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TiSA

TiSA: Trade in Services Agreement

TiSA is a new trade agreement being negotiated on services. The TiSA talks are taking place outside the frame of the World Trade Organisation and its General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), even though they began among a group of WTO members. TiSA is explicitly meant to go beyond the WTO/GATS. If it is finalised, it may eventually become part of the WTO or simply stand on its own, but either way, its provisions will certainly be carried into other bilateral and plurilateral trade deals.

The countries negotiating TiSA are: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, European Union, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States. These countries account for about two-thirds of global trade in services. However, major world economies such as China, India or Brazil are not present in these negotiations and that the BRICS and ASEAN groupings are not included. In September 2015, Uruguay and Paraguay dropped out of the TiSA negotations, after massive popular opposition to the deal.

TiSA seeks the elimination of regulations and national legislation concerning services. There is a strong North-South asymmetry in the negotiating positions, creating significant distortions in the manoeuvring space that governments have to design and implement domestic policies in a wide variety of topics. TiSA’s “sectoral annexes” (key chapters) are: movement of persons, financial services, telecommunications, shipping, air services, postal services, professional services, electronic commerce, freight, public procurement, environment, direct distribution, subsidies, energy and services related to health. In addition to the “sectoral annexes”, the parties are negotiating other “specific disciplines” such as domestic regulation, transparency and location. The United States is particularly interested in liberalisation of financial services, information and communication technology, postal services and seeing progress on domestic regulation. The European Union also has a strong interest in liberalising financial services. Both the EU and the US are home to transnational leaders in these sectors, so they would gain the most.

Of particular concern are the “status quo” clause, the “ratchet” clause, “national treatment” and the use of “negative lists”. This approach involves making commitments based on lists indicating sectors which each negotiating party wants to exclude from the negotiations. It creates major distortions and departs from the provisions of the multilateral framework of the WTO. These clauses and the negative list approach are meant to secure greater and deeper market openings, liberalisation and deregulation, at the same time reducing the role of the state.

Wikileaks has played a critical role in exposing the draft TiSA texts under negotiation and helping to provide analysis and understanding of what is at stake. In many countries, labour unions are on the front line of the resistance to TiSA because so many people are employed in the service sector. Whether they are people working in the ports of Canada or the hospitals of India, TiSA directly threatens to take away jobs.

Contributed by REDES (Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay)

24 September 2015


Newly leaked TISA texts expose the scope of the corporate power grab
"It’s time to halt the negotiations, publish the secret texts and ensure the widest possible public debate to expose the full extent of the threat these treaties pose to democracy and the labour movement," international trade union organizations say.
Hopes high as services negotiators enter final sprint
After their high-level Washington, D.C., meeting on Oct. 16-17, TiSA negotiators will next meet on the sidelines of an Oct. 21-22 WTO “mini-ministerial” meeting in Oslo.
Backdoor for investor-state disputes in TiSA
There is a loophole that may allow private investors to bring a dispute against states.
European Commission paralysed over data flows in TiSA trade deal
European Commission officials have struck a deal that could put a clause guaranteeing international data flows into a trade agreement with 22 countries outside the bloc, including the United States and Australia.
Asymmetrical ambition levels make TiSA talks outcome complicated
Prospects for an outcome in the controversial plurilateral talks on Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) by the end of this year appear grim and complicated.
Commission publishes new proposals for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) in ongoing transparency drive
The European Commission is publishing two new proposals tabled during the 20th round of talks for a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which took place in Geneva.
Cloud providers draw battle lines against TISA, will keep personal data in the EU
A new coalition of cloud companies has published a code of conduct to keep European data inside Europe, just as the issue looks set to become one of the most hotly contested points in the controversial Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).
Ministers aim to wrap up services trade deal in early December
Countries negotiating an international agreement on trade in services plan to meet in early December to try to finalize the deal
TiSA leaks set alarm bells ringing
TiSA is the perfect example on how the new generation of trade agreements is threatening our security and privacy online and non-discriminatory internet access.
Global trade deal threatens Paris climate goals, leaked documents show
Controversial Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa) could make it harder for governments to favour clean energy over fossil fuels as part of efforts to keep temperature rises to 1.5C

    Links


  • ADETRA
    Nouvelles sur le TiSA et le TTIP, sur le site de l’Association de Défense des Travailleuses et Travailleurs
  • TiSA uncovered
    A coalition of concerned groups have created this site to give people across the world a chance to see what their governments are signing up to on their behalf and to create an international network of engaged activists and citizens. Maintained by Public Services International and Our World is Not For Sale. (EN, ES)
  • WikiLeaks on TiSA
    Leaks and analyses of the Trade in Services Agreement. Maintained by WikiLeaks.