AFTINET submission to the inquiry on the government’s trade policy approach

September 28, 2023: The Joint Standing Committee on Trade Investment and Growth is conducting this enquiry at the request of the Trade Minister. AFTINET’s submission argues that the trade negotiating framework should be consistent with the government’s whole-of-government policies for equitable and environmentally sustainable economic development, including strategic industry development and development of renewable energy industries and other policies to meet carbon emissions reduction targets and other green economy goals. 

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.

Leaked Trade in Services proposals would restrict regulation in the public interest

Media Release, May 26, 2016: Wikileaks has released the most updated draft texts on the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)[i]on three new annexes: State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs); Professional Services, and New Provisions Applicable to All Services.

The TISA is currently being negotiated among 50 mostly industrialised and service-exporting countries including Australia, the US, 23 EU countries, Japan and Korea.

Download the full media release here.

Trade in services leak signals new risks to health services

February 5, 2015: A leaked discussion paper from secret negotiations for a Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) proposes wide ranging changes to national public health systems to allow the promotion of private health tourism services. This would be profitable for private health insurers, but would lead to the Americanisation and privatisation of Australia’s health-care services, says the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association

Indonesia FTA and TiSA now top priorities

With the TPP looking even less likely to pass through US Congress after the Democratic National Convention last week, Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo appears to be setting his sights on other trade deals.
 
He has changed his rhetoric around the TPP, telling the AFR today: "We don't put all our eggs in one basket. The TPP isn't the be-all and end-all of free trade.” 
 
Indonesia and TiSA now top priorities

TiSA - Trading Away Energy Democracy

25 May 2016
 
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) could undermine government efforts to tackle climate change in accordance with the Paris Agreement, according to a new report by Public Services International.
 
The report, TiSA vs Climate Action - Trading Away Energy Democracy, finds that the TISA’s draft chapter on Energy Related Services, leaked by Wikileaks, aims to "strengthen the market and limit the space for government policy and regulation in the energy sector.”
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