Breaking: #WikiLeaks Publishes 19 pages of the Mega TISA Secret trade agreement

(This is strictly by way of a public service announcement; I’m not versed at all on TISA, so I may not be able to answer comments.)

#WikiLeaks

Press Release – Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex 2014-06-19

Today, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex, which covers 50 countries and 68.2%1 of world trade in services. The US and the EU are the main proponents of the agreement, and the authors of most joint changes, which also covers cross-border data flow. In a significant anti-transparency manoeuvre by the parties, the draft has been classified to keep it secret not just during the negotiations but for five years after the TISA enters into force.

Despite the failures in financial regulation evident during the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis and calls for improvement of relevant regulatory structures2, proponents of TISA aim to further deregulate global financial services markets. The draft Financial Services Annex sets rules which would assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals – mainly headquartered in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt – into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. The leaked draft also shows that the US is particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow, which would allow uninhibited exchange of personal and financial data.

TISA negotiations are currently taking place outside of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework. However, the Agreement is being crafted to be compatible with GATS so that a critical mass of participants will be able to pressure remaining WTO members to sign on in the future. Conspicuously absent from the 50 countries covered by the negotiations are the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The exclusive nature of TISA will weaken their position in future services negotiations.

The draft text comes from the April 2014 negotiation round – the sixth round since the first held in April 2013. The next round of negotiations will take place on 23-27 June in Geneva, Switzerland.

Current WTO parties negotiating TISA are: Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, which includes its 28 member states Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

China and Uruguay have expressed interest in joining the negotiations but so far are not included.

[1] Swiss National Center for Competence in Research: A Plurilateral Agenda for Services?: Assessing the Case for a Trade in Services Agreement, Working Paper No. 2013/29, May 2013, p. 10.

[2] For example, in June 2012 Ecuador tabled a discussion on re-thinking regulation and GATS rules; in September 2009 the Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, convened by the President of the United Nations and chaired by Joseph Stiglitz, released its final report, stating that “All trade agreements need to be reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with the need for an inclusive and comprehensive international regulatory framework which is conducive to crisis prevention and management, counter-cyclical and prudential safeguards, development, and inclusive finance.”

Read the Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex

Read the Analysis Article – Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex

From RT, further commentary and reactions, including:

‘Dr. Patricia Ranald, a research associate at the University of Sydney and convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, told the paper that the documents suggest the US wants to “tie the hands” of other governments, including allied ones, by way of sheer deregulation.

“Amendments from the US are seeking to end publicly provided services like public pension funds, which are referred to as ‘monopolies’ and to limit public regulation of all financial services,” she said. ”They want to freeze financial regulation at existing levels, which would mean that governments could not respond to new developments like another global financial crisis.”

Earlier this week, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said the TISA deal was already well on its way to being put together.

“The basic framework of the agreement is in place, initial market access offers have been exchanged, and sector-specific work in areas like telecommunications andfinancialservices is in full swing,” Froman said, according to Reuters.

The document published this week by WikiLeaks is dated April 14 — two months before Froman last weighed in on the progress of the negotiations and six months after his office hailed previous re-write to the proposal. Along with representatives from Canada, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Turkey and dozens others, American policy makers will met in Geneva, Switzerland later this month starting June 23 to begin the next round of negotiations.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, meanwhile, remains confined to Ecuador’s embassy in London where two years ago this Thursday he arrived seeking asylum. Assange, 42, is wanted for questioning in Sweden but fears his arrival there would prompt a swift extradition to the US due to his role in exposing American state secrets.

Again: Read the Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex

Read the Analysis Article – Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex

From Reuters yesterday: ‘U.S. says basic outline in place for international services trade deal

See Kevin Gosztola’sJulian Assange Hopes New Information Filed in Swedish Court Next Week Will Remove Arrest Warrant

You will likely remember that WikiLeaks released the TPP chapter on Intellectual Property Rights in November, 2013, and negotiation instructions to the EU on TAFTA/TTIP in December, 2013.

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You can donate to WikiLeaks through the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

‘In late 2010, in response to unofficial government pressure, Visa, MasterCard and PayPal cut WikiLeaks off from receiving donations after WikiLeaks started publishing a trove of secret US State Department cables, despite the fact that its publications were fully protected by the First Amendment.

Freedom of the Press Foundation takes donations on behalf of WikiLeaks, and has pledged to do the same for any news organization in a similar situation, to prevent unjust and extra-legal financial censorship of the press. Go here for more information about exactly what your donation to WikiLeaks will go towards. Your donation will be tax-deductible. You can also donate by check.’

From Michael Ratner (their attorney). (I do, too.)

‘Statement frm Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch on Text of Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Text that Has Been Posted on WikiLeaks Today’ (pdf, one page):

“If the text that was leaked today went into force, it would roll back the improvements made after the global financial crisis to safeguard consumers and financial stability and cement us into the extreme deregulatory model of the 1990s that led to the crisis in the first place and the billions in losses to consumers and governments.

