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General Agreement on Trade in Services: A Resource for Librarians

The GATS is a threat to all services delivered by governments unless they are completely free in an entire country, and only provided by the government as part of its authority. Healthcare may qualify in Canada (its perhaps the only country where it still does) but there are commercial, for profit libraries and "like" services that compete with them there, so, like all other once public services, pretty much, libraries in both Canada and the US are in grave danger, just as people need them the most.

GATS and public services

Mary Bottari, an attorney for Public Citizen Global Trade Watch speaks about how GATS captures public services policy. She is at a media conference so she talks about capture that could limit public sponsorship of media.

The GATS’ Article I, paragraph 3.... (and libraries)

What is Article 1:3? Article 1, Paragraph 3 of the GATS defines the scope of the agreement as follows: (b) “services” includes any service in any sector except services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority; (c) “a service supplied in the exercise of governmental authority” means any service which is supplied neither on a commercial basis, nor in competition with one or more service suppliers. What it really means...Clause (c) above constitutes the potential danger to libraries and the public sector. It appears to mean that “if a service is provided on a non-commercial basis but in competition with other suppliers or on a commercial basis but without competition, it is not a service supplied in exercise of governmental authority.” (1) (and so has to be privatized - it canot be allowed to exist as is, under GATS rules)