Daily Archives: February 3, 2016

Press Release – Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex

Today, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex, which covers 50 countries and 68.2%1 of world trade in services. The US and the EU are the main proponents of the agreement, and the authors of most joint changes, which also covers cross-border data flow. In a significant anti-transparency manoeuvre by the parties, the draft has been classified to keep it secret not just during the negotiations but for five years after the TISA enters into force.

Despite the failures in financial regulation evident during the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis and calls for improvement of relevant regulatory structures2, proponents of TISA aim to further deregulate global financial services markets. The draft Financial Services Annex sets rules which would assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals – mainly headquartered in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt – into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. The leaked draft also shows that the US is particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow, which would allow uninhibited exchange of personal and financial data.

via Press Release – Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex.



via notsocrazy.eu.

Why International “Trade in Services Agreement” (TISA) is Dangerous to Democracy, Development, and the Public Interest, and Must Be Stopped! | Our World Is Not For Sale

Strong regulation of and oversight over both public and private services is crucial for democracy, development, and the public interest, all of which would be seriously damaged if the proposed TISA were allowed to exist.

Democracy is eroded when decision-making about important sectors such as financial services (including banking, accounting, insurance, etc.), retail, shipping, telecommunications, transportation, and tourism, is transferred from citizens, local oversight boards, and municipal/county/provincial/state jurisdiction to unaccountable “trade” negotiators to further curtail regulation and prioritize corporate profits. One need only to reflect on the recent impact that the deregulation of the financial sector had on spreading the negative impacts of the economic crises around the entire world, and the ongoing negative impacts being suffered in terms of unemployment and austerity, to realize that robust financial sector re-regulation is absolutely essential to forestalling another economic crisis, just to give one example.

Development is jeopardized when essential services such as health care, water and energy provision, postal distribution, education, public transportation, sanitation, and others are left to be taken over by foreign corporations to make profits rather than be provided at the service of the citizens of the home country. Examples abound of states having privatized what were previously public services, and bringing in foreign corporations to take over the privatized services, only to find that the private corporation soon begins to charge increased prices for decreased services, and leaves both consumers and the government worse off.

The TISA would not contain provisions that foreign investment in services sectorsshould only be undertaken in a way that the benefits the public interest, or when there is a specific public plan including regarding ensuring accountability of private corporations to the development goals of the population. The proposedTISA will be constructed instead to give “rights to profit-making” to foreign corporations.Consequently, due to increased competition, employment and labor rights could also be seriously undermined. Foreign investors would be granted protections through the TISA against what they deem to be trade-restrictive regulations (even if these regulations were designed to protect the environment, health, safety, financial stability and the public interest).

Corporationsmay even become able to defend these“rights” to profit by directly suing their host country,if the proposalto include the nefarious Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism (which allows foreign corporations to sue sovereign governments in an elite, secretive, three-person court, in which countries sometimes avoid losing but can never win) becomes enshrined the proposed TISA.

via Why International “Trade in Services Agreement” (TISA) is Dangerous to Democracy, Development, and the Public Interest, and Must Be Stopped! | Our World Is Not For Sale.

342 civil society groups oppose deregulation and privatisation in proposed services agreement TISA | Corporate Europe Observatory

Dear Trade Ministers,

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, representing hundreds of millions of members across the globe, are writing to express our strong opposition to the negotiations towards a proposed far-reaching plurilateral “Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)”.

  • For those countries of the so-called “Really Good Friends [of Services] (RGF)” participating in the talks – Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Pakistan, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United States, and the 28 member states of the European Union – we urge you to abandon them.
  • For those countries not participating, we urge you to register your strong opposition to the negotiations and to pledge never to join any potential future TISA.

The TISA negotiations largely follow the corporate agenda of using “trade” agreements to bind countries to an agenda of extreme liberalization and deregulation in order to ensure greater corporate profits at the expense of workers, farmers, consumers and the environment. The proposed agreement is the direct result of systematic advocacy by transnational corporations in banking, energy, insurance, telecommunications, transportation, water, and other services sectors, working through lobby groups like the US Coalition of Service Industries (USCSI) and the European Services Forum (ESF). Notwithstanding several financial, economic, social and environmental crises, the services rules proposed for the TISA replicate and greatly expand upon the same rules that “discipline” government measures and limit policy space for regulation, enshrined in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and free trade agreements (FTAs), which contributed to those crises.

Strong regulation of and oversight over both public and private services is crucial for democracy, the public interest and development, as well as for the orderly functioning of the services market. We fear that all of these values and goals would be seriously undermined by this proposed TISA.

Democracy is eroded when decision-making about important sectors– such as financial services (including banking, securities trading, accounting, insurance, etc.), energy, education, healthcare, retail, shipping, telecommunications, legal services, transportation, and tourism– is transferred from citizens, local oversight boards, and local or provincial/state jurisdiction to unaccountable “trade” negotiators who have shown a clear proclivity for curtailing regulation and prioritizing corporate profits.