This is a text that big banks and financial speculators may love but that could do real damage to the rest of us. It includes a provision that is literally called ‘standstill’ that would forbid countries from improving financial regulation and would lock them into whatever policies they had on the books in the past.”

Mike Ludwig at Truthout writes:

“Demonstrations erupted in Geneva in April as diplomats met in secret for the sixth round of negotiations over TISA, which would cover international trade in a wide range of service industries ranging from finance and telecommunications to transportation and even local utilities such as water. Protesters demanded that the draft text be released, but it has remained secret until now.

Public Services International (PSI), a global trade union federating public service workers in 150 countries, has reported that TISA threatens to allow multinational corporations to permanently privatize vital public services such as healthcare and transportation in countries across the world.

“This agreement is all about making it easier for corporations to make profits and operate with impunity across borders,” said PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli in response to the leak. “The aim of public services should not be to make profits for large multinational corporations. Ensuring that failed privatizations can never be reversed is free-market ideology gone mad.”

PSI’s pdf report.

The Geneva protest link has video en Francais.

 

18 responses to “Breaking: #WikiLeaks Publishes 19 pages of the Mega TISA Secret trade agreement

  1. Via WikiLeaks on Twitter:
    ‘Video: John Pilger on Julian #Assange’s two years inside the Ecuadorian Embassy’

  2. Poppy’s new World Odor pervades, unimpeded.

  3. My God.

    John Pilger. Now there is another hero from the past. Never getting a spot on CNN-MSNBC-FOX News-NPR etc etc

    Thank you for this article Wendye, as always.

  4. you must mean ‘PéPé’s new world odor’, eh bruce? was his rule the genesis? with his global cohorts? i don’t even know/remember. but it’s gettin’ so bloody outrageous. this one has flown so far beneath the radar somehow. yves smith linked to one of the links i hadn’t posted in the press release, and ye gods and little fishes it looks worse than i thought, just reading the first fourth of it. (gonna have mr. wd get me some stronger walmart specs tomorrow).

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/06/wikileaks-exposes-super-secret-regulation-gutting-financial-services-pact.html

    from: ourworldisnotforsale.org, Why International “Trade in Services Agreement” (TISA) is Dangerous to Democracy, Development, and the Public Interest, and Must Be Stopped!

    http://www.ourworldisnotforsale.org/en/article/international-trade-services-agreement-tisa-why-proposed-free-trade-agreement-fta-services-d

  5. pilger rawks, doesn’t he? really, it was just a cut-n-paste job, but ah’m a wikileaks girl and wanted to give them props and get it out there. really i’d been planning a bit of a break for mental health reasons…and gardening ones. :)

    things are getting seriously ugly for the novorossiyans, and i fear it will not end soon.

  6. michaelcavlan

    I know. i just seen where the Ukrainians Neo-Nazi’s in kiev just mortared a Russian border post. Either they are just stupid or they are trying to draw Russia into an open conflict. Which is even more idiotic.

    Our US State Dept (with our great glorious leader president Obama) could be trying for this greater conflict as well.

    I am at a loss at the stupidity and the cowardice of the US fake left Veal pen proponents.

    http://rt.com/news/167392-russia-checkpoint-fire-ukraine/

  7. Can someone get 0 to add, “We seek no wider war”; along with his decision to escalate in the ISIS “crescent”, so he Can RENEGE (as always) on these, his most recent “stands”?!

  8. michaelcavlan

    I just rediscovered this great wee tune. Band is Oasis- song is “Fucking In The Bushes” – Enjoy. This was in the movie Snatch. A movie that had Brad Pitt play as an Irish Gypsy (Pikey) going head to head with a brutal London gangster. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFm0xb_qJ2w

  9. michaelcavlan

    Best scene from the movie. There are two clips. Sorry about slight overlap

    and then

  10. wendye, I have a new hero (besides Putin) – Robert David Steele, as in Open Source Everything. I love the positivity of this article:

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/19/open-source-revolution-conquer-one-percent-cia-spy

  11. “When we have a scandal so powerful that it cannot be ignored by the average Briton or American, we will have a revolution that overturns the corrupt political systems in both countries.”
    When we Oceanians can’t see the 9/11 Ground Zero ‘falling fruit’ cellar for the gravity (and Bush DEPRAVITY); what more of a “precipitating” scandal can one conceive?

