chapter  11
Emerging safeguard measures under GATS
Pages 9

Annex IB of the WTO Agreement is the Agreement on Trade in Services. Despite the opposition from developing countries, negotiations on trade in services were taken up at the insistence of the United States. However, developing countries did not give up and in order to accommodate their concerns,1 the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) takes a positive list approach with regard to market access and national treatment. The meaning of the positive list approach is that a country is not bound to open up a particular sector unless it makes a positive commitment with regard to it and then too it is bound only to the extent that it undertakes a commitment, that is, a country can make commitments with limitations. While market access and national treatment concession depend on specific commitments taken by a member in its schedule of commitments, GATS also has ‘General Obligations and Disciplines’ which bind a member as soon as it decides to become signatory of GATS or rather a member of the WTO, considering the fact that the WTO is a single undertaking.