The USTR announced on Tuesday the United States’ intention to join the WTO Joint Declaration Initiative on National Regulation of Services (DR JSI) and support the conclusion of the Initiative by the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) in November. .
Currently, a group of 63 WTO members is negotiating disciplines that seek to ensure that domestic regulatory measures related to qualification requirements and procedures, technical standards and licensing requirements do not constitute unnecessary obstacles to trade in services.
With the disciplines, participants seek to promote clear, predictable and transparent procedures for trade in services.
At the same time, they seek to guarantee flexibilities to help governments implement the measures at the national level and regulate in accordance with their national policy objectives.
The 63 members are: Albania Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Brazil; Bulgaria; Canada; Chili; Porcelain; Colombia; Costa Rica; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; The Savior; Estonia; European Union; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hong Kong, China; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Republic of; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malt; Mauricio; Mexico; Moldova, Republic of; Montenegro; Netherlands; New Zealand; Nigeria; North Macedonia; Norway; Paraguay; Peru; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Swiss; Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu; Thailand Turkey; Ukraine; UK; and Uruguay.
The DR JSI negotiations are an opportunity to improve the transparency and fairness of the processes for obtaining licenses to provide services by US professionals, such as engineers, architects, and environmental consultants, as well as US companies in fields such as retail, express delivery and financial services.
“The United States has long championed the transparency and fairness of regulatory rules as a fundamental characteristic of good governance, and sees the DR JSI as an opportunity to strengthen such standards around the world,” the USTR said in a statement. .
In general, the rules under negotiation are based on the improvements to transparency and due process in trade in services introduced in the Agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA).
For the first time for the WTO, the negotiations also seek to prohibit discrimination between men and women in the issuance of these licenses, recognizing the negative impact that such practices have on economic opportunities.