of the United States Trade Representative
|Free Trade in Services: Opening Dynamic New Markets, Supporting Good Jobs
- Services - such as
accounting, finance, insurance, education, medicine, engineering, travel,
tourism, construction, express delivery, advertising, retailing,
telecommunications, computer services, environmental services - accounts for approximately 75 percent
of total output in the United States.
exports of services totaled $340 billion, nearly doubling over the past 10 years
and contributing to a services trade surplus of more than $48 billion.
services account for approximately 30 percent of the value of
- Service industries
account for 8 out of every 10 jobs in the United
States, and provide more new jobs than the rest
of the U.S.
economy combined. Over the past two decades, the services sector has added almost
40 million employees across the full range of services: doctors, nurses,
lawyers, bankers, insurance adjusters, software engineers, tour operators,
teachers, and many other professions.
Benefits Developing Countries
U.S. Approach to Services Negotiations
United States is
seeking broad removal of foreign barriers in sectors such as financial services,
legal services, telecommunications, express delivery and logistics, energy
services, higher education, and environmental services. In line with WTO rules, the
U.S. requests of
foreign countries are mindful of all countries’ desire to protect consumers, the
environment, and other vital domestic interests.
previous rounds of negotiations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services
(GATS), the United
States made commitments in services well beyond
those of most nations.
WTO partners have asked the
U.S. to continue
this trend with additional market opening measures. The
U.S. intends to
do so – but others simply must make real progress toward our current levels of
offer improves upon a robust set of existing commitments by offering new or
enhanced commitments in a number of important sectors. At the same time, the U.S. offer
responds to requests from our trading partners to extend our commitments to
areas where autonomous liberalization has taken place, to make improved
commitments in sectors like logistics, professional services, and translation
services, and where appropriate, to clarify the scope of our existing
commitments by providing direct references to the United Nations Provisional
Central Product Classification (UNCPC).
understand that developing countries have made new temporary entry commitments
from the United
States a major issue in the negotiations. However, it’s hard to understand the
urgency of the developing country request with respect to the
since our existing temp entry commitments are among the most generous of all WTO
Members in terms of entry categories covered and the fact that they apply to all
services sectors where we have commitments. Only a handful of developed
countries have comparable Mode 4 commitments.
has nonetheless responded to numerous requests to provide greater transparency
policies and procedures for the temporary entry and stay of foreign service
suppliers by offering to establish a single Internet-based information
resource. We believe this should
facilitate the ability of US and foreign service suppliers to gain access to the
US temp entry
- Government Monopolies Supplying
Services: The U.S. offer
applies only to services open to private sector participants and does not in any
way involve privatization or deregulation of any service sector.
- Regulatory Interests: The United
States and sub-federal governments will
continue to be able to establish, maintain, and fully enforce domestic laws
protecting consumers, health, safety, and the environment, whether in the areas
of healthcare, education, energy, or any other service.
- U.S. Citizen- and Minority-Specified
Programs: The offer does not
require changes to federal and sub-federal assistance programs that are
available only to
U.S. citizens or
U.S.-owned companies, such as Small Business Administration loans, Overseas
Private Insurance Corporation (OPIC) insurance, Trade and Development Agency
financing, and other programs.
- Non-Interference with
U.S. Education Institutions: Nothing in the offer will interfere with
the ability of individual
institutions to maintain autonomy in admissions policies, setting tuition rates,
and developing curricula or course content. The offer does not apply to public
elementary or secondary schools, or to public funding. The
has no intention to promote the privatization of public educational
- Water Distribution: The GATS does not require privatization
or deregulation of any public service, including water supply or distribution
services. Privatization and
deregulation of water supply and distribution services is not being discussed in
the negotiations. In addition, the
U.S. offer does
not include water supply or distribution services.
- Energy: The GATS does not address mining,
production of energy, or ownership of natural resources as these are not
addresses only services provided to producers of energy resources, such as
various field services that support the extraction of oil.