Made up interview imagining a (WTO dispute) DS503 loss, answering my own made up imagined questions from readers about it.

A WTO dispute thats currently open and active (since 2016) is part of the GATS, a trade agreement, to trade jobs for markets (corporate travel, defined as non-immigrant behavior) , that's been delayed in implementation in a number of developed countries (including the US) by allegedly "immigration" quotas that a group of countries led by India say are illegal, under the GATS agreement. No matter what the outcome of the dispute is, the WTO is unlikely to declare the entire scheme illegitimate. Whether a win by India might lead to the loss of tens or even hundreds millions of high wage jobs in developed countries such as the US also is unclear, but the likelihood would be large changes will occur if they win.

This would make a very great many good jobs into precarious jobs as skilled workers are tasked with training replacements and then laid off.

the goal is having wages plummet (this is the main intent, as can be shown by the academic literature). Also its clear that the jobs are used as patronage jobs.

they are propping up a great many authoritarian countries.

Link for DS503 tagged content on this site.

How does this work?

A good source for general information about whats known as GATS Mode Four are the publications put out by the AFSC (A Quaker organization) publication Trade Matters, which no longer exists. They can still be found on, however and a number of them can be found in documents found by following keywords on the left : AFSC and GATS Mode 4, labor mobility, movement of natural persons, and also trying those search terms elsewhere.

What jobs could be impacted?

A lot of jobs in what is now the public sector, especially, but honestly, as many as 80% of our jobs are services. Some of those jobs are low paying -does that mean they would never be outsourced or offshored? Right now because of quotas the outsourcing/offshoring firms are focusing on higher skill jobs. But you can see for yourself in the literature that they want to outsource/offshore jobs at all levels because they feel that it would save businesses hundreds of trillions MORE dollars, much more than just outsourcing/offshoring high wage jobs. Seriously, they want to trade a very large number of jobs and would if they are given the ability to by a process that's intended to deflect blame from those (and the greed) who actually did and are doing this..

They will try to seize on every possible reason, literally everything that happens will - if we let them, lead to this. You can bet money on them doing whatever they can to dump our workers under the bus. they have been working on this project for 32 years.

I have posted a lot of these links on this site, where you can read their rosy predictions, based on models KNOWN TO BE WRONG.

They all have the similar kind of clueless faulty math and long debunked trickle down economics.

They would be perfectly happy to trade all the jobs away if they could.

Clearly, so many neoliberals are really unusually wedded to this ideology. I think they definitely qualify as a cult, for dozens of reasons. Ive read extensively on cults, so I don't say that lightly.

GATS is trying to set up a world without walls, for money, where people have no rights at all, and have significant walls they deal with, but corporations do, money does, Equality under GATS is equality enjoyed by money, not people.

GATS limits governments from creating rights that are not purchased, even as GATS tries to trade a great many peoples current jobs away, a world based entirely on money.

But even as this is happening, people need to know that things are changing a LOT faster than people think.

When  GATS created entitlements for countries to control other countries policy space iaying claims to policy they feel entitled to, by business activity and treaties, BUT those rights were not politicians to trade away, (which is why they hide GATS, which blocks the dreams of billions of people by privatizing once public services, (GATS is trying to pull the ladders up )

Politicians don't get to trade core rights and jobs away

They don't get to sign deals that prevent democracy and then pretend nothing ever happened.

they came at the expense of democracy and PEOPLE - the real investors in all countries, their people.

We need to re-create rights for people in many cases- the very ones that were taken away by GATS on January 1, 1995

In particular, GATS, TTIP and TISA are seen by educational organizations as an existential threat to public higher education, and by healthcare organizations as a global threat to public healthcare and public health.

Bernie Sanders is the only politician who gets this. But he has been demonized because he hasn't lied to the public he's figuring in the time required to deal with GATS Article XXI, while Biden is making promises he knows he cant keep, making me think Biden has no intention of winning.

Please, lets not exploit others as GATS obviously is trying to do, dragging us us down and back into in the worst nightmare world, a world of near slavery.

