Liberalize trade through the WTO

Learn more through our factsheet!

The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is a plurilateral agreement currently being negotiated between more than 50 countries that represent 70% of global services trade. The current twenty-one-year-old WTO services agreement, GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services), does not effectively address many costly service trade barriers, leading to large unrealized gains from services trade.

Other trade liberalization efforts in the WTO, including the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) and Trade Facilitation Agreement open up even more opportunities to streamline and lower the costs of trade. The Trade Facilitation Agreement was concluded in December 2013, but has not yet been implemented. The Environmental Goods Agreement is a trade agreement that would eliminate all tariffs on environmental goods and services among countries that represent 86% of global trade in environmental goods.

Why does Washington care? In 2014, Washington state exported $26.2 billion in services, with computer software and IT services being the largest services sector ($11 billion in exports). Other leading services exports include professional services like law, finance and accounting as well as international tourism, foreign student education and architecture. Services represent almost 43% of Washington’s GDP, but less than 27% of total state exports, which means that there are opportunities to increase trade by Washington state service providers if an agreement like TiSA is passed.

Washington’s clean tech and environmental sector is booming, accounting for 101,500 Washington jobs. In fact, it is one of our fastest growing industry sectors. An Environmental Goods Agreement would further escalate this sector’s growth while spurring investment in clean technologies, lowering the cost of environmental protection, and helping lower carbon emissions.

Join WCIT in supporting the successful conclusion of WTO trade agreements. To learn how you can get involved, contact Eric Schinfeld at erics@wcit.org or 206.389.7273.