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L. Lee Tuthill Trade in Services Division World Trade Organization
Implications? Three different questions...
Customs duties, internal taxes, forex earnings Customs duties, internal taxes (but, level
of access & benefits is also a main concern)
of GATT vs. GATS treatment of the Moratorium on customs duties
Customs duties only
transparency. making no distinctions concerning technologies involved in delivery. competition safeguards.. GATS q q The vast majority of on-line trade clearly involves trade in services GATS defines services through modes of supply. etc §Market access & national treatment commitments in GATS Schedules of Members ..Where do we Stand? . This would mean that GATS benefits apply: §MFN. domestic regulation.
..Where do we Stand? .. GATT q It is clear that traditional GATT obligations & benefits apply to physically delivered goods that may have been purchased on-line But. How to characterize end-to-end electronic delivery of “products” now tradable in both physical and electronic form? q ..
no specific problems or disputes have yet arisen in this q .&/or downloaded on-line Involving approximately 1% of total merchandize trade and 1% of total duties collected world wide q But.What is at issue q Covered by GATT or GATS? A narrow range of media “products” that may be currently imported under HS classifications -.
e. most media/entertainment forms . broadcast TV programming.g. being clearly in the purview of GATS For example. i.e..are and always have been clearly regarded as services. radio programming Approximately 99% of trade in q .What is not at issue q q The vast majority of services All media/information products that never did cross borders in physical formats.
) Year-end 2001 World Online shopping revenues by category 1997 In millions (US$) Source: ITU Challenges to the Network 1999: Internet for Development .On-line shopping.. goods and services Computer products Travel in $323 (3rd) (close 2nd) (1st) $103 $89 $78 $75 $194 $276 Entertainment Gifts & Flowers Apparel Food & Drink Other Latest rank ( ..
. CD-ROM. cassette.What are we talking about? On tape... magazines newspapers ² ² ² ² q Downloadable Interactive on-line software? Downloadable cuts.Pay per view? Streaming? q q ² Recorded music Books. DVD.entire albums? Streaming? Downloadable books . diskette. etc: q Without physical carrier medium: ² Videos Software Downloadable films .limited use… permanent use..
1P rin ted b o o ks. an d serial in sta 4902 Oth er b o o ks. 9611 & d istrib u tio n ? P rin tin g an d p u b lish in g ? 1. leaflets an d sim ilar p 4901.9D ictio n aries an d en cyclo p ed ias.C . tap es. 824 9504. p am p h lets.D .1Gram o p h o n e reco rd s* S o ftw are im p lem an tatio n ? 1.e.21. d raw in g o r co lo u rin g bo o ks 4901.b . b ro ch u res an d sim ilar p rin ted m at 49.a. .r. n . g am es an d sp o rtin g g o o d S o ftw are im p lem en tatio n ? 1.02N ew sp ap ers.1V id eo g am es o f a kin d u sed w ith a televisio n rec M u sical in stru m en ts.D .s. HS Code S e rv ic e D e s c rip tio n W /120 UNCP C HS CO DEC o m m o d ity Examples of classification questions D e s c rip tio n M o tio n p ictu re p ro d u ctio n 2.GATS W/120 vs. exp o sed an d d evelo p ed .* On -lin e d ata b ase access? 2. *In clu d in g reco rd ed so ftw are su p p o rt item s.b . b ro ch u res. m ap s an d g lo b es.B . P rin ted M atter B o o ks. p arts. accesso ries th ereo f S o u n d reco rd in g ? 2.j. 8524.23 M ag n etic tap es reco rd ed * 8524. jo u rn als an d p erio d icals B ab y carriag es. reco rd s.06C in em ato g rap h film . p rin ted 4903 C h ild ren 's pictu re.B . to ys.9R eco rd ed m ed ia. 88442 37. sim ilar reco rd in g s etc 8524.e.F .22.
. music. videos. itself Development & production of Distribution of Live performance of Adaptation of Radio/TV broadcast transmission of (live or not) ? ? New forms of transmission Content.Goods and/or Services What exactly is information? GATT covers: q Print media. itself . software. GATS covers: q q q q q Physical carrier medium including content? Irrespective of content? ? ? New forms of “carriage” Content..
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web.Magazines Print. e-mail or mobile .
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99 each when you order with your remote control. download or view Movies start as often as every 30 minutes and are only $3. .Videos Rent. purchase.
