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World Trade Organization: Agreement on Telecommunications Services (Fourth Protocol to General Agreement on Trade in Services)

  • Laura B. Sherman

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On February 15, 1997, 69 countries agreed to provide market access to some or all of their basic telecommunications sectors. These 69 countries represent over 90% of the world's basic telecommunications revenues. This achievement came after two unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a multi-lateral agreement on basic telecommunications under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”). It was an achievement warmly welcomed by consumers and suppliers of basic telecommunications services.

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* Reproduced from WTO Documents S/NGBT/18, April 30, 1996; S/L/19, April 30, 1996; S/L/20, April 30, 1996; and S/GBT/4, February 15, 1997. The Reference Paper at 36 I.L.M. 367 (1997) is reproduced from the text provided by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.The Introductory Note was provided to International Legal Materials by Laura B. Sherman, Assistant General Counsel, USTR. Ms. Sherman was the chief lawyer for the United States during the basic telecommunications negotiations. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USTR.

[The General Agreement on Trade in Services, Annex IB of the WTO Agreement, done at Marrakesh, April 15, 1994, appears at 33 I.L.M. 1167 (1994); the Second Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (on Financial Services), with an Introductory Note by Kenneth Freiberg, appears at 35 I.L.M. 199 (1996).

[For additional information contact the World Trade Organization, Legal Affairs Division, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland (tel.: 41 22 739 52 52; fax: 41 22 739 57 88).]

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World Trade Organization: Agreement on Telecommunications Services (Fourth Protocol to General Agreement on Trade in Services)

  • Laura B. Sherman

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