Foreign Policy in Focus
GATS and Woman
By Marceline White, Woman's Edge
· Since last December, members of the WTO have continued negotiations to expand
the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
· GATS aims to dramatically expand the ability of multinational corporations
to provide services on a not-for-profit basis and creates a new regulatory framework
for trade in services.
· GATS is likely to have a disproportionately negative impact an woman, particularily
woman in developing countries.
· US negotiators are promoting a corporate driven agenda that neglects the
asymmetries between countries.
· GATS rules threaten to undermine national sovereignty and sustainable development
· Liberalizing services has particularly pernicious and differentiated impacts
on woman in the developing world
· The USTR should reform its consultative process to incorporate gender and
development concerns into its trade policymaking.
· Rules governing international labor mobility should be liberalized
· The USTR should support a pro-development agenda for GATS that would include
encouraging safeguards for developing countries and exemptions for health care, public
education, water provisioning, and other public welfare needs.