What Is TISA?

Trade in Services Agreement

TISA is a radical extension of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). It  binds countries to a neoliberal regime for services.

TISA is a proposed treaty between 23 Parties, including the European Union and the United States. The agreement aims to liberalize  worldwide trades in services such as banking, health care and transport.

 

TISA is a proposed treaty between 23 Parties, including the European Union and the United States. The agreement aims to liberalize  worldwide trades in services such as banking, health care and transport.

Leaked draft of the agreement reveal expectations of participating countries:

  • Lock-in and extension of financial deregulation
  • Loss of the right to require data to be held onshore
  • Forced acceptance of toxic financial products
  • Loss off authority to regulate financial policy

 

Undemocratic and Top Secret

A cover sheet within the leaked documents reveals that the text will not be declassified until 5 years after the TISA comes into force or the negotiations are otherwise closed.

Top-secretThe Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties recognizes  background documents (travaux preparatoires) are essential for interpreting legal texts. But these are also being kept secret.

This secrecy makes it impossible for policy-makers, regulators, non-government supervisory agencies, opposition political parties, financial services firms, academics and other commentators to understand the intended meaning or apply the text with confidence.

Secrecy after the fact is patently designed to prevent the governments from being held accountable by their legislatures and citizens.

The states driving TISA were responsible for the WTO’s pro-industry finance rules

The leaked text shows the US and EU, which pushed financial services liberalisation in the WTO, are the most active in the financial services negotiations on TISA. The third most active participant is the renowned tax haven of Panama.

Conditions TISA strengthen and extend the WTO’s Financial Services Agreement.

The aim of the clauses concerned with finance is to ‘discipline’ governments attempting to regulate cross-border financial transactions.

The  rules target what the financial services industry sees as obstacles to its seamless global operations.Member countries will be punished for attempting to do the following things;

  • Putting limits on the size of financial institutions (too big to fail)
  • Regulating activities like deposit taking banks that also trade on their own account
  • Regulating foreign investment through subsidiaries (regulated by the host) rather than branches
  • Requiring that financial data is held onshore
  • Regulating fund transfers for cross-border transations
  • Keeping state monopolies on pension funds or disaster insurance
  • Requiring disclosure requirements on offshore operations in tax havens
  • Requiring that certain transactions must be conducted through public exchanges, rather than invisible over-the counter operations
  • Requiring state  approval for sale of ‘innovative’ (potentially toxic) financial products
  • Regulating of credit rating agencies or financial advisers
  • Placing controls on hot money inflows and outflows of capital
  • Requirements that a majority of directors are locally domiciled
  • Regulating hedge funds

Tisa Puts New Zealand At Risk. Join The fightback.

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