Reflections on the Preferential Liberalization of Services Trade
NCCR Working Paper No 2011/05 by Pierre Sauvé and Anirudh Shingal
This paper takes stock of the forces that lie behind the recent rise of preferential agreements in services trade. Its focuses first on a number of distinguishing features of services trade that sets it apart from trade in goods and shapes trade liberalization and rule-making approaches in the services field. The paper then documents the nature, modal and sectoral incidence of the trade and investment preferences spawned by preferential trade agreements (PTAs) in services. It does so with a view to addressing the question: how “preferential” is the preferential treatment of services trade? Finally, the paper addresses a number of considerations arising from attempts to multilateralize preferential access and rule-making in services trade.