Cultural diversity

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Organisation mondiale du commerce (omc) - cinquième conférence ministérielle de l'omc

Cancún, Mexique (10-14 septembre 2003) – 2003/09/04

This backgrounder produced by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade identifies the challenges of the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference, highlights the sectors involved in negotiations, and explains Canada’s overall objectives in this round of negotiations. It asserts that the structure of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) allows every country to choose which sectors they wish to open to foreign competition and to what extent. This being the case, it states, Canada will therefore not make any commitment with respect to healthcare, public education, social services, and culture. “Canada is not advocating the a priori exclusion of any particular sector from these negotiations. We are simply utilizing the flexible architecture of the GATS to ensure that our commitments are fully consistent with our domestic policy regime.” (Available in French and English)