What is GATS?
History of GATS
Present of GATS
GATS &  Gov't Services
WTO &  Gov't Services
Application of Regulations
Libraries as a Cultural Industry
Concerns for Libraries
The GATS is a trade treaty, which may effect service sectors in Canada that
have not traditionally been involved in the trade of services in any way.
Publicly funded libraries are vulnerable under this agreement to the imposition
of restrictions on the services offered or the mandatory withdrawal of public
funding if their services are found to be in competition with other service
providers. Canada's commitments in the communication sector which include
service in online information and database retrieval, electronic data
interchange, and online information and/or data processing, is particularly
troubling for libraries as providing access to the Internet and online databases
has become a central function of libraries in the past 10 years. Under the GATS,
it is possible that the Canadian government will not be able to argue
that the provision of all library services is a function provided in the
exercise of government authority because these services are provided by private
for-profit companies. The underlying problem for libraries with the GATS is
that libraries are not present in the minds of negotiators and the concerns of
libraries are not considered when negotiations take place. Library advocates
must be extremely active in speaking with governments about their concerns and
pointing out areas where library services coincide with GATS obligations.
Although governments are aware of the ramifications of their commitments in
service sectors to large corporations, librarians must educate them about what
those commitments will mean for libraries and library services around the world.
Site created by Sandra Anderson in April, 2003 as part of |
LIS 583 - Globalization, Diversity and Information, a course offered
School of Library and
Information Studies at the University of Alberta.
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