Media coverage of WTO dispute settlement impasse completely leaving out its implications for working if WTO takes over work visas globally.

Pick our poison? Loss by US in a pending WTO dispute could shrink the middle class in size substantially internationally. Given Biden's involvement in the TISA agreement and Trump's quite probably only temporary obstruction of GATS outsourcing US jobs under the GATS Mode Four scheme (while using similar schemes to procure very low wage workers in his own businesses) we really are facing a choice between two very problematic, to say the least, candidates. The reason is likely intentional. to trap us into an outcome that literally almost nobody in the country would ever have voted for. Neoliberalism is a cult, literally, led by the US, UK and other oligarchical countries. One that has contempt for democracy, which it calls things like "mob rule" or "majoritarianism". But democracy - as illustrated by their contempt for it, actually is the key to just and stable government, what they want to replace it with is not. I think that its obvious what is being done. And that a reasonable observer would conclude the two candidates and all this huge mess the country has been put through is actually a well planned out scheme to take over the country's future, and by extension, the world's . A clue to their goals may be a pending WTO dispute (DS503) that will also be binding on the world. It could lower wages globally, a lot. And the holding of our healthcare hostage, in order to manipulate us by means of little known provisions in the GATS trade agreement.

The media coverage portrays Biden in most areas as a liberator, from an oppressive barbarian Trump Administration, and in many ways that is varying degrees of true, but there is at least one huge area where his policy is likely to be anything but liberating. And where a huge disclosure has been greatly needed for decades, but has never been forthcoming.

The US has been a long time supporter of a trade agreement, part of the WTO called GATS  It contains as one of its main payloads, transnational labor shifts that are supposed to greatly reduce wages internationally, as one of the agreements benefits. 

Its been kept quite quiet but (GATS' and its progeny, TISA ) also potentially do an end run around all the progress of the last 80 years or so. It has the potential of leading the world into a resurgence of what many call modern slavery.

 GATS is part of the WTO. Its General Agreement on Trade in Services".

It goes all the way back to before 1986, when the global oligarchy came together from September 15-20 in the closed, incredibly expensive city of Punta Del Este, Uruguay to add "services" to the GATT, creating a new international system to regulate not only goods, but also services. I.e. jobs.

How wide is its scape and what does it control (Work in Progress)

(Some of the following is quoted from the UNCTAD course on WTO Dispute Settlement)

A threshold question, for a panel in any case involving claims under the GATS, is whether the measure is within the scope of the GATS by examining whether it is a measure “affecting trade in services” within the meaning of Article I of
the GATS.

The relevant part of Article I reads as follows:
1. This Agreement applies to measures by Members affecting trade in services.
Article I
Scope and Definition
To understand fully the meaning of Article I each element of the phrase
“measures by Members affecting trade in services” must be examined separately.

To do so, it is necessary to understand certain definitions contained in Articles
I and XXVIII of the GATS.

Measures by Members Affecting Trade in Services
The phrase “measures by Members affecting trade in services” is defined in
Article XXVIII of the GATS. The definition states as follows:
(c) “measures by Members affecting trade in services” include measures in
respect of

1) the purchase, payment or use of a service;
2) the access to and use of, in connection with the supply of a
service, services which are required by those Members to be
offered to the public generally;
3.) the presence, including commercial presence, of persons of a
Member for the supply of a service in the territory of another


This definition, in and of itself, does not provide a precise meaning to the
phrase “measures by Members affecting trade in services”. It only provides a
list of certain types of measures that will be considered as coming within the meaning of that phrase. It is important to note that this definition gives some
examples of the types of measures that would come within the scope of the GATS, but it is not an exclusive list.
To give the expression a more precise meaning, it is essential to examine its
constitutive elements individually.

Measures by Members

Article I:3(a) of the GATS defines the expression “measures by Members”
very broadly. According to this definition, the GATS covers virtually all levels of government activity – central, regional or local as well as non-governmental
bodies that have powers delegated to them by governments.

Article I:3(a)
reads as follows:

"3. For the purposes of this Agreement:
“measures by Members” means measures taken by:
central, regional or local governments and authorities; and
non-governmental bodies in the exercise of powers delegated
by central, regional or local governments or authorities.
In fulfilling its obligations and commitments under the Agreement, each Member shall take such reasonable measures as may be available to it to
ensure their observance by regional and local governments and authorities
and non-governmental bodies within its territory;

The term “measure” is defined in Article XXVIII of the GATS as follows:

“measure” means any measure by a Member, whether in the form of a law, regulation, rule, procedure, decision, administrative action,
or any other form;


As a result of the combined effect of these two definitions, the obligations and
disciplines of the GATS apply to all forms of intervention by central, regional
and local governments as well as non-governmental bodies with delegated
governmental powers. A “measure” includes laws, regulations, rules and
decisions of courts and administrative authorities, but it also covers practices
and actions of governments or non-governmental bodies with delegated
governmental powers. Examples of measures would include legislation of a
Member, by-laws of a municipal authority, and rules adopted by professional
bodies in respect of professional qualifications and licensing. All such measures
could potentially come within the scope of the GATS.


(Basically, the GATS has been used to take over the world, for corporations)

It is important to note that each Member has an obligation to take reasonable
measures to ensure that all “sub-national” levels of government and non-
governmental bodies with delegated governmental powers within its territory
comply with the disciplines of the GATS. This obligation is similar to the
obligation found in Article XXIV:12 of the GATT 1994 relating to trade in
goods. 4
The question of whether or not a particular action of a government constitutes
a “measure by a Member” within the meaning of Article I:1 has not specifically
arisen as yet in any WTO dispute settlement case. However, there could be cases in the future in which this issue could be important. For example, in a
case involving actions of a non-governmental body, it could be disputed whether that body exercises governmental powers delegated to it by a government.

