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One of the most pressing issues confronting the multilateral trading system as a route for providing enhanced market access for natural persons in the realm of services is its track record of non-delivery. Some bold analysts have even argued that overall there has been absolutely no new liberalization under the GATS framework. If the situation is worrying in other Modes of supply, it is far worse in the case of Mode 4. WTO Members have been trying to negotiate enhanced Mode 4 access, since before the launch of the DDA. The results are poor.
This book proposes that it is time for WTO Members to think differently, move from a sole focus on market access to a discussion on regulatory co-operation as the key underpin to Mode 4 liberalization. To date, in terms of the literature available, we know very little about how WTO Members are managing their Mode 4 commitments and what regulatory regimes support this. We know even less about how the WTO can shift focus from market access negotiations to discussions on regulatory co-operation and reform. A lot has been written about the economic importance of Mode 4; negotiations have proceeded in a mercantilist format with little understanding and acknowledgement of the difficulties countries face in regulating the movement of people within their borders more generally and in particular, the temporary flow of people across their borders in relation to the market access commitments a country may have made in the GATS. This book addresses that issue squarely, through case studies of market access, national treatment and regulatory approaches in EIAs.