Wikileaks release new TiSA papers during Paris climate summit
Responding to the Wikileaks release of documents from the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) which is being negotiated by the US, EU and 22 other countries, released to coincide with the COP 21 climate negotiations taking place in Paris, Nick Dearden the director of Global Justice Now said:
"The raft of free trade agreements that are currently being pushed pose a critical threat to our ability to address the climate crisis. Regardless of the outcomes of the Paris climate talks, if TiSA was passed it would massively reduce the ability of national governments to make the sort of rational choices about energy production that would move us further towards a low carbon economy.
TiSA seeks to place corporate handcuffs on our governments at a time when they need as much flexibility as possible to steer us away from fossil fuel dependency. If we want to fight climate change, we must also stop TiSA and the other toxic trade deals that are being cooked up behind closed doors."
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) aims to turn public services like health, education, water and sanitation into commodities for trade – essentially, to privatise them. It threatens to exclude millions of people worldwide from access to these vital services.
Negotiations on the TiSA deal began in 2012. It involves 50 countries, including the UK and the rest of the EU. It was initiated following the stalling of talks on services at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), due to opposition from many, mainly poorer countries.
The TiSA deal aims to make it much easier for multinational companies to get involved in the provision of essential services. Public services play a crucial role in tackling poverty and inequality. But the TiSA deal would restrict the legal powers of governments to run services like education and water for the benefit of their citizens.
The TiSA would worsen the situation of migrant workers by limiting the ability of governments to protect their rights. It also seeks to further reduce regulation governing the international finance sector – despite the financial crisis which resulted from an already deregulated finance industry.
Photo: Annette Dubois/Flickr/cc