Secret trade documents leaked – Global Justice Now response to #TiSAleaks
Date: 20 September 2016
Responding to the most recent batch of documents leaked relating to the Trade In Services Agreement (TiSA) leaked by Greenpeace Netherlands, Nick Dearden the director of Global Justice Now said:
“It’s a sad day for democracy when ordinary people are dependent on leaks to learn about the far-reaching consequences of toxic trade deals that are being cooked up behind closed doors. These leaks confirm what civil society groups, trade unions and consumer watch dogs across the world have been warning against, that TISA is a turbo-charged privatisation and deregulation deal that will enormously benefit corporations at the expense of ordinary people and democracy itself.
“Any country signed up to TISA will lose important controls over their economy – to regulate, to protect public services, to fight climate change. In effect, they are handing large swathes of policy-making to big business. So anything we can do to shed light on this dangerous deal is a good thing, because if citizens knew this was being negotiated in their name, they’d oppose it, just as they opposed TTIP, TPP and CETA – the ‘sister’ deals of TISA.
“A particular concern for us is that, unlike some of the other mega trade deals, TISA includes lower income countries like Pakistan. While rich countries already have relatively good public services in place, these poorer countries tend not to. Under TISA rules, countries can’t exempt services that do not yet exist – any new service will automatically be subject to liberalisation rules. So for countries which haven’t been able to develop health services, or transport services, or decent education, for instance, TISA will lock in a situation in which private companies run public services for profit. This is a disaster for citizens of those countries, and will become a major challenge in efforts to reduce poverty and inequality.
“TISA also aims to be a global deal – in fact there are plans to eventually incorporate it into the World Trade Organisation (WTO). But those pushing TISA don’t want to have the negotiations in the WTO because the deal would be blocked by emerging countries who recognise that it is a huge threat to their sovereignty. Indeed, that’s why Uruguay has already pulled out of the talks. So Western leaders, egged on by big finance and big services corporations, are negotiating outside the WTO with the eventual aim of foisting on all WTO members as a ‘done deal’. At the very least, TISA will serve as a model for all future trade in services deals.”
Read Global Justice Now’s briefing on TiSA – A Blueprint for Global Privatisation