October 22, 1999
News Release 99-146
Inv. No. 332-399
ITC REPORTS THAT AFRICAN TRADING PARTNERS
CHART PROGRESS IN SERVICES TRADE LIBERALIZATION
Commitments made by African trading partners under the General Agreement on Trade in
Services (GATS) provide an effective foundation from which to achieve progressive
liberalization of international trade and investment in services industries, reports the U.S.
International Trade Commission (ITC) in its study General Agreement on Trade in Services:
Examination of the Schedules of Commitments Submitted by African Trading Partners.
The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, recently concluded the
study, which examines GATS commitments scheduled by Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana,
Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, and
The report examines the following industries: distribution services, defined as wholesaling,
retailing, and franchising services; education services; communication services, defined as
basic and enhanced telecommunication, courier, and audiovisual services; health care services;
professional services, defined as accounting, advertising, and legal services; architectural,
engineering, and construction services; land-based transportation services, defined as rail and
trucking services; and travel and tourism services. Highlights of the report follow.
The foregoing information is from the ITC report General Agreement on Trade in Services:
Examination of the Schedules of Commitments Submitted by African Trading Partners
(Investigation No. 332-399, USITC Publication 3243, October 1999). The report will be
available on the ITC Internet server at www.usitc.gov. A printed copy may be ordered by
calling 202-205-1809 or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade
Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC. Requests may also be made by fax to 202-
- In 1997, cross-border service exports by U.S. firms measured $239 billion and cross-
border service imports measured $156 billion. Services trade with African trading
partners accounted for under 2 percent of total U.S. services trade.
- The schedules of commitments submitted by the selected trading partners vary
considerably. South Africa, and to a limited degree, Senegal, scheduled commitments
on a broad range of service industries, indicating that they are taking steps to foster
trade and encourage investment in this economic sector. Other trading partners were
more conservative, offering commitments on a limited number of service industries.
- Treatment of service industries also varies significantly. African trading partners
provided the most complete coverage of basic and enhanced telecommunication, travel
and tourism, construction, and land transportation services. Audiovisual, courier,
distribution, and education services received less robust treatment. None of the
selected trading partners scheduled commitments on advertising services.
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