The WTO (World Trade Organization) has just made public a dataset compiling detailed information provided by WTO members regarding their level of commitment to 40 different service-related Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) and to the general scheme of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
Counting the European Union as a single member, the dataset includes up-to-date information for 37 WTO members focusing on an extensive review of their commitment through PTAs and GATs to international services agreements as measured by cross-border supply and supply through a commercial presence abroad.
According to the WTO press release, “The dataset shows the level of market access committed by parties to each PTA, by mode of supply and by sector, in comparison with achievements in services in the WTO. The dataset also shows the highest level of market access commitments by each WTO member across all its PTAs”.
The 40 PTAs covered by the dataset include all the agreements on services that fall under the rule of Article V of the GATS, and that came into force between January 2000 and mid-2007, as well as several other PTAs signed during the same period.
Though the methodology applied for measuring member’s commitment to PTAs does not make any assumptions regarding the quality and depth of the different agreements, it does attempt to determine the extent to which PTAs go beyond GATS commitments and services offers included in the Doha Development Agenda.