In addition to GATS which has been responsible for two huge disasters for Americans, Lets also dump the TRIPS drug deal which is the ultimate in stupidity and greed, preventing poor people from getting antiviral drugs they need. TRIPS has led to the deaths of a very very very great many innocent people. .

We need to dump GATS and dump the dishonest politicians who are lying to us with every word they speak.

You can read about DS503 at the links above. let it be seen that other countries consider themselves to have been promised, back in the 1990s,  the jobs that our young and middle class people consider to be theirs.

DS503 represents a dirty deal.

Irregardless of deals conducted behind closed doors decades ago that the nation has been denied knowledge of, despite their being public.

Americans and legal permanent residents, including many people from other countries who are now American, and our children and their children, we do owe them a future.

Its not enough to forgive student loans. (But GATS wont allow that, in part, because of the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services, the same instrument that is being pointed at to recall the ACA.)

People are entitled to not have their jobs - even expectancies of future jobs they have never had, just be taken without any kind of reason besides money.

We, the people, are the real investors in America.

GATS and its ilk are a con job thats being used to gut democracy behind our backs with the covert support of political parties and the media.

the whole world has dreams, in every way, We should fund two way mentorship programs, not trade jobs away.

Because capital is now elevated to an inappropriate platform, many of our most talented people will never be able to realize their dreams, if we dont dump GATS now, something the Trumps and the Bidens of the world refuse to do.

We should do exactly what GATS and TRIPS forbid, help all our planet's people.

We must fund our planets peoples best dreams with the money we save from automation, not let it accumulate in just a few people.

That of course would take exactly the kind of wisdom that the FTAs are trying to prevent.


What jobs or job aren't in danger?

Well of course many businesses are 100% private and receive no government originated funds and one would think they would never outsource jobs to staffing companies, but in fact they often do, especially when they are struggling for survival - say due to coronavirus.

Also, one needs to understand how wide the scope of the GATS is and also how narrow the exclusions are.

one of the main elements in GATS, one that's often misunderstood, is GATS' Article I:3 b+c

We have collected background on this all important definition, under the Glossary term "governmental authority exclusion"

Here is the text of this GATS Article 1:3 b+c

Its a very important two line test:

"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."

On the Glossary entry for "governmental authority exclusion

there are two flowchart graphics, from two different sources which give you an idea of what kinds of services are subject to GATS rules, however , not all services are committed, and a very few are also clearly exempt from it's "privatize everything"  mandate For example, the government itself, the jobs of Senators and Congresspeople themselves, are exempt.

Of course that also applies to other members of the Executive, and Legislative and Judicial branches of the Federal, state and local governments.

In the UK and many other countries, outsourcing local government staffing to web apps hosted elsewhere however, is actually very common. As jobs are lost and rateables fall, there also is a lot of fear that money available to staff all government entities will plummet. This has already begun in the UK, and it got a lot of unwanted attention after the Grenfell Towers fire, as the local council's web app continued to try to get people to come in for various appointments and attempted to harass people who hadn't shown up for those appointments, because they were in the unfortunate status of being homeless or sometimes, dead..

Also, there are agreements involving government procurement of goods and services. They mean that many New Deal type programs, are now largely barred by GATS and its many obligations. GATS even endangers Social Security and Medicare. Privatizing them would be a huge mistake, even if it props up Wall Street, a great many Americans do not have extensive investments, they have Social Security. many Americans do not have commercial insurance.

We need to stop outsourcing.

outsourcing jobs for much cheaper will mean much less money coming in to Social Security - especially if the so called "totalization agreement" is signed.

A very large percentage of India's GNP is now tied to this business which until a few years ago was under the radar in the US, and they attempted to keep it so.

Starting in the late 1980s, in anticipation of this change in GATS, the amounts of firms outsourcing services began to soar all around the world. many countries, not just India, now receive a substantial percentage of their GNP from outsourcing services.

FTAS create new obligations to treat some countries companies as your own in all things, actually, they must be given special treatment that your own countries dont get, oftentimes.

