The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
The World Trade Organization (WTO) implemented the GATS in 1995. This agreement created international trade rules and market access commitments for all internationally traded services sectors except services supplied by governments and air transport services. Currently services which are provided on a commercial or competitive basis are covered under the GATS, but the agreement does not require public services to be privatized. The GATS is basically a “pre-Internet” agreement.
1996: 77% of online users send or receive email at least once every few weeks, up from 65% in 1995.*
1997: Google.com registers as a domain name.
1998: 20% of Americans get news from the Internet at least once a week, up from 4% in 1995.
1999: 41% of adults use the Internet. The weather is the most popular online news attraction.
2000: 40 million Americans - or 14% of the U.S. population - have purchased a product online.
2005: 25 million Americans have sold something online.
2008: 74% of Internet users - 55% of the entire U.S. adult population - went online during the Presidential election to take part in or get news and information about campaigns.
2012: Ecommerce sales top $1 trillion worldwide.
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) builds from the GATS to create a trade agreement which reflects the current and future business practices in the global market. The TiSA will provide updated rules for traded services sectors that reflect the rapidly changing world of the digital economy, globalization, and the role of services as the enablers of all parts of the economy, including manufacturing and agriculture.