Services Dimension in the Pacific Alliance

The need for Latin American countries to address the economic and trade challenges through coordinated continental strategies with stronger economies and in particular towards emerging   Asia Pacific led to the creation in 2007 of the Pacific Arch Initiative. This project was stalled by the lack of progress in the integration process and differences in trade policy among its members, so in response to this arise the Pacific Alliance in 2011, between Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The Alliance pragmatism has led to the subscription of some commitments and the implementation of various cooperation programs between member countries, without the need to incorporate them into a single package. Since the Uruguay Round the aspects related to services have been fundamental in trade negotiations. Recently, trade in services has appeared increasingly as an alternative way for developing countries to achieve economic growth and development. Not only in relation to the possibility to add value to its production and exports baskets, but also as an strategy of improving regional production chains which is one of the main objectives of the Pacific Alliance. Although the four members could be classified as middle-income countries, they still have deficit in their highly concentrated export basket.

The main purpose of this article is to answer two questions: Whether the Pacific Alliance countries had given a better treatment on services liberalization to its developed countries partners (EU and US) than among them? How could the Pacific Alliance members’ services liberalization commitments at WTO and FTA converge to a single agreement? This article reviews the trade in services aspects of the Pacific Alliance members. First, we review the existing commitments on services liberalization of the Pacific Alliance members in the World Trade Organization (GATS). Second, studying the commitments o member´s Free Trade Agreements, particularly with the US and EU comparing them with those among them. Finally, an agenda on services liberalization for the Pacific Alliance is proposed.

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Authors: Dorotea López, Felipe Muñoz and Angélica Corvalán
Full document: 2015, Lopez et al, Services Dimension in the Pacific Alliance