What is TISA and why we need to stop it

August 2016

The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) is a proposed international trade treaty being negotiated by 50 countries, including the European Union and the United States.

Unlike most trade deals, TISA is about services, not goods. This means that it has serious consequences for things that have little to do with trade, affecting areas like labour rights, banking regulation and whether public services like electricity and water are run for the benefit of the people or by profit-making multinational companies.

Five reasons to oppose TISA

  • It could lock in privatisation of public services. TISA contains mechanisms, such as ‘ratchet’and ‘standstill’ clauses, that make it much harder to reverse privatisations and will allow greater market access for foreign companies.

  • It will be terrible for the climate. TISA entrenches the idea of technological neutrality on energy policy. This could stop countries favouring renewables over coal, oil and gas.

  • It will mean more casino capitalism. TISA will undermine efforts to regulate the financial sector and avoid another crisis. 

  • It threatens online privacy. TISA promises to hand much more power to the likes of Google and Microsoft to move personal data across borders to countries with lax data protection laws.

  • It will be especially damaging to countries in the global south. TISA includes countries likePakistan that could be hindered in developing public services. It also poses a threat tocountries outside TISA, because, once approved, rich countries will seek to impose TISA-style measures globally through the WTO.


Photo: Annette Dubois

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