Trade in Services Agreement TiSA – Secret Documents Revealed
NEWS, BIG BROTHER - SPYING - SURVEILLANCE - WHISTLEBLOWING, TRADE, 7 Dec 2015
Today, Thursday, December 3, 10am EST, WikiLeaks releases new secret documents from the huge Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) which is being negotiated by the US, EU and 22 other countries that account for 2/3rds of global GDP. Coinciding with the ongoing climate talks in Paris, today’s publication touches on issues of crucial relevance including the regulation of energy, industrial development, workers’ rights and the natural environment. WikiLeaks is also publishing expert analyses of the documents.
The Trade In Services Agreement is the largest trade treaty of its kind in history. The economies of the 52 countries involved in the negotiation, which is being led by the United States, are mostly the supply of services. According to World Bank figures, services comprise 75% of the EU economy, 80% of the US economy and the majority of the global economy. Notably excluded in the TiSA negotiations are the emerging economies and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
The “Energy Related Services Annex Proposal: Questions and Answers” document sets out TiSA designs to create an international market in energy-related services for foreign suppliers. While heads of state prepare to sign climate accords in Paris, TiSA negotiators are meeting behind closed doors in Geneva to forge new limits on energy regulation.
The “Annex on Environmental Services” reveals that TiSA will aim to ensure that national environmental protections within TiSA countries will be “harmonized down”, promoting the interests of multinational companies providing water purification, sanitation and refuse disposal services over worker safety, public health and the natural environment. Assessing the agreement, Friends of the Earth calls TiSA “an environmental hazard”, pointing out that public services of an environmentally sensitive nature are in danger of being privatized. Commenting on the “Annex on Road Freight Transport and Related Logistical Services”, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) calls TiSA a “race to the bottom,” observing that the Annex joins other Annexes published by WikiLeaks to form an overarching trade liberalization agenda, fragmenting the trucking industry, opening up sensitive areas of the transport sector to international competition, and contributing to the ongoing privatization of public services, undercutting workers’ rights, public health and safety, and the ability of national governments to plan and direct their own industrial and infrastructural development.
While the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP) have received attention, the TiSA is the largest component of the United States’ “Big Three,” the triumvirate of strategic neoliberal trade deals being advanced by the Obama administration. Together, the three treaties form not only a new legal order hospitable for transnational corporations, but a new economic “grand enclosure”, which excludes China and all other BRICS countries.
Today, Wednesday July 2, 2015 at 1500 CEST, WikiLeaks continues publishing documents from the secret ongoing TiSA (Trade in Services Agremeent) negotiations, with four Chapters in key areas ahead of the next negotiating round on Monday: Electronic Commerce, Telecommunications Services, Financial Services and Maritime Transport Services. All four texts include the confidential negotiating positions for each of the TiSA participating countries. Today WikiLeaks is also publishing detailed analyses on each of these Chapters, totalling 26 pages, explaining how they have changed since previous rounds, also published by WikiLeaks.
The Annexes show a concerted attempt to place restrictions on the ability of participating governments to regulate services sectors, even where regulations are necessary to protect the privacy of domestic populations, the natural environment or the integrity of public services. Today’s TiSA documents follow WikiLeaks publication yesterday of five TiSA negotiating texts including the Core Text, and brings WikiLeaks’ overall total of published secret TiSA texts to 28.
Today, 1500 CEST Wednesday, 1 July 2015, WikiLeaks releases a modern journalistic holy grail: the secret Core Text for the largest ‘trade deal’ in history, the TiSA (Trade In Services Agreement), whose 52 nations together comprise two-thirds of global GDP. The negotiating parties are the United States, the 28 members of the European Union and 23 other countries, including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Israel.
Today’s publication happens the week before the next TiSA negotiating round that begins on Monday, 6 July. WikiLeaks is also today publishing the full agenda for next week’s negotiations, which shows that discussions will focus on Financial Services, Telecommunications and the Movement of Natural Persons.
WikiLeaks is also publishing a previously unpublished Annex text – the secret TiSA Annex on Government Procurement. The draft Annex aims to reduce procurement regulation to ensure that TiSA governments will not favour local services over services supplied by foreign multinationals.