The deregulation of the financial sector and capital which was encouraged in part through 1990s–era rules of GATS and FTAs led to the recent global financial crisis and the ensuing worldwide wave of recessions. The continued suffering by millions from unemployment and austerity measures reminds us that financial sector re-regulation is essential to rebuild stability and forestall future financial and economic crises.

We denounce the ambition of the RGF to bind further service sectors to the deregulatory GATS-like rules (e.g. in Article XVI on Market Access or Article VI on Domestic Regulation) while legislatures move toward re-regulation. We further reject any plans to adopt new cross-sector restrictions on licensing, technical standards and other domestic regulations (even regulations that affect domestic and foreign businesses alike) that would surpass the existing GATS and FTA rules in restricting governments’ and parliaments’ right to regulate.

We strongly condemn the secretive nature of the TISA talks, in which the citizens, parliamentarians, trade unions, regulating agencies, services users and other interested parties have limited or no access to those who are setting negotiating mandates or to negotiations or negotiating documents, while corporations set the agenda and have easy access to the negotiation documents. We insist that in such negotiations as for the proposed TISA, negotiating texts must be published, and input from regulatory agencies, public service providers and users, parliamentarians, state and local officials, and civil society organizations must be regularly invited. Parliaments and legislatures must set binding terms for such negotiations, which must not go into effect without a full vote of elected officials.

The proposed TISA is an assault on the public interest as it fails to ensure that foreign investments in service sectors actually promote public goals and sustainable economies. We are particularly wary of further undermining of essential services such as health care and insurance, water and energy provision, postal distribution, education, public transportation, sanitation, and others if they are handed over to private and foreign corporations motivated only by profits and available only to those who can pay market rates. Therefore such essential services – including those that operate under a public/private mix, compete with private providers, or charge a fee –should not be subject to any closed-door, unaccountable trade negotiations, including the TISA.

We denounce the intent within the proposed TISA to promote the liberalization of so-called temporary movement of natural persons, who are actually migrant workers, without guaranteeing legal protections for their human and labour rights. The movement of workers is outside the competence of trade agreements and must be dealt with as part of the normative tripartite framework of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The proposed TISA also poses a threat to countries that are not participating. The European Union and the United States have made clear that their intention is to “multilateralize” the negotiations. We call for vigilance against the determination of the EU and the United States to set the TISA’s hyper-deregulation-and-privatization agenda as the global “norm,” and to pressure other countries into joining, in particular countries that may accede to the WTO. Further, it is not a stretch to consider that once a TISA is concluded, signatory countries would try to act as a bloc in services (GATS) negotiations within the WTO, pushing other countries meet the TISA level of liberalization and deregulation, thus contradicting the services negotiating guidelines that WTO members agreed upon by consensus. We further denounce the TISA as an attempt to advance developed countries’ corporate wish lists for services while abandoning commitments made in the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda to address developing country concerns, such as fixing existing asymmetries and unfair rules on agriculture.

The world is still recovering from the greatest global economic downturn in nearly a century, facilitated by the extreme deregulation of the financial services industry. It is clear that strong public oversight over services is necessary to ensure that the public interest is prioritized over private profit. We reject the TISA that would move our countries in precisely the wrong direction.

via 342 civil society groups oppose deregulation and privatisation in proposed services agreement TISA | Corporate Europe Observatory.

About us | UNI Global Union

UNI Global Union, based in Nyon, Switzerland, represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions in the fastest growing sectors in the world – skills and services. A total of 90% of new jobs are expected to be in these sectors in the next decade. UNI and our affiliates in all regions are driven by the responsibility to ensure these jobs are decent and workers’ rights are protected, including the right to join a union and collective bargaining.

Through its Sector Global Unions, UNI represents workers in Cleaning and Security, Commerce, Finance, Gaming, Graphical and Packaging, Hair and Beauty, Information, Communication, Technology and Services Industry (ICTS), Media, Entertainment and Arts, Post and Logistics, Social Insurance, Sport, Temp and Agency workers, and Tourism industries as well as Professionals and Managers, Women and Youth.

UNI’s Breaking Through strategy is about changing the rules of the game in the global labour market and ensuring justice and equality for working people. UNI is working with its affiliates to organise the global service sector workforce at a time of unprecedented precarious work, and record youth unemployment

via About us | UNI Global Union.

TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) could become a major obstacle for governments willing to switch from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy | UNI Global Union

The new leaked text of the Annexes on Energy and Environmental Services for the Trade in Services Agreement was published by Wikileaks on the 3rd of December.

TiSA is being negotiated by 22 countries representing 70% of global trade behind closed doors in a secret room in Geneva while all eyes are on Paris where UN public talks are in full swing to design a new climate regime.

