WTO Agreement on the Supply of Public Goods

27-29 March 2015. KEI Europe convened an expert meeting to consider a text for a World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement for the Supply of Social/Public Goods (SGA Agreement). The meeting was held in Berlin, Germany and served as a space for experts with backgrounds in international trade, law, the environment, development, public health and open collaborative development models to review draft articles of the proposed agreement on social goods and provide technical and strategic advice. In June 2016, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung published a report of this meeting, Trade Agreements and the Supply of Public Goods: Report of the Berlin meeting to consider a possible WTO Agreement on the supply of public/social goods, written by KEI Europe’s Thiru Balasubramaniam.

The basic outline of the WTO agreement on global public goods is modeled after the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and employs the binding mechanism of the WTO to the benefit of global public goods. Through the agreement, nations would make commitments to fund projects, through standardized or sui generis offers, and after making the commitment, would be bound to follow through with support or be submitted to the WTO’s dispute processes.