Dataset of services commitments in regional trade agreements (RTAs)

The dataset made available here is taken from: Opening Markets for Trade in Services: Countries and Sectors in Bilateral and WTO Negotiations  published by Cambridge University Press and the WTO (edited by Juan A. Marchetti and Martin Roy).

The opinions contained in contributions to the book are the sole responsibility of the individual authors and do not reflect the views of the WTO Secretariat or WTO members. Similarly, the dataset should not be attributed to the WTO. It is made available to assist researchers and others interested in services trade and negotiations.



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Scoring system 

A score on a scale of 0 to 100 is given for each member's commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and regional trade agreements (RTAs). Commitments relate to the obligations of national treatment and market access.

For each services sub-sector in the Services Sectoral Classification List, and for each mode of supply, a score of 0, 0.5 or 1 is given for members’ existing GATS commitments: 1 for full commitments (without market access or national treatment limitations), 0.5 for partial commitments (with some market access and/or national treatment limitations), 0 for no commitments.

For each mode of supply and sub-sector, a score is allocated on a similar basis for a member’s RTA commitments. For example, a sub-sector that is uncommitted under GATS (equal to a score of 0) will get a score of 1 when subject to a full commitment in a RTA, or of 0.5 when subject to a partial commitment. Better partial commitments in RTAs are given a score of 0.75; for example, a GATS commitment subject to a foreign equity limitation is replicated in a RTA, but with a lower ceiling. Further increments are added for other improvements concerning partial commitments in RTAs.

The index value is determined by summing up the value given for each sub-sector and mode of supply, which is then converted to a 0-100 scale.

In the dataset, the index value for GATS commitments is the combined score for GATS commitments and for improvements through the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) services offers as of 1 March 2010. The “highest RTA” score is equivalent, for each mode of supply, to the highest RTA score that a given member has obtained in each sub-sector across all its reviewed RTAs.

The methodology does not attempt to represent the quality of commitments nor to determine their level of trade restrictiveness, but focuses on the extent to which RTA commitments go beyond GATS commitments and services offers in the DDA. The overview does not in any way amount to a legal interpretation of commitments.

All details are found in Chapter 2 of Opening Markets for Trade in Services: Countries and Sectors in Bilateral and WTO Negotiations.