While global attention has been focused on other trade deals,
such as the failed TPP, governments and corporations have been
working hard to push through the Trade in Services Agreementâ€
Negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy but leaked documents show
that global services corporations and some governments are using
the deal to push a deregulation and privatisation agenda.
A deal could be reached as soon as early 2017. Hereâ€™s what you
need to know.
1. It's massive, but excludes most low income
All 28 EU member states, as well as the United States, Australia
and 20 other mostly high income countries* are involved in TiSA
negotiations, meaning the deal will cover around
70 per cent of global trade in services.
Emerging economies like Brazil, India, China, Russia, and over
100 developing country WTO members are not included in making the
rules, but would be pressured to join later.
2. Negotiations are secret
TiSA negotiations are held behind closed doors, with very little
public consultation and no public access to negotiating texts. But
â€˜corporate advisorsâ€™ representing global
services companies have access to negotiators to push their
deregulation and privatisation agendas.
3. Almost all services will be affected
TiSA could set rules affecting almost all service provision
including education, healthcare, transport, water,
telecommunications, postal services, aged care, child care, energy,
retail and banking services. These are services which many of us
use each day. Itâ€™s claimed that â€œpublic servicesâ€ are not
included in the negotiations but the TiSA definition of what
constitutes a public service is very ambiguous.
4. De-regulation is the aim
Instead of reducing tariffs on goods, TiSA aims to reduce
government regulation on services, by freezing regulation at
current levels and reducing it over time. This suits global
services corporations but not peoplesâ€™ needs.
Many services require re...