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Abstract

International trade agreements are reshaping economies around the world by allowing freer flow of investments, goods and services. Energy and electricity products have the particular characteristic of ranging over both good and service classifications. How is electricity, in particular, treated within these trade agreements, which clearly distinguish between goods and service sectors? How can the electricity sector be affected by new agreements? We answer these questions with a specific focus on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). We start in section 2 by setting the international trade context and then study, in section 3, how electricity is considered in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and in the FTAA. An analysis on the possible consequences of the FTAA on the electricity sector is made in section 4.

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