governmental authority exclusion

These are articles on the all important exclusion that defines what member government activities can be called "public services" and excluded from the onerous GATS rules, if they have commitments in those areas, like the US has.

"For the purposes of this Agreement...

(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."


Essay "GATS and Public Services Systems"
Must read - its the clearest analysis on Article 1:3 b+c out there.

PDF you can download of this essay, on the Governmental Authority Exclusion - one of the key concepts in the GATS:
It will help you understand the US healthcare situation a lot better!

GATS and Public Services Systems by the Canadian Government


Example - education system - Flowchart by A. Verger.


Note: A 1998 note from the WTO's ruling Secretariat clarifies this somewhat, making it more restrictive and less ambiguous. .


Article 1:3

Article by the British Columbian government (this is the extremely informative article mentioned first, a must read, that you can also download a PDF of.
Read this first. A legal analysis, written in the law book style. 

WTO Secretariat. Health and social services: background note by the Secretariat S/C/W/50, 18 September, 1998 (98-3558)

Markus Krajewski's essay is very much worth reading.

Interpretation of Article I, Section 3 (b) and (c) of GATS - PublicServicesScope - article for CIEL by Markus Krajewski

This is from two South African legal scholars and it was written for the ICTSD, part of the UN.

Public Services and the GATS - (Article by Cassim/Steuart) International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development

This document combines all the US GATS commitments in one file.
US GATS Schedule of Specific Commitments -(combined file made by Public Citizen)

WTO | Services: Guide to reading the GATS schedules of specific Commitments and the list of article II (MFN) exemptions

VIDEO: Scott Sinclair of explains the Governmental Authority Exclusion at the WTO Public Forum on TISA.

GATS and Libraries