This means that spending tax money often means jobs are created in the lowest bidding counties.

Lots of the kinds of changes that legislators promise are no longer permitted.

Whenever signatory governments want something done, when in the past they looked mostly to local providers, now new obligations, such as National Treatment and Most Favored Nation, as well as procurement agreements, vastly increase the size of the number of companies who must be considered as "local".

Some of those companies may now originate on other continents. It depends on which service is cheaper.

This practice is based on the theory of comparative advantage.

Some countries may have lots of workers who are willing to work for very low wages, perhaps because they are recently graduated and they and their parents feel they will lose their skills if they don't use them. Some may even pay for the right to work, under the table.

Countries also have to publish the conditions under which they conduct business and regulations, giving impacted entities a chance to challenge changes in the WTO. Generally, as long as legislative / regulatory changes increase profits for multinational investors they should have no problems. Its only when current or expected future profits are reduced that they do. Countries might be sued by corporations, under ISDS in US style FTAS, which include everything thats not excluded, ( negative list ) or countries might be sued by other countries under WTO agreements, which are positive list opt in. 

If you are interested in writing trade agreements for your own country, you might want to check out this guide for countries which explains the finer points of designing trade agreements on services - explaining the differences between top down and bottom up, etc. Remember that negative list has an implicit standstill, so keep that in mind before you write any new regulations in the future.

Corporations get certainty, individuals get precarity.


It can be said now that foreign companies often get what amounts to a veto on legislation - if they bring a case to the WTO.

If the WTO has the judges to hear them, which it now currentky doesnt, thanks to Donald Trump. It may look like he is anti FTA, but long experience tells me that this lignal left, turn right is common among politicians who are neoliberal it seems to be a common tactic to deceive the public, especially before an election.

As the AFSC points out in their literature, Big corporate lobbies really want the huge wage cuts that implementing global jurisdiction over work visas and travel would give them.

No longer would people with high tech or in demand skills be able to extort high wages out of them simply because they were located in an expensive country.

they really obsess about this.

They see themselves as entitled to rapidly falling wages at this point in history.

Trade agreements which bind domestic regulation are the real reasons minimum wages have barely risen in decades.

If minimum wages are expeted to apply to countries firms overseas workers requirements exist that they publish all legislative changes that might impact them. In countries like the US where people still fnever been told about GATS, legislators likely fear that any significant improvement in laws would be challenged in the WTO and blow their cover. By lying to the entire nation, bith US parties have left themselves open to foreign manipulation by weaving their web of lies.

They also are terrified of any candidate who is not owned by them.

Even as GATS threatens to decimate the jobs of public servants, in many cases people who legislators interact with as constituents, they are paralyzed by this huge lie and pervasive groupthink into swallowing the lies of the radical neoliberals, despite their being filled with faulty logic and lond debunked trickle down economics..

What about public services?

The number of jobs that are allowed to be public services was changed by GATS tremendously. A great many jobs we think of as public services no longer are.

In order to avoid confusion, the EU (I am not so sure what the current situation is in the UK) actually changed the terms they use to refer to them.

might be exempted from GATS under some conditions.

1.) If the entire service sector was not conducted on a commercial basis, generally meaning not conducted for the purpose of earning money. If there are commercial entities involved, no, its not exempt.

2.) Generally, if a service is supplied neither on a commercial basis, nor in competition with one or more service suppliers, it may be exempt, if its not committed already. If it has been committed in GATS its essential to withdraw it from GATS before doing anything with it.

Otherwise a country could be sanctioned based on the value or expected lost profits of the service sector.A case a few years ago showed that countries like the US that just go ahead and do things can often get into trouble. It could cost us trillions of dollars if we do that in an important sector like financial services (health insurance is definitely committed as are a bunch of other related sectors)

A mistake could drain the country of essential WTO controlled concessions like jobs until we invent lots of new service sectors and remember to carve them out first before trading them internationally (<sarcasm)

That might take a few years because its like a divorce.

