In the area of express delivery services the Coalition of Service Industries (CSI) wants rules against profits derived from national postal services being used to cross-subsidize other postal services that US companies want to compete with. It also wants rules to prevent taxes from private companies being used to subsidize national postal services.
In terms of financial services CSI wants nations to commit to pensions policies that would ‘encourage private savings for retirement’ and thus provide opportunities for foreign investment companies to profit from people’s retirement, which would be precluded by a government pension scheme. The Bush administration is currently pushing for this approach to aged pensions in the US.
Health care services are another CSI target. The CSI makes the doubtful claim that competition in the US health care field has enabled cost reductions to occur whilst quality has improved. The companies involved stand to gain from the opportunities that the rapid growth of health care expenditures in some other countries might offer. This requires that nations open up their health care markets to competition and allow majority foreign ownership of their health care facilities.
US companies have been excluded from this profit opportunity by the fact that health care has traditionally been a government responsibility in most countries. In OECD countries barriers such as restrictive licensing of health care professionals and ‘excessive privacy and confidentiality regulations’ continue to be an obstacle to US companies. In developing countries, whilst barriers are fewer, the danger for US health care companies is that more will be put in place as the countries develop.
The CSI also wants to facilitate the flow of US professionals and business people to foreign countries by getting US negotiators to press for an agreement on business mobility which would enable business people and qualified professionals to enter a country without a visa to work on specific assignments. In furtherance of this aim, it wants the negotiators to champion ‘freedom of association’ for these professionals and the elimination of requirements or prohibitions that national professional societies might have in place.