Baldacci opts out of some WTO service-sector rules

Original Publication Date: 
7 April, 2006
Gov. John Baldacci has sent a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, stating that Maine would not be covered by the World Trade Organization's service-sector rules in the General Agreement on Trade in Services.

Baldacci specifically protected Maine's ability to set its own policies in the areas of health care, land use, education and libraries by removing Maine from coverage under these sectors of the WTO agreement, according to a Maine Fair Trade Campaign press release.

While trade policies are set at the federal level, states have the authority to decide whether they wish to be covered in areas such as services and government procurement, which are traditionally within the realm of state and local authority.

Baldacci joins Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski as the second governor to remove his state from parts of the WTO services agreement.