The GATS agreement covers four types of service delivery in cross-border trade: The AGCS agreement has been criticized for tending to replace the authority of national legislation and justice with that of an GATS dispute resolution body that conducts concluded hearings. Spokespeople for WTO government members have an obligation to reject this criticism because they had previously pledged to recognize the benefits of the dominant trade principles of competition and “liberalization. Some activist groups believe that GATS risks undermining the ability and authority of governments to regulate commercial activities within their own borders, which will lead to the flight of power from the commercial interests of citizens. In 2003, the GATSwatch network published a critical opinion, supported by more than 500 organizations in 60 countries.  At the same time, countries are not required to enter into international agreements such as the GATS. For countries that like to attract trade and investment, GATS adds a degree of transparency and legal predictability. Legal barriers to trade in services may have legitimate political reasons, but they can also be an effective instrument for large-scale corruption.  Exceptions may be granted in the form of exceptions known in Article II. Members could apply for such exemptions before the agreement came into force. New derogations may only be granted to new members at the time of accession or, in the case of current members, by a derogation under Article IX:3 of the WTO agreement.
All exceptions are subject to review; they should not, in principle, last more than 10 years. In addition, the GATS allows groups of members to enter into economic integration agreements or to mutually recognize regulatory standards, certificates and others when certain conditions are met. The GATS, like all other Uruguay Round agreements, is an annex to the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement. It therefore does not have its own signing and ratification process, but will come into force at the same time as the WTO agreement and all other annexes. There is no opt-out of the GATS: those who want to take advantage of the other elements of the Uruguay cycle must also respect the GATS.