GATS works to further hamstring regulators
Briefing Paper by CCPA Explores New Draft of Proposed WTO Domestic Regulation.
by Ellen Gould, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
At the end of January, the chair of the GATS Working Part on Domestic Regulation Peter Govindasamy issued his latest draft of proposed WTO "disciplines" to constrain government regulation of the service sector. His proposal appeared just as the global economy was reeling from two spectacular regulatory failures in this sector— the US subprime mortgage fiasco, requiring the world's largest banks and investment firms to write down an estimated $400 US billion of their assets, and the losses by the French bank Societe General due to $73.3 US billion in unauthorized trades. The sums involved are larger than the entire GDP's of many developing countries.
The draft GATS disciplines, if implemented, would limit what governments can do to prevent and resolve such crises. They would hamstring regulators and further bias the regulatory process in favour of commercial interests.
Key changes from the April 2007 draft of the disciplines are
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non–partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice.
Links and sources
CCPA Briefing Paper by Ellen Gould (.pdf format)
Latest draft on Domestic Regulation
April 2007 (previous) draft
Posted: April 02, 2008
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