  12. oh, my. i just sent out an email, and after not having received any since morning, as soon as i pressed Send, 17 came in at once. so sorry; dunno what’s up, but i’ve burned out my eyes doing more research on TISA. got those prism zig-zag thingies in one eye; hard to see through, but rather pretty. :)

    please forgive me for not answering until morning. sleep well and restore.

    love,
    wd

  13. eep, sorry michael cavlan; cannae want to watch fight scenes. ‘fucking in the bushes’ might take a bit of getting used to? or am i just….ooooooold? :) hideous carnage by the junta and assorted militias as US proxies.

    bruce, the quote must be from Ahmed’s piece about steele?

    juliania, i did start it, but it’s so very long that i’ll need to try again later. i was taken aback that he’d said at the beginning that ‘intel in support of policy must be…’, etc., since once policy is made, intel is unnecessary, isn’t it, unless it’s spying for *dissenters* to policy? but yes, he seems to veer in other better directions.

    please say why putin is your hero, or one of them? (speaking of being taken aback)

    house-keeping: i am sorry that since i hadn’t gotten email notification from the site that i never even clicked in to see if comments just weren’t coming through. the past week things worked a they should, but then: not yesterday.

    also: if you click into the fdl version of any post here, and see info or links that you’d like to discuss, please do! when there are no comments here, it tend to forget to bring new discoveries here until later. i do have one dilly that makes TISA far more real; took it to naked capitalism, but by then the thread was pretty dead.

  14. from: ourworldisnotforsale.org, Why International “Trade in Services Agreement” (TISA) is Dangerous to Democracy, Development, and the Public Interest, and Must Be Stopped!

    What is the proposed TISA? (mind you, this was published in June 14, several days ago):

    “At the beginning of 2012,about 20 members (counting the EU as one) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) calling themselves “The Really Good Friends of Services” (RGF) launched secret unofficial talks towards drafting a treaty that would further liberalize trade and investment in services,and expand “regulatory disciplines” on all services sectors, including many public services. The “disciplines,” or treaty rules, would provide foreign services providers free access to domestic markets at “no less favorable” conditions than domestic suppliers and would restrict governments’ ability to regulate services.This would essentially change the regulation of many public and privatized or commercial services from serving the public interest to serving the profit interests of private, foreign corporations.

    Negotiations occurred throughout 2013 in conjunction with the meetings of the Council on Trade in Services in the WTO, with the aim of finalizing very ambitious agreement on far-reaching services liberalization and disciplining government. [snip]

    “They are also pushing for parallel negotiations on the liberalization of services in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) through the re-start of the Doha Round.

    Where did that crazy idea come from?

    The TISA negotiations follow the corporate agenda of using “trade” agreements to make privatization non-reversible, and to promote mergers and acquisitions and deregulation, in order to ensure greater corporate control and profit making of national economies and the global economy. The proposed agreement is the direct result of systematic pressure by transnational corporations inbanking, energy, insurance, telecommunications, transportation, water, and other services sectors, working through lobby groups like the US Coalition of Service Industries (USCSI) and the European Services Forum (ESF). In fact, in the early 1980s, the financial lobby started to press for what would become the GATS to be included in the WTO at the time of its founding in 1995.”

    Now i looked into the US coalition of service industries’ website, and discovered: The launch of ‘Team TiSA on Capitol Hill earlier this week:

    “USTR Michael Froman, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, members of Congress, and Japanese Ambassador Sasae address Team TiSA Launch Event [snip]

    In addition to Ambassador Froman and Congressman Camp, the audience also heard from Rep. Sandy Levin, Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee; Congressmen Dave Reichert and Gregory Meeks, two prominent members of the Congressional Services Caucus; Sen. Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; and Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae of Japan. A photo gallery of the event is available at the bottom of the page.”

    http://teamtisa.org/index.php/news-and-announcements/announcements

    So, it’s a real thing, and the congressional friends of the oligarchs will try to make sure it gets the nod, imo.

  15. Just on a totally simple level, wendye. Putin doesn’t want war and Mr. Steele wants transparency. I thought the latter was pertinent in light of your topic here of yet another secret negotiation.

    I suppose it would put wikileaks out of business if everything was done openly by governments, but Mr. Steele’s point,( he being a former CIA operative reminded me of Putin’s KGB ties,) is that secret spy stuff hasn’t really produced anything and everyone not trusting everyone because nobody knows what the heck is going on behind closed doors simply leads to stalemate.

    I must say, though, I think his idea of a handheld device that would tell you all there is to know about products on the shelf is a bit hokey – but we all have our little shibboleths. And still, once upon a time Consumer Reports did do that fairly well.

  16. thank you for explaining why putin is a hero to you, juliania. yes, he has put himself into a saner bracket than so many global leaders on that one.

    but i haven’t had the time to read the steele piece, it’s very long. but what you said about ‘putting wikileaks out of business’ made me laugh. do you imagine somehow that that they DO make some sort of profit, and would not love to be out of business themselves? ‘we open governments’ is their entire credo. assange has been a virtual captive in the ecuadoran embassy for two years now; chelsea manning will likely spend the full 35 years in federal prison, jeremy hammond got 10 years for grabbing some of the stratfor intel files, and i forget some of the other hacktivists’ sentences.

    yes, i reckon they’d all like to be put out of business. i’ll try to read the steele article sometime soon. i like most of ahmed’s posts.

  17. ‘Trade Treaties and the Coming Rule of the Global Corporatocracy’ by Don Quijones, freelance writer and translator in Barcelona, Spain.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/06/trade-treaties-coming-rule-global-corporatocracy.html

  18. US State Dept (with our great glorious leader president Obama) could be trying for this greater conflict as well.

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