Analytical Note, August 2005

Issues of Interest to LDCs in the WTO Services Negotiations – Series No 3: Emergency Safeguard Mechanism.

The negotiations on Article X on an Emergency Safeguard Mechanism (ESM) of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) were initiated after the establishment of the GATS at the end of the Uruguay Round of negotiations in 1995.

An ESM in services is a complex matter and presents many questions and challenges that have yet to be resolved. This note aims to raise awareness among least developed countries (LDCs) of the main issues discussed within the ESM negotiations and their implications for LDCs.

After a brief background into the history and current status of negotiations, discussions of the legal, economic and political value of an ESM for LDCs is explored. This note ends with recommendations for LDC policymakers and negotiators for a successful completion of negotiations.


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