A large majority of developing countries on Thursday (7 May) firmly rejected demands from the United States, the European Union, and other developed countries for binding the autonomous liberalisation measures taken by them in the services sectors after the Uruguay Round of commitments.
The developing countries made clear that they are not willing to undertake "commitments for free" in the Doha services negotiations, several services negotiators told SUNS.
An informal meeting of the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services on 7 May showed continuing differences among members, with key developing countries making clear that progress on agriculture and the US-EU concessions therein will be the yardstick for progress in other areas of the Doha negotiations.
A large majority of developing and least-developed countries at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have demanded that the Annex C of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration must remain the basis for drawing-up the post-Bali work programme on services, according to trade envoys familiar with the non-attributable summary issued by the chair of the Doha services negotiations on 27 April.
An informal meeting of the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services on Monday (20 April), amongst others, heard proposals from some Members on defining the services component of the post-Bali work programme on the remaining Doha Development Agenda (DDA) issues. Members also agreed that the services component of the work programme should include market access and rule-making for services trade, with the market access negotiations needing to move in parallel with the rule- making part of the services agenda.
As the technical experts and negotiators engaged in the controversial plurilateral initiative on Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) prepare a report on their overall progress during the last three years, it has emerged that there will be sharp "asymmetries" in the levels of ambition in different services sectors, according to several members familiar with the negotiations. In this brief D Ravi Kanth provides an overview of levels of ambition in current TISA negotiations,
According to trade officials, at the regular meeting of the Council for Trade in Services on 18 March, the LDCs, in their presentation, assessed the high-level meeting that was held on 5 February, in which number of developed country members and developing country members in a position to do so had indicated the services sectors and modes of supply where they intend to provide preferential treatment to the LDCs.
The proposal, reportedly tabled by the government of Turkey, was discussed by EU member states last September at the Geneva TISA negotiations. It suggests an annex on health care services in the TISA that would promote offshoring by facilitating patients’ travel abroad to access health services.
Based on a set of leaked US TISA proposal, Prof. Jane Kelsey argues that '‘the US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’'
On 17 October 2014, Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network organised, "Global Trade in Services Forum - From GATS to TISA", in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Public Services International (PSI). Large number of trade unionists from public and private sector, government representatives, global experts and civil society representatives will take part in the vent.
"Open TISA to public debate", was the key demand of the participants at the first Global Trade in Services Forum, in Geneva on 17th October 2014, co-organised by Public Services International (PSI), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network.
On 17 October 2014, the Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network will be organising "Global Trade in Services Forum, From GATS to TISA", in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Public Services International (PSI). Large number of trade unionists from public and private sector, government representatives, global experts and civil society representatives took part in the event. The global conference to provided a critical perspective on the TISA.
This OWINFS network's brief on the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), explains how the proposed TISA push more dangerous deregulatory policies on Financial services and endangers future financial regulatory capacity of governments.
International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association (IUF)
The Tisa Threat to Food and Agriculture: The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association's (IUF) presentation at the WTO Public Forum 2014 – Uni Global Union/Public Services International Panel How a proposed trade in services agreement (TISA) matters to everyone
The United States and its close ‘allies' in industrialised countries, appear to be bent on continuing their campaign to paralyse all negotiations and talks at the WTO - on the other parts of the Bali package, a post-Bali work programme, and the Doha Round - by refusing ‘to work' on other issues, until the US-EU cherished protocol on the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is agreed to and delivered. In this SUNS - South North Development Monitor article By Chakravarthi Raghavan analyses latest state of play in WTO negotiations and US & allies' negotiation strategies.
Following a hearing on TTIP in the Luxemburgish Parliament, CESI President Romain Wolff sees TTIP as a distraction to another important trade agreement, the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Here, Mr Wolff warns of a threat to public services by the back door.
On the occasion of Global Trade Summit convened by PSI and it's affiliates in Washington, D.C., on 15-17 September 2014, PSI and Our World is not For Sale (OWINFS) launched a new Special Report by Ellen Gould entitled "The Really Good Friends of Transnational Corporations Agreement" on the first day of the Global Summit. The report was launched with the objective to overcome the secrecy and complexity surrounding the negotiations on trade in services agreement (TISA) and bring it into the public sphere for a democratic debate.
A new report TISA versus Public Services by Public Services International (PSI) warns that governments are planning to take the world on a liberalisation spree on a scale never seen before. According to the report, this massive trade deal will put public healthcare, broadcasting, water, transport and other services at risk. The proposed deal could make it impossible for future governments to restore public services to public control, even in cases where private service delivery has failed. It would also restrict a government’s ability to regulate key sectors including financial, energy, telecommunications and cross-border data flows.
At Public Services International (PSI) Global Trade Summit 2014, in Washington, D.C., union leaders from all over the world called for public scrutiny of new wave of global trade agreements, which are now being discussed behind closed doors.