GATS mode 4; labour mobility; immigration; trade; policy implementation ; veto points
Lavenex Sandra, Jurje Flavia (2019), Opening‐up labor mobility? Rising powers' rulemaking in trade agreements, in Regulation & Governance
Jurje Flavia (2019), EU’s External Labour Mobility and Trade - a Multilayered Governance Approach, in Kostakopoulou Dora, den Hertog Leonhard, Carrera Sergio, Panizzon Marion (ed.), Brill, The Netherlands, 207.
Jurje Flavia, Lavenex Sandra (2019), The Trade-Migration Nexus from a Multilevel Perspective, in Spilker Gabriele, Elsig Manfred, Hahn Michael (ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Jurje Flavia, Lavenex Sandra (2018), Mobility Norms in Free Trade Agreements: Migration Governance in Asia between Regional Integration and Free Trade, in European Journal of East Asian Studies
, 17(1), 83-117.
Lavenex Sandra, Jurje Flavia (2017), EU/US migration policy towards emerging countries: regulatory power reversed?, in The European Foreign Affairs Review
, 22(2/1), 157-176.
Jurje Flavia, Lavenex Sandra, Givens Terri, Buchanan Ross (2016), Regional Migration Governance, in BörzelTanja (ed.), Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 457-486.
Jurje Flavia, Lavenex Sandra (2015), The migration–trade nexus: migration provisions in trade agreements, in Talani Simona (ed.), Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK , 259-282.
Jurje Flavia, Lavenex Sandra, Opening-up labour mobility? Rising powers' quest for international mobility in trade agreements, in Regulation and Governance
Traditionally, labour mobility has not been part of the trade arena. This agenda evolved with the 1995 General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) of the WTO, which included the so-called “mode 4” mobility of natural persons as one out of four modes of services liberalization. Dealt with precaution by developed countries due mainly to labour immigration connotations, current GATS mode 4 commitments have remained limited, associated mostly with the temporary movement of highly skilled service providers within multinational companies. For developing countries like India, China, Brazil or Mexico, generally abundant in low-cost labour force, broader mobility provisions that would also cover lower skilled workers, detached from commercial presence, have been thought to produce substantial positive impacts for the service providers themselves, as well as, for the sending and receiving economies (Winters et al. 2002, Martin 2006). While there is little progress with the current WTO round of negotiations, more developments on mode 4 have taken shape within regional and bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). As an Indian official put it, “GATS mode 4 is India’s strongest offensive interest in trade negotiations” and the ongoing FTA negotiations with the EU clearly depict this. The actual mobility of service providers towards targeted economies is however conditioned by domestic labour and immigration legislation in the respective countries. This study will scrutinize implementation patterns of international commitments on labour mobility in one of the main destination country, the UK. Analysing enforcement of international commitments is essential to grasp the de facto effects of these norms and the extent to which the services-related mobility avenue is used in practice. In particular, the study will assess possible regulatory barriers at the implementation level that can hinder international mobility, such as institutional veto points. The UK provides an important case to assess policy implementation, as it happens in a context where domestic immigration polices are heavily contested, thus intensifying the clash between liberal economic interests and protectionist home affairs polices. To understand who are the main actors supporting liberalization of services mobility and who are the opponents, face-to-face interviews with UK government officials working on trade and immigration policies, as well as relevant private actors (e.g. multinational companies) will be carried out. In this context, the current EU-India FTA negotiations are relevant to assess demands and offers on both sides and the role of key actors involved in negotiations on mode 4 mobility. Drawing mainly on the literature on policy implementation and veto points (Hill/Hupe 2002, Tsebelis 1995, Hug/Tsebelis 2002), the study will further complement the analysis on international services-related mobility developed in the ongoing research project. The results will not only contribute to international relations and comparative policy analysis research, but also bring novel empirical evidence in a field with salient policy implications for trade and migration.