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Trade Agreements on Telecommunications. Regulatory Implications

image of Trade Agreements on Telecommunications. Regulatory Implications

This Briefing Report concerns the far-reaching implications for the "telecommunications community" (regulators, operators and users) of the Marrakesh Agreement of 1994 that completed the Uruguay Round of international trade negotiations and established the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It also explains in detail the continuing negotiations taking place through the Group on Basic Telecommunications (GBT). The report was prepared by Michael Tyler, Professor William Letwin and Russell Pipe, and funded by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The views expressed are those of the authors.

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Executive summary

This Briefing Report was written in preparation for the Regulatory Colloquium held at ITU Headquarters in December 1995, the fifth in a series begun in 1993. The report deals with the implications for national telecommunications policy and regulation arising from the "Uruguay Round" of global negotiations that took place between 1985 and 1994 within the framework of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The Uruguay Round was concluded by the "Marrakesh Agreement"1 signed in April 1994. This Agreement established the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which applies to trade in services including telecommunication services. It also established the World Trade Grganisation (WTG), the institutional framework within which the GATS operates. Active negotiations have been taking place since May 1994 within the GATS framework, aimed at further multilateral liberalization of trade in telecommunication services.

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