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General Agreement on Trade in Services (Gats)

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Chapter Summary

Historically, multilateral trade negotiations concentrated primarily on trade in goods and reducing tariffs. International trade in services grew at an annual rate of nineteen per cent between 1970 and 1980, while access to service markets was largely restricted or even denied. Japan's goals focused mainly on particular sectors such as transport, tourism and financial services. The July 1990 text of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) included an exception for the protection of cultural values". In September 1993 various textual issues still remained unresolved, most significantly the applicability of the GATS to taxation which Members intended to maintain. The legal significance of preambles under public international law is limited.

Keywords: GATS; multilateral trade negotiations; public international law

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