WikiLeaks is also publishing the new negotiating texts for three highly controversial TiSA annexes: the annexes on the Movement of Natural Persons, the Domestic Regulation Annex and the Transparency Annex. All three texts include negotiating positions of each of the participant countries in the TiSA negotiations, and illustrate developments from previous versions of the TiSA annexes, also published by WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks has also released 36 pages of our own expert analysis.
While the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP) have become well known in recent months, the TiSA is the largest component of the United States’ strategic neoliberal ‘trade’ treaty triumvirate. Together, the three treaties form not only a new legal order shaped for transnational corporations, but a new economic “grand enclosure”, which excludes China and all other BRICS countries.
According to statements made in April by US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, parts of the triumvirate are “as important” to the US engagement with Asia as “another aircraft carrier”. All three treaties have been subject to stringent criticism for the lack of transparency and public consultation in their negotiation processes. TiSA drafts are classified for a period of five years after the completion of the treaty.
According to NSA interceptions of French treasurer Jean-Francois Boittin published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday “Washington is negotiating with every nation that borders China… so as to ‘confront Beijing’.”
The TiSA Core Text shows how this negotiation aims at going beyond the GATS agreement, substantially further restricting what governments can do in services. There are far more extensive criteria for commercial firms, including foreign ones, to force governments to protect their corporate interests. Changes to scheduling bring more services than GATS under two main rules regarding commercial businesses working in foreign jurisdictions: non-discrimination in favour of local companies and market access abilities to not limit the size and shape of foreign companies in the market.
The text also shows TiSA expanding the GATS agreement to include new “disciplines” such as those on domestic regulation, transparency and eCommerce. TiSA is also of great worry to developing countries, a number of whom will be bound by this agreement, as it does not give any of the GATS provisions for them, but instead gives greater protections for foreign growth into the countries, with protections for national services far lesser than GATS’.
Today’s publication of the TiSA Core Text adds to WikiLeaks’ prior publications of numerous secret TiSA annexes. The text reveals the ideological and legal underpinnings of the TiSA, and provides the overarching context for each of the TiSA annexes.
According to World Bank figures, “services” comprise 75% of the EU economy and 80% of the US economy. For a typical developing country like Pakistan, services comprise 53% of its economy. The TiSA covers the majority of the global economy.
WikiLeaks releases today 17 secret documents from the ongoing TISA (Trade In Services Agreement) negotiations which cover the United States, the European Union and 23 other countries including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan & Israel — which together comprise two-thirds of global GDP. “Services” now account for nearly 80 per cent of the US and EU economies and even in developing countries like Pakistan account for 53 per cent of the economy. While the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has become well known in recent months in the United States, the TISA is the larger component of the strategic TPP-TISA-TTIP ‘T-treaty trinity’. All parts of the trinity notably exclude the ‘BRICS’ countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The release coincides with TISA meetings at the ministerial level at the OECD in Paris today (3–5 June). The ‘T-treaty trinity’ of TPP-TISA-TTIP is also under consideration for collective ‘Fast-Track’ authority in Congress this month.
The TISA release today follows the WikiLeaks publication of the secret draft financial services annex of the TISA negotiations on 19 June 2014 showing the aim to further deregulate the financial sector, despite widespread consensus that lack of oversight and regulation was the main cause of the last global financial crisis of 2008. Today’s release confirms the ongoing determination to deregulate. Furthermore, standstill clauses will tie the hands of future governments to implement changes in response to changing environment.
Today’s release is the largest on secret TISA documents and covers numerous previously undisclosed areas. It contains drafts and annexes on issues such as air traffic, maritime, professional services, e-commerce, delivery services, transparency, domestic regulation, as well as several document on the positions of negotiating parties. WikiLeaks has also published detailed expert analysis of the topics covered in today’s release.
- Public Services International Statement on WikiLeaks TiSA publication
- Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network Statement on WikiLeaks TiSA publication
- Communications Workers of America Statement on WikiLeaks TiSA publication
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