Services providers are busy re-designing their strategies to cope with the global economic crisis. In order to take the right decisions, they need clarity and predictability on future market access in services. Meanwhile, consumers impoverished by the current crisis would greatly benefit from more open markets. Starting negotiations now on how to improve market access in services would deliver predictability to firms and economic gains to consumers, and would be facilitated by the fact that the last months have witnessed growth or resilience in a substantial number of services. That said, how could this be done when negotiating market access in services is so notoriously difficult? We begin by exploring the option of launching bilateral negotiations on services between the two largest world economies, the U.S. and the EC. For both economies, expected gains for consumers and opportunities for services providers are huge because the size of the services that remain substantially protected is equivalent (at least) to their respective manufacturing sectors as a whole. Moreover, being on average the more open partner, the U.S. has a strong interest in cutting EC barriers that are bound by commitments dating from the Uruguay Round, or even in reducing these bound barriers to their current (lower) applied level. being on average the less open partner, the EC may be less sanguine. However, it has a stron

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