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Home Policy Articles: International Trade, Development & Finance: General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

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Bad Medicine: Trade Treaties, Privatization and Health Care Reform in Canada popular

Jim Grieshaber-Otto and Scott Sinclair examine a central and recurring theme in Canada’s health care debate: whether private financing and for-profit delivery of health care should play a greater role. They contend that exploring Canada’s international trade-treaty obligations as well as the scope of exemptions for health care under those treaties, add a critical dimension to this important debate.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Will We Rise to the Challenge? Eight Mega Issues Facing Canada popular

This briefing tracks eight key trends that are having a major impact on Canada’s business and public policy environment. Charles Barrett and Anne Golden point to the global economy and the consequences of competition from developing countries. They examine Canada’s relationship with the United States and the competing priorities of defence and trade. They also look at the need for investment in human capital and innovation for Canada to compete on the global stage, as well as the importance of addressing climate change and environmental issues.
http://sso.conferenceboard.ca/e-Library/Document.asp?DID=637...

A Guide to the Enron Collapse

In A Guide to the Enron Collapse, Darren Puscas provides a condensed summary of the major events leading to Enron’s 2001 downfall. Puscas’s analysis includes potential trouble spots that should have been noticed before the collapse, a discussion of the role played by the broader economic crisis at the time, and an examination of Enron’s role in pushing negotiations to secure the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Additionally, Puscas considers whether a similar incident could happen in Canada and proposes lessons that might be learned specifically by Ontario Hydro, in light of the Enron debacle. The analysis concludes with calls for a structural overhaul of the American and Canadian corporate system, changes Puscas believes will make corporate finance more transparent and prevent similar incidents in the future.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

From Global to Local: GATS Impact on Canadian Municipalities

Co-published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Michelle Swenarchuk’s article From Global to Local: GATS Impact on Canadian Municipalities explores the effect of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) on basic municipal services. According to Swenarchuk, GATS applies to municipal government services because both public and private bodies provide such services. Thus, GATS, she continues, could adversely affect Canadian municipalities by limiting their ability to supply and regulate the delivery of municipal services.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

From Public Good to Private Exploitation: Electricity Deregulation, Privatization and Continental Integration

Marjorie Griffin Cohen’s paper From Public Good to Private Exploitation: Electricity Deregulation, Privatization and Continental Integration argues the public provision of electricity is in a precarious position due to forces driving industry deregulation. Though Canada’s electricity industry remains largely publicly owned, Cohen believes the industry is invariably headed towards privatization.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

FTAA: A Dangerous NAFTA-GATS Hybrid

On February 14, 2003 Canada publicly released its initial offer to cover services and investment under the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Sinclair points out that Canada’s offer is merely a list of draft reservations copied (almost entirely verbatim) from Canada’s list of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) reservations drawn up in 1994.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Globalization and the North: Impacts of Trade Treaties on Canada's Northern Governments

The book’s introduction and summary are available in PDF format, however the entire book is available only from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Noel Schacter, Jim Beebe and Luigi Zanasi argue that Canada’s three northern territories are even more vulnerable than the provinces to the impacts of international trade treaties signed by Canadian federal governments.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Interactions: Trade Policy and Healthcare Reform After Chaoulli v. Quebec

Is it time for Canada to acknowledge the fragile boundary between health and trade policies and strengthen the separation between private-and public-health insurance? The author argues that the Chaoulli decision of June 09, 2005, necessitates a review of the interface between trade agreements such as NAFTA and the GATS and medicare .
http://www.longwoods.com/product.php?productid=17881&page=1

Public Auto Insurance and Trade Treaties

Seven Shrybman and Scott Sinclair assert that New Brunswick, and other Canadian provinces, can establish a public automobile insurance system without being deterred by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Putting Health First: Canadian Health Care Reform, Trade Treaties and Foreign Policy

The authors of Putting Health First: Canadian Health Care Reform, Trade Treaties and Foreign Policy, argue Canada needs greater coherence between its approach to health care, on the one hand, and its approach to trade and foreign policy, on the other. They claim international treaties such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) could negatively affect important aspects of the Canadian health care system.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Return to Sender: The impact of GATS "pre-competitive regulation" on postal and other public services

Jim Grieshaber-Otto and Scott Sinclair’s extensive publication examines the impact of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) “pro-competitive regulation” on postal and other services.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Telmex Panel Strips WTO of Another Fig Leaf

In April 2004, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favour of the US against how Mexico regulates Telmex, the country’s major telecommunications supplier. In this brief report, Ellen Gould examines this dispute panel ruling in which the US successfully claimed that Mexico was violating the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

The GATS and South Africa's National Health Act: A Cautionary Tale

In this comprehensive report, Scott Sinclair examines the effect of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) on South Africa’s recently drafted National Health Act (NHA).
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

The GATS and the Postal Services: Implications for Developing Countries

A central topic of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) negotiations, according to Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives senior research fellow Scott Sinclair, is how postal services fit into the treaty. Sinclair claims that multinational express delivery companies have been persuading governments to require competition in national postal systems. The problem arises, he argues, because postal services are an important area of public interest and should not be affected by private competition.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Thinking Outside the Trade Treaty Box

At the Canadian Labour Congress Industrial Policy Conference, Scott Sinclair argues that while trade treaties have limited many of the traditional tools of industrial and economic development policy, room to manoeuvre still exists.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Trade in Services: An Opportunity for Canada

In January 2003, the Public Policy Forum was asked by Industry Canada to assess the concerns and reflections of key Canadian stakeholders interested in the round of negotiations taking place at the time pertaining to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) through the World Trade Organization (WTO).
http://www.ppforum.com/common/assets/publications/en/trade_i...

Truth or Consequences? The Law and Politics of the GATS Health Care Debate

Examines the potential impact of the GATS on social policy making and the nature of the legal debate over GATS interpretation, especially of the Article I:3 exclusion for services supplied in the exercise of "governmental authority".
http://www.carleton.ca/cfpj/articles/PDFfiles/12.2%20PDFs/CF...