TISA is an “environmental hazard.” – Friends of the Earth
CLICK HERE to read TISA texts.
Today, Thursday, December 3, 10am EST, WikiLeaks releases new secret documents from the huge Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) which is being negotiated by the US, EU and 22 other countries that account for 2/3rds of global GDP. Coinciding with the ongoing climate talks in Paris, today’s publication touches on issues of crucial relevance including the regulation of energy, industrial development, workers’ rights and the natural environment. WikiLeaks is also publishing expert analyses of the documents.
The Trade In Services Agreement is the largest trade treaty of its kind in history. The economies of the 52 countries involved in the negotiation, which is being led by the United States, are mostly the supply of services. According to World Bank figures, services comprise 75% of the EU economy, 80% of the US economy and the majority of the global economy. Notably excluded in the TiSA negotiations are the emerging economies and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
The “Energy Related Services Annex Proposal: Questions and Answers” document sets out TiSA designs to create an international market in energy-related services for foreign suppliers. While heads of state prepare to sign climate accords in Paris, TiSA negotiators are meeting behind closed doors in Geneva to forge new limits on energy regulation.
The “Annex on Environmental Services” reveals that TiSA will aim to ensure that national environmental protections within TiSA countries will be “harmonized down”, promoting the interests of multinational companies providing water purification, sanitation and refuse disposal services over worker safety, public health and the natural environment. Assessing the agreement, Friends of the Earth calls TiSA “an environmental hazard”, pointing out that public services of an environmentally sensitive nature are in danger of being privatized. Commenting on the “Annex on Road Freight Transport and Related Logistical Services”, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) calls TiSA a “race to the bottom,” observing that the Annex joins other Annexes published by WikiLeaks to form an overarching trade liberalization agenda, fragmenting the trucking industry, opening up sensitive areas of the transport sector to international competition, and contributing to the ongoing privatization of public services, undercutting workers’ rights, public health and safety, and the ability of national governments to plan and direct their own industrial and infrastructural development.
While the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP) have received attention, the TiSA is the largest component of the United States’ “Big Three,” the triumvirate of strategic neoliberal trade deals being advanced by the Obama administration. Together, the three treaties form not only a new legal order hospitable for transnational corporations, but a new economic “grand enclosure”, which excludes China and all other BRICS countries.