This includes sectors such as telecommunications, transportation, finance, tourism, and professional services.

GATS sets out a framework of rules and principles that govern trade in services. These rules ensure that member countries` domestic regulations and policies do not negatively impact foreign service providers. GATS also provides a system for resolving disputes between member countries regarding trade in services.

One of the key principles of GATS is the Most-Favored Nation (MFN) treatment. This principle requires member countries to treat all other member countries equally in terms of market access and national treatment. In other words, a country cannot give preferential treatment to one member country over another.

Another important principle of GATS is the National Treatment principle. This principle requires member countries to treat foreign service providers no less favorably than their domestic service providers.

GATS also allows member countries to make commitments regarding market access and national treatment in specific service sectors. These commitments are made through a process of negotiations and are listed in each country`s schedule of commitments.

While GATS has its benefits, it has also been criticized by some for its impact on domestic regulations and policies. Critics argue that GATS can limit a country`s ability to regulate its domestic service sector in the interest of public health, safety, and the environment.

In conclusion, GATS has played a significant role in promoting international trade in services. It has created a framework for fair and open trading systems that benefits all member countries. However, it is important to balance the benefits of international trade with the need to protect domestic regulations and policies that serve the public interest.