National treatment for internal taxes is negotiated Levels of benefits extended by GATT can differ significantly from those available under GATS in the short term..In brief… Role of classification It has become a pivotal issue because of structural differences between GATT and GATS.. scope of GATS is far wider q q . Why? q The essence of GATT is to reduce or eliminate tariffs over time through binding of tariff concessions. National treatment for internal taxes is obligatory Tariffs were so uncommon in services trade that GATS does not even mention them. In the long term? Overall.
Goods or ..Classification: Services.?. but national treatment may apply -Of suppliers: principles exist -Progressive elimination -Progressive implementation -National treatment applies (see above) -Services & suppliers in all modes of supply N ational treatm ent+ Subsidies Trade covered applies to internal taxes .. Tariffs Licensing Quantitative restrictions -Progressive elimination -Of the imports: rules in place -Prohibited -Obligatory -Disciplines -Imports GATT/ Goods GATS/ Services -Not recognized.
.With full commitments .. GATT/ Goods GATS/ Services Tariffs Licensing Quantitative restrictions N ational treatm ent+ Subsidies M easures covered -None -Imports: Non trade restrictive -None -Full -Non-trade distortive -None -Suppliers: Non trade restrictive -None* -Full* -Non-discriminatory (Nationat treatment) *Affecting services & suppliers in all modes of supply -Tariff and nontariff barriers on imports applies to internal taxes .?.
GATT Difference in scope? Modes of supply: 1) Cross-border supply 2) Consum ption abroad 3) Com ercial presence 4) Presence of natural persons m Sector or subsector 8. SECTOR A. Subsector (CPC Number or other defining characteristics) Limitations on market access Limitations on national treatment Additional commitments GATS Schedule 1) -------2) 3) 4) 1) ------2) 3) 4) GATT scope limited to what in GATS is mode 1 .GATS vs.
. T otal C m ents om itm N lim o C o its n ross B rder o 65 63 (By number of governments) 41 20 38 24 17 22 9 10 12 4 ion ut rib ist s o g es pl. t s tw dr g f ic di n ata in So ou n p ion & int ed S tio Pr ct lin nM o rodu O p D .Cross Border Access GATS Commitments.. ide n ing hin cc v m s a rd i o o e ei bl e & ributi ec ar as Pu ur t b .
If so. explicitly confirmation of such an approach would. Does this send conflicting signals to markets. This may continue to be the case for some time to come In some cases the content is similar or even identical but receives different treatment depending on whether GATT or GATS applies. Does it distort the commercial decisions of traders? Yet. the status quo may be a viable option. offer some legal clarity and predictability for trade . at least.Status quo? Some of these products can and do enter markets under both GATT & GATS at the same time depending on the “carriage” or delivery vehicle used.
g. e. for the status of other on-line services beyond those actually at issue Classification of such products as services? & May clarify the status most forms of e-commerce Leaves open the issue of differing treatment of similar products delivered by physical and electronic means Could raise questions on the GATT status of the content . for the products concerned Could have serious unintended consequences for the scope of the GATS.Possible alternatives? Classification of such products as goods? & May clarify situation with respect to tariffs and national treatment. etc.
On-line products … feasibility? ..For consideration.desirability? Discriminatory taxes in GATS? What would be the impact on products now benefiting from GATT in this respect? What would be the impact on other services never before subject to tariffs? 2.. Tariff revenue q q How significant is the value of GATT tariffs on these products? What is the status of tariffs under GATS? Are they feasible & at what cost? Might they take the form of discriminatory internal taxes? Either way. 1.. is it desirable to start down this path? Members are entitled to non-discriminatory internal taxes under GATT & GATS. Tax revenue q q ..
. heretofore available for others? q Is there a case for possible consideration of sector-specific solutions for certain products? The work program began as an “examination”. And it would be ideal if classification issues were resolved on a purely conceptual basis. But..For consideration. might result in the removal of barriers on certain products or in the evaporation of benefits. it has instead become a negotiation q . because Members views on many of these questions vary so considerably. Levels of benefits The implications of classification concerns for products traditionally subject to sensitivities and trade restrictions are very different from the implications for products for which freer trade has been the norm q Is it reasonable that a determination on classification. 3. in itself.
predictability and spreading the benefits economic growth equitably are what the trading system is all about..and finally… the broader picture q What are the implications of e-commerce for the promotion of economic development? What are the implications for development of erecting barriers to e-commerce? What are the implications for expanding trade and economic growth of legal uncertainty about how WTO agreements apply to e-business & e-trade? Transparency. legal certainty.. Does WTO risk becoming falling behind as our commercial players continue apace to adopt & employ the new advances in technology in commercial trade? q q q .
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