13 September 2018
Dr Gabriel Gari, Reader in International Economic Law at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), will present a paper on trade disciplines tackling regulatory divergence in services at the UNCTAD Global Services Forum and Latin American Network for Research on Services (REDLAS) conference 2018 to be held on 13 and 14 September in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The paper reviews the disciplines for tackling regulatory divergence in services included in twenty three PTAs entered into by China, EU, Japan and the USA. It identifies a remarkable expansion in the number and extent of disciplines on regulatory transparency, regulatory coherence and regulatory cooperation compared with GATS which, subject to adequate implementation, will allow these agreements to deliver a degree of market integration well beyond what could be achieved simply by removing market access restrictions and discriminatory measures from the rule book. However, the paper calls for some restraint when estimating the potential impact of these disciplines, mainly because of the soft language used for phrasing some of these disciplines and the anticipated high implementation costs, particularly for countries with unsophisticated domestic legal systems.