The mystery of WTO dispute DS503- a stealth attack on skilled workers and their work in the US and globally.

Could this be the Pearl Harbor attack on the world's middle class?

make no mistake about it, this is supposed to be  test case that opens the door to profound downward global shifts in the value of labor.

A loss for the US in DS503 could change not just the US, it could gradually change the entire world,  moving a great many jobs, starting with highly skilled jobs in what are currently seen as stable skilled professions anchoring the middle class in developed nations like the US into precarious migrant labor.

(Combined PDF containing the US's GATS Schedules of Specific Commitments )

Which is what some bad actor LDCs and bad actor TNCs want, as the first have an abundance of workers who are so desperate for work they will work for a few dollars a day. So the resurrection of indentured servitude could prove to be very profitable.  It would also help lock in a global privatization of public services and gutting of safety net programs, (and what were formerly thought of before the WTO as "public services") replacing them with low wage international contractual labor.)

The poorest nations will battle it out for these jobs in a race to the bottom on wages.

The TNCs would like to pay the least wages they can get away with, and would not mind having those workers be literally tied to jobs. Which is what WTO GATS , TISA, etc's "Movement of Natural Persons" trade provisions do. (They are based on the "Kafala" system in the Middle East.)

So here I am going to add links as I find them.

WTO Request for Consultations by India - March 4, 2016

WTO | dispute settlement - the disputes - DS503

Article at the US Council on Foreign Relations

Breaking the rules to prevent rule-breaking? The GATS and service mobility: drawing lines between genuine immigration control and protectionism

US—India Visa Fee Controversy before the WTO_ A Migration-Mobility Nexus for the WTO

Certain U.S. Laws for Foreign Workers Draw Fire from India in the WTO (CRS)

(The CRS article leaves a very great deal out, especially its >34 year history.

For example, this United Nations document from 1989:

A/RES/44/232. Trends in the transfer of resources to and from the developing countries and their impact on the economic growth and sustained development of those countries


Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?

India proposal on Mode Four  (WT/WGTI/W/39)

Movement of Natural Persons and Trade in Services: Liberalizing Temporary Movement of Labour under the GATS-Chanda

More articles on DS-503:

The GATS Mode Four "Wage parity" issue (L1B and other L type visas are trade related)

Search for the relevant WTO document of the (anti) wage parity proposal
"TN/S/W/14"

GATS, Migration, and Labor Standards: ILO

Matter of I- Corp., Adopted Decision 2017-02 (AAO Apr. 12, 2017)

USCIS case requiring firms applying for work permits for L1B workers propose that they make at least "a legal US wage".

There were also a bunch of articles in "Inside US Trade" in early March 2016.