Trade in Services Agreement

TiSA negotiations began in 2013 between the US, EU, Australia and about 20 other mostly industrialised countries with developed service export industries. The aim was to deregulate trade in services further than can be achieved through the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).  The negotiations are taking place outside the WTO, with less transparency, and are being driven by global services corporations. The hope was to pressure more developing countries to join, eventually replacing the WTO GATS. The aim to finish by the end of 2016 was abandoned because of European popular opposition and EU differences with the US. Negotiations were suspended by the Trump adminstration in 2017, but could be resumed. TiSA provisions are being use a model in other agreements like the TPP and RCEP.  See short summary here, submission on privatisation and trade in services here and leaked documents here. For more detail see AFTINET's original submission to DFAT on the Trade in Services negotiations.

Major issues: secrecy, restrictions on government regulation of services, data regulation, expansion of foreign investment in competitive tendering, pressure for privatisation of services.

Last Updated: February 2018