Please consult the definition below if in doubt if a service sector might be eligible for removal from GATS before swallowing empty promises from politicians.

supplied neither on a commercial basis, nor in competition with one or more service suppliers

Set Theory?:

While the set of services that might be exempt (which are 100% subsidized) describes the services whose jobs might not be outsourced and offshored, if they are not already committed, the inverse of that set describes the set of jobs that might be, if tax money is involved in paying for some of their costs..

As there are time limits on subsidies - currently the rules are changing, becoming tighter and tighter, which ones would be subject to GATS rules, is somewhat subject to interpretation.

Its always smart to err on the side of caution in this situation.

If healthcare or social services are involved, the WTO Secretariat has published this Note.

this also shows you what kinds of partially subsidized governmental programs are likely to be sustainable over time (eventually, none) and which are likely to be temporary and likely to be subject to privatization, (virtually all) often with a globalized component like the aforementioned large scale outsourcing that's allegedly been promised. 

(The US position is that the outsourcing is contingent on the completion of the WTO's so called "single undertaking" only, and that previous to that its okay for it to limit the numbers arbitrarily. 

For GATS, (not TISA) One also needs to look at what service sectors have definitely been committed under the GATS agreement's Specific Commitments for a country. In the case of the US, and all other 163 WTO countries, you can find them on the WTO website.. under "Specific Commitments"

Which is confusing to read if you don't know how. More tips are on the web page for the GATS Article XXI opt out procedure.

(Most Important Tips, "Unbound" means not committed, and "None" means fully committed! The four modes of supply are defined as following.

Four "Modes of Supply"


A great many service sectors have been committed in GATS, the ones where the financial incentive is high to outsource them, often have, Some to my knowledge have not.

Who gets them?

The jobs will go to the lowest bidding firms, with preferences sending some unknown number to slightly higher bidding  "least developed" countries. (This is called the LDC Services Waiver) The goal is basically to increase corporate profits. The change has been planned for 32 years, since the Punta Del Este Declaration of 20 September 1986. The changes for skilled workers could be huge. (consistent employment versus much less consistent employment/underemployment/precarity)


This is a made up interview about the changes which might be caused (it would take at least two or three years to really sink in) India's (DS503) WTO case against the US, and the drastic changes for the world's middle class which could occur as jobs were precartized by the removal of countries ability to set quotas on the numbers of "temporary" intra corporate transferees which currently limits the rate jobs can be outsourced/offshored (typically over the Internet, or physically/on site, via GATS Mode 3 or 4 ) to other countries.

As many as 41% of our jobs could be offshored, an unknown number could be outsourced, probably at least 20%: There would likely be some overlap but its significant that the two original studies which were on offshoring both left out public services which are the main group targeted in GATS.
So then we could eventually lose the half or quite likely, perhaps even more, of our better jobs, leaving the really crappy jobs - whose wages would plummet. The global capital class has in fact been predicting this change since the 1970s and considers this windfall of huge profits to be their 'entitlement'. See the GATS Mode 4 keyword to the left for more info.


Q.) Would workers be eligible for trade related benefits based on displacement of workers?
A.) Not if they are first paid for nine months to train their replacements. That makes displaced workers ineligible for trade benefits.

Q.) Would the international law established by a DS503 case decision only apply to jobs in the US?
A.) No

Q.) What kinds of jobs have been committed in GATS?
A.) All sorts of jobs read the US's Schedule of Specific Commitments here.

Q.) What about young people, who have trained in fields like computing who will never get the jobs they trained for in these service sectors.
A.) People are not eligible for any benefits unless they actually held a job under specific conditions that do not usually apply in these kinds of outsourcing situations. Because people training their replacements are given nine months to time to contemplate  the end of their careers, while training the new person.

Q.) What about coronavirus?
A.) The two are not connected. GATS has been there for a VERY LONG TIME. Its also a reason why a great many other US policy issues are so dysfunctional.

Q.) What about young people with student loans?
A.) GATS blocks student loan forgiveness, universal basic income, , etc.

