A Service to the Economy: The Importance of Free Trade in Services

Policy Forum
February 10, 2009 12:00PM
Auditorium/Wintergarden
Featuring Bob Vastine, President of the U.S. Coalition of Services Industries; Christine Bliss, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Services and Investment; and Aaditya Mattoo, World Bank. Moderated by Sallie James, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute.

Although they are a large and growing segment of world trade, services are frequently relegated to second-tier status in trade negotiations–behind high profile sectors such as agriculture and manufactured goods. That’s unfortunate, because studies from several international economic institutions–and a new Cato paper–show that liberalizing services will bring huge benefits to consumers and taxpayers–from lower prices to increased choice–and will deliver indirect benefits to the many industries that use services as an input to their own production. What opportunities exist for capturing the benefits of freer services markets with the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations in a deep funk?

Please join us to discuss these important issues.