WTO Scores Rare Win with $150 Billion Deal on Services Trade
The U.S., the European Union and 65 other governments agreed Thursday to an international accord to cut red tape on cross-border services trade.
In a rare win for the embattled World Trade Organization, the agreement is intended to increase transparency, efficiency and predictability of international regulations for services providers, particularly in financial, communications and transport industries.
The deal could lower trade costs by as much as $150 billion a year, according to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In a statement, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai praised the pact as “the first successful WTO services negotiation in years,” adding that it shows “how WTO members can take practical, common-sense steps to address clearly defined trade problems.”
Participants of the agreement collectively represent 90% of world services trade and the benefits of the deal are available to non-participants because the deal is applied on a most-favored nation basis.
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