The scope of the GATS, however, does not extend to actions of purely private
persons or enterprises which do not exercise any delegated governmental

(However, it does extend to areas like visas, and to "market access" to foreign firms - including staffing firms which are expected to provide labor of various kinds to privately owned US companies.

An addition to  GATS is TISA, the additional plurilateral agreement put forward in 2006, TISA was only announced in 2013, after seven years of preliminary negotiations.

You can read about these TISA negotiations and their implications for US healthcare in this report that was originally published by the state of Maine, to analyze whether they could maintain their state health plan in the face of the GATS restrictions.

(The source of some of this page is a UN (UNCTAD) document. Download it here. )

So as you see, GATS controls practically everything that governments can do. They are however allowed to regulate all areas that are not covered by the GATS or that lie completely outside of the scope of GATS. (a very few areas, like the government itself, and its jobs, as well as things that are completely "services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority" are outside of its scope.  That definition you will see is extremely important.

However, that latitude is only allowed if these other areas do not conflict with the GATS or serve as means of avoiding the obligations GATS creates, which are onerous.


There is a very strong push to "liberalize services" , as defined by GATS. However, services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority are exempt from this global privatization edict.

This governmental authority exclusion however is much narrower than people think.

During the last few years, (likely temporarily) Trump has at least slowed down, if not halted the push to irreversibly liberalize services jobs, which include around 80% of the US economy. But we have come under a lot of pressure because we agreed to liberalize services, even though the cost in jobs could be quite substantial.

Basically services liberalization hands over jobs in large numbers to firms owned in many cases by the richest people in the poorest countries, that treat their workers in what some say is what they are worth, (labor is in oversupply in many countries so the worth of labor and of human lives is deemed much lower, because of supply and demand. When we signed GATS our government basically decided for us that that would happen here too, however we never got the memo.

And a pending dispute against the US by India in the WTO, is likely a test case intended to end the monopoly American firms have on jobs in the US, vastly opening the pool of potential workers for jobs and lowering wages to some equilibrium point, which could be much lower than it is today. This would mean an end to the healthy prosperous middle class and people who carried large amounts of debt would likely fall much deeper, but then again, we dont know. Its also possible that empowered by cheap labor, everybody would start a company. Or so the propaganda implies. Of course its bullshit but it serves the purpose of getting it started, and once it is trade deal ratchets lock in and make it irreversible.

Huge corporations love the idea because they will finally get to use their cheapest workers anywhere they want, and third world countries governments love it (even if remittance plummet) because it will increase their CONTROL.

Unfortunately, this state of capture and corruption is precisely why so many immigrants fled to the US.

Now, because the capture has barely begun, and is still greatly limited, immigrants to countries like the US in the diaspora are paid well and often send some or even lots of money back to their families back home, not the oligarchs in the countries they originated from. This has inspired some literature - quite a bit claiming that currently emigration produces both a brain drain and economic activity which they consider to be lost to them.

So what is being readied in GATS, TISA and other similar agreements - in many cases what is already there but subject to low numerical quotas that has resulted in the job losses (or efficiency gains, as they call them) being much smaller than their potential numbers.

is actually a global capture of migration, with the goal of replacing immigration, migration by people for their own and their families benefits.

they view the current form of immigration as a loss to them of money they feel they should control. Of course, many fled these countries precisely because of this corruption.

But now it has followed them here.

its goal is Increasing corporate profits by outsourcing first professional jobs and then working downward, under the WTO agreement in service sectors ( GATS ) countries have committed, and in US style "next generation" FTAs like TISA, TTIP, NAFTA and others, in a top down, "negative list" manner where all services, are included unless a country excludes them in advance. 

This is understood by many in trade fields to be a mortal blow that's likely to hugely shrink the middle class.

A great many jobs (Ultimately, perhaps more than half of US jobs) can be done cheaper by foreign subcontractors, because wages are often markedly cheaper, even if US laws were to require, as they have since 2017, that a legal US wage be paid, foreign firms often charge their workers for room and board, car and other expenses, so that their wages are very very low.

This is expected to make a huge impact as government jobs in particular are contracted out to foreign firms. (trade organizations like WTO Jurisdiction extends to work that involves tax money).

Biden if elected will almost certainly re-allow this process which was begun in the 1980s but formally initiated during the Clinton Administration by signing the enabling law, the URAA on December 8, 1994) Biden has promised to go forward with it, keeping things the same, ending Trumps obstruction of this process, by appointing judges.

The WTO dispute thats been ongoing for several years over the use of visa quotas in the US to slow the process while negotiations are still ongoing  is probably behind some of Trumps actions.

Here is a good example, of how the dispute settlement body issue is framed in the Guardian.  Why dont they mention that the effect of this shift in the context of Brexit (as it will be binding on the whole world) could be devastating.

Here is an explanation of how and why the appellate body is now lacking a quorum.  The article in an Indian paper, barely mentions the dispute, and totally ignores the controversy over whether visas for temporary work should be issued by the WTO., which likely would open the floodgate to guest work on a massive scale, pushing wages in countries like the US down a lot.

GATS may have seemed like a good idea in the bubble years in the early 90s but it will be poison to democracies now, representing quite a serious betrayal, losing so many good jobs to foreign subcontractors.

Related content