The World Trade Organization (WTO) promotes liberalization of trade in ICT services. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the 1997 WTO Agreement on Basic Telecommunications (ABT) include specific rules that apply to telecommunication and ICT regulation and authorization. Any country wishing to join the WTO, must have their regulatory environment in compliance with the WTO trade rules.
Key GATS Authorization Obligations sets out the “General obligations and disciplines” of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). GATS article II, III and VI are pertinent to telecommunication market entry and authorization process.
In addition to the general articles of the GATS, the schedules to the GATS contain additional trade commitments by individual member countries. In 1997, 69 developed and developing countries agreed to liberalize or maintain open telecommunications markets. Most of the countries committed to adhere to WTO Regulation Reference Paper.
Clarifying the Meaning of WTO Telecommunications Obligations: Mexico – Measures Affecting Telecommunications Services - In April 2004, a World Trade Organization Panel ruled that Mexico violated its WTO telecommunications services commitments. This article by Laura B. Sherman, sets out the significant panel findings in a way that will help other telecom regulators and government officials interpret and implement their WTO commitments.
General Agreement on Trade in Services - Recognizing the specificities of the telecommunications services sector and, in particular, its dual role as a distinct sector of economic activity and as the underlying transport means for other economic activities, the Members of WTO have agreed to the following with the objective of elaborating upon the provisions of the Agreement with respect to measures affecting access to and use of public telecommunications transport networks and services.
Negotiating group on basic telecommunications – The following are definitions and principles on the regulatory framework for the basic telecommunications services.
Supporting The Internet as a Platform for International Trade - This paper is about the potential of the Internet as a platform for international trade. A traditional understanding of the impact of the Internet on commerce is derived from the dot.com experience of the 1990s, where Internet companies such as Pets.com and Amazon sold goods online.
The TPP Threatens A Free And Open Internet - TPP has the potential to create a system in which content could be censored with a copyright claim without maintaining basic protections to protect freedom of speech and innovation on the Internet.