Greater trade openness in services is central for new trade agreements to boost trade and economic growth. A sector often neglected in past trade agreements, services are now part and parcel of bilateral trade negotiations like TTIP and subject to negotiations over a services-alone plurilateral agreement, the so-called TISA. Yet, to date, most of the liberalization in services has been carried out autonomously, independent from the WTO or other trade agreements. So what can be learnt from autonomous liberalisation when new trade agreements on services are negotiated? And what explains this incentive of countries to liberalize on a unilateral basis?