"'Services' refers to a growing range of economic activities, such as audiovisual; construction; computer and related services; energy; express delivery; e-commerce; financial; professional (such as accounting and legal services); retail and wholesaling; transportation; tourism; and telecommunications. Services have become an important priority in U.S. trade flows and trade policy and of global trade in general, accounting for $710.6 billion of U.S. exports and 80% of U.S. jobs. The types and volume of services that can be traded, however, are limited by their intangibility (as compared to goods), the requirement for direct buyer-provider contact, and other unique characteristics. The Administration is currently negotiating three trade agreements that include services as a significant component. If negotiations are concluded, Congress will consider legislation to implement the agreements. […] Congress and U.S. trade negotiators face other issues, including how to balance the need for effective regulations with the objective of opening markets for trade in services; ensuring adequate and accurate data to measure trade in services to better inform trade policy; and determining whether further international cooperation efforts are needed to improve the regulatory environment for services trade beyond initial market access. This report provides background information and analysis on these and other emerging issues and U.S. international trade in services, in general."
CRS Report for Congress, R43291
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html