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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


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A secret discussion note for the Trade in Service Agreement (TISA) – leaked today by Associated Whistle-Blowing Press- uncovers that negotiators discuss reforms to the national health care systems in favour of international trade and the commercialisation of health care.
European Parliament is gearing up for TISA
Overshadowed by the highly mediatised Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) negotiations are moving along, and will appear on the radar this year, promises Luxembourgish MEP Viviane Reding, responsible for the dossier.
Trade In Services Agreement: Goodbye privacy, hello censorship
Internet privacy and net neutrality would become things of the past if the secret Trade In Services Agreement comes to fruition.
Leak shows: Trade treaty TiSA could undermine national data protection regulations
The secretly negotiated trade treaty TiSA — short for “Agreement on Trade in Services” — jeopardizes privacy protection in international data transfers.
Proposal of new provisions applicable to all services of the secret TISA negotiations
AWP releases a bilingual copy of the Proposal of New Provisions Applicable to All Services and the Annex on Professional Services of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).
Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security
‘Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data’ Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) said today.
TISA negotiations: Yes to e-commerce, data flows, no to IPR, data protection?
After two years of negotiations, the draft Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) stands at 17 horizontal and sector-specific proposals, negotiators told Intellectual Property Watch after the 2-5 December Geneva round of negotiations
The TISA threat to food and agriculture
Agriculture depends on a whole complex of services – water, credit, research, testing, marketing – which may be privatised by TISA, warns Peter Rossman.
PSI Special Report: The Really Good Friends of Transnational Corporations Agreement
The objective of this report is to help overcome the secrecy and complexity surrounding the TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) negotiations in order to bring the agreement into the public sphere for democratic debate.
A plan only banksters will love: WikiLeaks reveals trade deal pushing global financial deregulation
Democracy Now! discuss the leaked text with Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and author of "The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority."

    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.