This insightful book assesses the impact of the WTO through the medium of two new multilateral agreements - the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs). It explains how these agreements push trade policies ‘behind the border’, mediating conflicts between contrasting legalities and negotiating political and cultural, as well as economic, issues. Detailed case studies address topics of global significance: competition between different types of legal services, ownership claims to the genetic codes of plants and animals, and access to the content resources and technical facilities of the on-line media. With the Millennium Trade Round in the balance, the book assesses the WTO’s potential to move beyond laissez-faire and provide support for independent and alternative producers, providers and users.
• Provides comprehensive analysis of the WTO, its services and intellectual property agreements
• Includes case studies of topical issues: genetic codes, on-line media, transnational lawyers
• Offers a theoretical discussion of the nature of globalization and law