By Sam Knight for The District Sentinel
President Obama’s chief trade negotiator is optimistic that delegates will meet deadlines for a major deal on services—one scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
US Trade Representative Michael Froman gave his outlook on the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) on Wednesday, while noting potential roadblocks.
“We have a number of challenges whether it’s the data issue or the new services issue that is very important that we are able to resolve in TISA and we are going to continue to work on that,” he said.
Last week, the deal made headlines when Wikileaks published documents outlining demands of EU delegates.
According to Common Dreams, those positions include demands for investor access to major public services throughout the world; including national postal services throughout Latin America. They also include demands for sanitation, sewage, telecommunications, and energy and mining privatization, as well as a push for financial liberalization.
Global labor confederations responded to the revelations by calling on TISA negotiations to be suspended.
TISA is currently scheduled to be finalized at meetings in December. Parties to talks include the US, the EU, Japan, and over two dozen other countries.
Sweeping multilateral free trade deals have become a hot button issue in the ongoing US presidential election, with both Republican and Democratic nominees opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Last month, Vice President Joe Biden said that the upcoming Lame Duck session of Congress was “our only real shot” of getting the TPP approved.