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Trade & Telecommunications addresses the implications of the global liberalisation of voice telephony and other basic telecom services for the international telecommunications industry. With their focus on areas of potential dispute, the team of authors is led by Ashurst Morris Crisp partner, Mark Clough, who is a leading EU trade, competition and regulatory specialist. A solicitor advocate, he has considerable experience of WTO dispute procedures.
Trade & Telecommunications sets both the WTO basic telecoms agreement in the overall context of the WTO institutional framework and the general agreement on trade in services, including the liberalisation of value added telecommunications services. In addition a separate chapter focuses on WTO dispute procedure, and includes an up-to-date table of WTO proceedings.
The WTO basic telecoms agreement provides major commercial opportunities for the international telecommunications industry by opening up foreign markets to competition on the basis of equal treatment with national services and service suppliers. In particular, the agreement has provided a backbone for the liberalisation of domestic markets, illustrated by the total liberalisation of basic telecoms in Europe from 1 January 1998. The agreement has also had a major impact on liberalisation of the domestic markets in the US and Asia. The regulatory paper adopted at the same time as the agreement contains the blue print for a level playing field and liberalisation guarantees. Entering into force in February 1998, the WTO basic telecoms agreement is one of the most important developments for the international telecommunications industry as it enters the new millennium.