TISA proceeding, but quietly, and without Uruguay

TISA nations in blue (www.dfat.gov.au)

TISA nations in blue (www.dfat.gov.au)

A reader sent me the following information:

The TPP, TiSA and TTIP ‘agreements’ are in actuality treaties in all but name. Calling them agreements rather than a treaty lowers the constitutional requirement of passing by two-thirds for such and allows it to pass with a simple majority.

This trio of trade agreements are sometimes collectively referred to as ObamaTrade. While the TPP is available for limited Congressional review under supervision under the proviso that the trade language cannot be divulged, TISA and TTIP texts are unavailable for even members of Congress to read. The text of the TPP is strictly off limits to the public and even members of Congress must go to a secure, guarded room in the Capital building in order to view the text, and any hand written notes taken must be turned over to security personnel before leaving the premises.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a wide-reaching and highly secretive multinational trade agreement between the United States and Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam encompassing 40% of trade worldwide.

The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is a trade initiative focused on service industries from telecommunications and technology to distribution and delivery services and covers about 70% of the global services economy. Serious privacy concerns have been raised about the agreement, along with questions over the possible impact on immigration following several chapters of the agreement being published byWikiLeaks including one chapter titled “TiSA Annex on Movement of Natural Persons”.

The Economic Policy Institute writes of TiSA that “there is little doubt that it will constrain the future ability of the United States Congress to regulate U.S. immigration policy.” They go on to say “The TiSA draft annex on Movement of Natural Persons would also likely restrict the ability of the current and future administrations to continue some of the basic immigration procedures it currently follows, such as requiring an in-person interview with L-1 applicants.”

The report concludes with the EPI stating that “TiSA has been written in secret by and for major corporations that will benefit greatly if it becomes law. The leaked TiSA text makes it clear that contrary to the claims by proponents of fast-track trade promotion authority, the reality is that those voting for fast track are ceding key powers to make immigration law and policy to an unelected group of corporations and foreign governments.” ttp://www.chrisrofot.com/the-tpp-tisa-ttip-triumvirate/

Uruguay’s government decided to end its participation in the secret negotiations of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). After months of intense pressure led by unions and other grassroots movements that culminated in a national general strike on the issue – the first of its kind around the globe – the Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez bowed to public opinion and left the US-led trade agreement.

Despite – or more likely because of – its symbolic importance, Uruguay’s historic decision has been met by a wall of silence. Beyond the country’s borders, mainstream media has refused to cover the story.

This is hardly a surprise given that the global public is not supposed to even know about TiSA’s existence, despite – or again because of – the fact that it’s arguably the most important of the new generation of global trade agreements. According to WikiLeaks, it “is the largest component of the United States’ strategic ‘trade’ treaty triumvirate,” which also includes the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP).

TiSA involves more countries than TTIP and TPP combined: The United States and all 28 members of the European Union, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey.

Together, these 52 nations form the charmingly named “Really Good Friends of Services” group, which represents almost 70% of all trade in services worldwide. Until its government’s recent u-turn Uruguay was supposed to be the 53rd Good Friend of Services.


TiSA has spent the last two years taking shape behind the hermetically sealed doors of highly secure locations around the world. According to the agreement’s provisional text, the document is supposed to remain confidential and concealed from public view for at least five years after being signed. Even the World Trade Organization has been sidelined from negotiations.

Here is some of what the Canadians have written about it:

The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) is a major attempt to further liberalize trade in services. TISA members represent an enormous services market with nearly 1.6 billion people and a combined GDP of more than $50 trillion in 2013—nearly two-thirds of the world’s economy. In 2013, these countries exported more than $3.6 trillion in services.

There are 24 parties taking part in the TISA negotiations: Australia; Canada; Chile; Chinese Taipei; Colombia; Costa Rica; the European Union; Hong Kong (China); Iceland; Israel; Japan; Liechtenstein; New Zealand; Norway; Mexico; Pakistan; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; South Korea; Switzerland; Turkey; the United States; and Uruguay. As demonstrated by the addition of Uruguay, TISA participants have agreed to welcome other WTO members that wish to join the negotiations and that share the objectives of the group. Parties have recently agreed to Mauritius’ request to join the Negotiations. A final agreement envisages an accession process to allow other WTO members to join in the future.

Since the negotiations were launched in March 2013, twelve rounds of negotiations have taken place in Geneva and two more are planned for 2015. At the end of 2013, the text negotiations were advanced enough to allow the TISA parties to table initial offers. Parties intend to intensify market access negotiations over the next year. During the July 2015 round, discussions focused on a number of proposals including transparency, domestic regulations, telecommunication services and e-commerce, financial services, transportation, and movement of natural persons. The July round also served as an opportunity for Parties to assess progress to date and discuss how the TISA should move forward toward in a timely conclusion.

The services industry includes sectors such as telecommunications services, financial services, computer services, retail distribution, transportation, environmental services, express delivery, energy services and professional services (e.g. accountants, lawyers, architects and engineers).  http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/topics-domaines/services/tisa-acs.aspx?lang=eng

Here is a Q&A from the Europeans about it:

Why is TiSA important for the EU?

Quite simply: it will create growth and jobs.

The EU is the world’s largest exporter of services with tens of millions of jobs throughout Europe in the services sector. Making it easier for EU firms to export services to other countries will help secure growth and jobs here in the EU. And making it possible for firms from outside Europe to offer their services in the EU will increase choice and lower prices for businesses and consumers alike.  http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/tisa/questions-and-answers/

As services become a bigger part of the world economy, trade agreements related to services are becoming more important to more nations.

Some think that TISA will limit government controls, others have a different view.  It may well impact immigration and we are already seeing changes in the policies in Europe and the USA related to migrant issues.  This may result in increased terrorism (see FBI again warns about Syrian migrants; Bible prophecy suggests that the US and UK may be hurt by them).

TISA is one of at least three major trade deals that the Obama Administration has been involved with.  Here is something from the past Summer: 

22 June 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama has for years been negotiating with European and Asian nations — but excluding Russia and China, since he is aiming to defeat them in his war to extend the American empire (i.e, to extend the global control by America’s aristocracy) — three international ‘trade’ deals (TTP, TTIP, & TISA), each one of which contains a section (called ISDS) that would end important aspects of the sovereignty of each signatory nation…Bilderberg group, which brings together the leaders, and the advisers to the leaders, of international corporations, meeting annually or bi-annually, near the places where major national leaders or potential future leaders have pre-scheduled to congregate, such as this year’s G-7 meeting in Bavaria, so that even heads-of-state (and/or their aides) can quietly slip away unofficially to join nearby the Bilderbergs and communicate privately with them…

A good deal has been said but very little has been done about trade policy, and this would be a good place to start the partnership.” (Note the ‘Partnership’ in “Trans Pacific Partnership,” and in “Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership”; but TISA doesn’t use that term.) …

The fact that these ‘trade’ deals are being pushed right now, means that the people who are in power have concluded that, already, ‘the free world’ is so dictatorial, that the chances that their plan can now be imposed globally are about as good as is likely ever to be the case again. The time is ripe for them to establish a global corporate dictatorship.(http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2015/06/22/title-211)

TISA also involves banking and other financial services. Basically, governments want more control over everything. A ‘cashless society’ is one way many believe that world leaders can better gain that control.

Why bring up concerns about a cashless society and trade agreements?