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Service Mobility under the GATS and PTAs: Can Labour Market Access be used to Conceptualize Mode 4?

Date: 01/03/2015

Author(s): Johanna Jacobsson

Format: Book chapter

Area(s): Global, Comparative and European Law, Law, Politics and Economics

Organización: Palgrave Macmillan 2015

Book: The Palgrave Handbook of International Labour Migration

Editors: Panizzon, M., Zurcher, G., Fornalé, E., Zürcher, G.

The chapter examines the concept and scope of the so-called Mode 4 which is employed in the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) to regulate the movement of natural persons providing services. Whereas most research mainly focuses on the temporary nature of such movement and on the different categories of persons covered, this contribution attempts to formulate a more conceptual understanding of Mode 4. Such an understanding is inspired by the GATS Annex on Movement of Natural Persons Supplying Services (the MNP Annex) according to which the GATS does not apply to measures affecting natural persons seeking access to the employment market of a WTO Member. Taking this demarcation as a starting point, the author analyses whether employment market access (or rather, non-access) can be used to conceptualize Mode 4. The focus is thus on the interaction of international trade rules with domestic employment and immigration laws. In addition, the results of a brief empirical study on the biggest service importers’ practice are presented. The results show that most of these WTO Members consider Mode 4 movement to take place outside the national labour markets.