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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


Cities and regions express their views on the sharing economy, the Trade in Services Agreement and a fair corporate tax system
The Commission for Economic Policy of the EU Committee of the Regions held an external meeting whose agenda was the adoption of the draft opinionson the local and regional dimension of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
Uruguay, Paraguay drop out of TiSA talks
U.S. trade officials acknowledged Uruguay and Paraguay’s decision to drop out of talks on the proposed Trade in International Services agreement.
Uruguay decision to exit controversial trade deal talks with US appropriate
Former Uruguayan senator Alberto Couriel said that there is "no free trade" in the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), promoted by the United States.
In snub to US push for new services pact, Uruguay pulls out of negotiations
Just a week before the deadline for submitting national offers on liberalisation of services sectors under the on-going “secret” talks for a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez decided to abandon the plurilateral negotiations.
Uruguay withdraws from TiSA, strikes a symbolic blow against the trade deal ratchet
TISA completes the unholy trinity of global trade agreements that also includes TPP and TAFTA/TTIP. Between the three of them, they sew up just about every aspect of trade in both goods and services — the latter being TISA’s particular focus.
Uruguay: governing coalition rejects TISA’s negotiations
The ruling progressivist coalition Broad Front overwhelmingly decided to withdraw Uruguay from the negotiations on the supra-national trade-deal TISA (Trade in Services Agreement).
Newly released emails reveal cozy relationship between US trade officials and industry reps over secret TiSA deal
Multinational corporations have been more than thrilled to take advantage of secretive trade negotiations process to get their wish list of policies through the backdoor.
TISA and tech’s double standards on secret government Internet deals
The stash of previously-secret correspondence about the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) speaks volumes about the extent to which technology companies into the dangerous idea that trade agreements should be used to govern the Internet.
TiSA – the new trade deal being kept under wraps
Like TTIP, CETA, and TPP, the TiSA deal would turbo-charge global trade this time in ‘services’, which includes air and maritime transport; parcel delivery; e-commerce; telecommunications; accounting; engineering; consulting; health care; private education; and financial services – around 80 per cent of the US economy.
How the US is using a secret agreement on services to wriggle out of its WTO obligations
It is increasingly evident that the TiSA negotiations are an attempt to pressure developing countries to grant greater liberalisation in sectors of interest to the US and other industrialised countries, without the latter having to pay any price for it, writes Chakravarthi Raghavan

    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.