Bernie Sanders is running on a platform that includes student loan forgiveness, and although trade deals like GATS block these changes, its likely that were he to win he would try to fix GATS because he would have to, to pursue his platform - pretty much all of it. We'd have to pull out of the GATS. Thats part of what this site is about.

Biden's claims to want to make changes without leaving GATS are dangerous and endanger what is left of our existing safety nets if attempted without leaving GATS first, so I have a strong feeling Biden does not even want to win as a Dem victory might lead to demands he did things that he could not do without leaving GATS and other FTAs which he most certainly does not want to do. So I think his job is to stop Bernie, not win.

(GATS is, IMHO a big con job to divest us of jobs people need)

There is zero chance that Biden or Trump would leave GATS or forgo the TISA which in various ways has been in negotiations since 2006 (not 2013 like they say, 2006)

Q.) Could I move to Europe to get my former high salary back
A.) It varies by country.  however they may be in the same situation as the US, required to accept a lot of workers by GATS and other rules that require the privatization of jobs and acceptance of low bidding firms bids. Lots of public sector employment doesn't pass the two line governmental authority exclusion .

This huge influx of guest workers might squeeze out would be immigrants, like you.

Q.) Do the companies that would come in have diverse workforces?
A.) No, not really. They often are remarkably non diverse.

Q.) Can I find DS503's core documents on the WTO web site?
A.) This is the second batch I have posted links to. Its my understanding that there are other DS503 documents but I dont have access to them. The WTO is a very closed organization as is discussed here a lot You may have more luck if you are part of "civil society" as they define it, work for a WTO approved NGO. This gives than an ability to censor them by denying NGO credentials

Q.) How could this be happening and the media not be covering it, I had never heard of GATS before..
A.) You will have to ask them.  Ive been asking the media that for years.

Q.) What would our workers be able to do?
A.) The Global Value Chains ideology that suffuses GATS is a sort of cult of evaluation that wants businesses to always use the cheapest or best everything. So, they would need to be one of them, eventually.

Q.) How will this affect income inequality?
A.) It could dramatically increase it (by funneling wealth upwards to the owners of huge corporations and away from workers)

Q.) How about student loan forgiveness.?
A.) the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services blocks all the regulatory ideas like loan forgiveness or basic income or Medicare for All and even just modest expansions in safety nets for the sick of all kinds. America is a 100% for profit country now because of GATS.. They would violate the standstill as well as many other rules - which are designed to protect them from what they frame as 'indirect expropriation' (laws that devalue markets) 

GATS blocks all new regulation of FS's. Even Obamacare likely violated it which may be why the ACA  is now being rolled back. bit by bit.

 But we cant expect any help if our own government is taking a behind the scenes position thats so radically against public healthcare and other public services, globally, which it is.

maybe there is more info on on another agreement thats in the pipeline, the GPA, too.

Q.) What about the digital economy?
A.) I have a strong feeling that people who expect huge numbers of jobs to be created in Internet related businesses are not that aware of how the technologies work. Many of these Internet companies loom large in the public imagination but they are fairly lean and mean, with a few large exceptions.

Q.) Would Biden or Trump ditch GATS? 
A.) I really really doubt it. To be honest, I suspect that the chance of Biden or Trump leaving GATS is very very low, although not zero.

One goal that the Dems had, I am sure was that Bernie and his crazy ideas were evaluated by the people and rejected in something that loos to the casual observer as legitimate.

Anything to push the country out of discussing anything that might lead people to figuring out that the jobs and policy space that politicians traded away that people still didn't realize they had lost, happened decades ago and that we've been lied to all that time since them.

If you are looking to write that up for a newspaper, you will find a lot of resources here.

Whether you are old or young, try to use your copious free time now learning. Your investment in self education cannot be taken away, Even if you cannot work.

If TPTB dont change, maybe you can make a good  transition to a more hospitable place somehow. Don't put all your eggs into any politician or ideology. That's unlikely to end well in a situation like this one, where nothing is as it seems.