Politico | 13 January 2016
Allgeier: TISA deal could help fix TPP flaw
By Doug Palmer
The Obama administration could partly fix a flaw in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement through separate negotiations on the proposed Trade in Services Agreement, a top industry official said today.
U.S. banks, insurance companies and other financial firms are upset that the TPP pact would allow participating nations to require them to maintain data servers within the countries’ borders, despite a ground-breaking provision that prohibits such requirements for all other companies.
One way to address that concern would be for the administration to assure financial services companies that it won’t do that again in future trade agreements, Peter Allgeier, president of the Coalition of Service Industries, told POLITICO.
"If they were to do that and be successful, let’s say in the TISA, that would catch seven of the 11 other TPP countries," Allgeier said, referring to Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru.
Of the remaining four countries - Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia - the last two are the biggest concerns.
Allgeier said it may be possible to reach side deals with Vietnam and Malaysia on the data localization issue, but he also acknowledged the difficulty of that.
"The big thing is, change the position and don’t repeat it as you go forward," the former U.S. trade official said.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will meet with top trade officials from other TISA countries later this month in Davos, Switzerland.
U.S. officials hope to finish talks on TISA this year, but acknowledge that’s an ambitious target.