On January 15, 2013, the Obama Administration formally notified Congress that it intends to enter into negotiations to expand global trade in services. Initially, the United States will negotiate with 20 other World Trade Organization (WTO) Members (Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the European Union, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey), which collectively represent two-thirds of global trade in services. The list of participating countries will almost certainly grow over time. The negotiations are expected to begin in April, following a comment period and public hearings.
The new services negotiations offer large growth opportunities for all entities engaged in supplying global services (e.g., express delivery; distribution; professional services; financial services; insurance, banking and brokerage; audio-visual; telecommunications; health care; education; and hospitality services). The United States is the world's largest exporter of services, totaling $1 trillion, including sales through foreign affiliates.
The McDermott Difference
McDermott Will & Emery’s international trade practice has decades of experience on all matters related to the trade in services, including regulatory barriers, services negotiations and services litigation at the WTO. We work closely with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and other agencies and Congress, all of which will be involved in this effort. If you have questions about how the services negotiations could impact your business, or if you are interested in submitting comments once the Federal Register notice is posted, please contact: