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South Centre

GATS dispute settlement cases:
Practical implications for developing countries1

South Centre

February 2007

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  1. Developing countries should be aware of the implications of the WTO dispute settlement reports on US – Gambling2 and Mexico – Telecommunications3 as they continue participating in the WTO negotiations. The findings in the reports have set precedents on the interpretation of various GATS articles and concepts, including: necessity tests; Article XIV on General Exception; Article IV on Increasing Participation of Developing Countries; and scheduling guidelines.

  2. This note briefly discusses the practical implications of these rulings. By doing so, it hopes to inform developing countries of the types of considerations that should be taken into account when formulating initial or subsequent offers, scheduling commitments, negotiating disciplines for rules and domestic regulation, or when involved in a dispute.

  1. This is an updated version of “GATS Dispute Settlement Cases: Practical Implications for Developing Countries”, South Centre Analytical Note, January 2005.
  2. United States – Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services, (WT/DS285/AB/R). See also the case analysis titled “Gambling with Market Access Rules” in the South Centre Quarterly on Trade Disputes: First Quarter 2005, pp. 2-8, available at
  3. Mexico – Measures Affecting Telecommunications Services, WT/DS204/R.

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