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The Role of Digital Products Under the WTO: A New Framework for GATT and GATS Classification

Sam Fleuter  Abstract This Comment provides a new system of classifying digital products as goods or services under international trade law. Under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), WTO member states have limited power to impose protectionist measures on the importation of goods. Under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), states face similar limitations on their ability to restrict international trade in services. But GATS only applies if states opt in, meaning that countries can choose which services are subject to trade liberalization. Within the GATT-GATS framework, digital products are notoriously difficult to classify because they possess traditional characteristics of both goods and services. Though this Comment applies to different types of digital products, it focuses on the international trade of 3D renderings used for additive manufacturing, as this is a type of digital product that has not received any attention in international trade literature. This Comment proposes a three-part taxonomy for distinguishing digital goods from digital services. To distinguish goods from services, I first look at formalistic definitions of good and services. Next, I look at practical concerns of consistency across international trade. Finally, I investigate the underlying goals of the WTO to identify which classification best suits digital products. I conclude that digital products should be treated as services and therefore be governed by the GATS.

The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire (Documentary)

This is a documentary about the "City of London" and its powerful lobby. (which was pivotal and complicit in the creation of the undemocratic GATS+ is pushing a new trade in services agreement. TISA to help cover up the illegitimacy of the original GATS, which is controversial and lacks the consensus one would expect and hope for in something that claims to be international law. It most certainly does not have that. Quite the opposite. See also Nicholas Shaxson's book, "Treasure Islands" and the video interview linked here with him, You will see the connections. ) Our former colonial masters, the UK and its elite class is very deeply enmeshed in this huge theft of policy space. Shaxson has also recently published "Poisoned wells : the dirty politics of African oil" a new book, which I have yet to read. However, its a subject I am interested in particularly because the "legitimacy" of much of the land grabbing in Africa is called into question by the illegitimacy of the initial process of creating fake NGOs and fake "civil society organizations" (which was done by Europeans, eagar to loot the developing world, not them) including perhaps the big ones like the WTO, world banks, and other essential pieces of a fake legitimacy machine. to create a pretext for a global looting. Of course the people of these countries, like here in the US are not in the loop, nor are their oligarchs really empowered by any kind of consent to trade their natural wealth away by the people's wishes, just as the funds looted should be but are not theirs. Their people live in grinding poverty. And are pawns in these crook's game.