If adopted, the current text could become a major obstacle for governments taking policy measure to switch from fossil fuel to renewable sources of energy.

First it would allow fossil fuel companies to sue governments for their domestic regulation in favor of renewable energy and climate protection and

Second it would prevent local governments from using public procurements in favor of green purchases and local sources of renewable energy.

The TiSA talks are taking place in parallel to two other important negotiations regarding the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) which was adopted by 12 countries but has been ratified yet, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Altogether, these three major trade agreements would advance corporate interests and hinder efforts made by governments to protect people and the planet through appropriate public policies.

via TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) could become a major obstacle for governments willing to switch from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy | UNI Global Union.


PSI is a global union federation that represents 20 million working women and men who deliver vital public services in 150 countries

via PSI.

TTIP pillar already being used to torpedo public interest laws and democracy | Corporate Europe Observatory

TTIP’s regulatory cooperation chapter seeks to align existing and future EU and US standards, restricting the ability of elected representatives to introduce measures and standards in the public interest.

From curbing environmental protection rules, to helping financial conglomerates escape scrutiny; from sidestepping data privacy legislation, to delaying rules on animal testing, the case studies in the report show that lobbyists have made much use of regulatory cooperation to subvert public interest law-making and advance a transatlantic corporate agenda.

The examples highlighted to demonstrate how regulatory cooperation has already facilitated big business priorities over the public interest are:

The scaling back of EU ambition on dealing with dangerous waste from electronics;
Insurance giant AIG escaping supervision in the lead up to the financial crash;
US companies escaping accountability under the Safe Harbour agreement and sidestepping data protection rules;
Delayed legislation on animal testing, ozone depleting substances and aviation emissions.

via TTIP pillar already being used to torpedo public interest laws and democracy | Corporate Europe Observatory.

At your service: the European Services Forum’s privileged access to the EU Commission | Corporate Europe Observatory

Academics have named the relationship between the Commission and the ESF as one of “reverse” or “top down lobbying”: “where the public authority lobbies business to lobby itself”2.

A key routine for this purpose are the ESF’s quarterly Policy Committee meetings, where ESF members debate and decide positions and strategies. The Commission is always present in these meetings, often with several lead negotiators and other high-ranking officials, sitting next to lobbyists from TheCityUK, Telefónica, BusinessEurope and the like. Every six months, trade officials from EU member states join in, followed by a cocktail reception.

During these meetings, Commission officials give “candid” briefings3 about ongoing trade talks to ESF members. They also advise the ESF whom, when and how to lobby. In October 2011, for example, the head of DG Trade’s services and investment unit, Leopoldo Rubinacci, suggested the ESF should send a delegation to the next EU-India summit (“to show clear interests and pressure to the Indian negotiators and regulators”)4. At the time, the Indian government was preparing regulation to open India’s retail market to European supermarket giants – a move which triggered massive resistance from millions of street vendors and small shop owners fearing for their livelihoods. Corporate support was considered key to counter this resistance.

via At your service: the European Services Forum’s privileged access to the EU Commission | Corporate Europe Observatory.

The Brussels Business – Who Runs the EU ? – 2012 HD (sub – serb/cro) – YouTube

THE BRUSSELS BUSINESS is a docu-thriller that dives into the grey zone underneath European democracy. An expedition into the world of the 15,000 lobbyists in the EU-capital, of the PR-conglomerates, think tanks and their all embracing networks of power and their close ties to the political elites.

via The Brussels Business – Who Runs the EU ? – 2012 HD (sub – serb/cro) – YouTube.

The great climate change swindle | PSI

The 23 TiSA negotiators, from Australia to Switzerland and including the US and the EU, are discussing binding clauses “denying regulators the right to distinguish solar from nuclear, wind from coal, or geothermal from fracking” by establishing the principle of ‘technological neutrality’. The meeting in Geneva – from November 30 to 4 December – will likely continue discussion on the agenda item called “Environmental Services”, discussed in October.

The proposal would “reduce states sovereignty over energy resources – says Victor Menotti, author of the study – by requiring states to establish free markets for foreign suppliers of energy related services thereby removing the right to ensure domestic economic benefits from exploiting energy resources.”

The European Commission’s website trade page says “The EU will seek to end discrimination against foreign suppliers of environmental services. This means removing the existing barriers – not just abstaining from introducing new restrictions.”

“This is the great climate change swindle. As modest targets are being discussed in Paris, in Geneva the means to achieve them are being negotiated away in the interests of the largest corporations on earth,” commented Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary. “It is becoming clear why our governments try to hide these negotiations by conducting them in secret”.

Pavanelli called on the governments to release the full texts saying “it is a scandal that we rely on Wikileaks to tell us what our governments are doing on our behalf”.

PSI has previously released research showing how the TISA will stop failed privatisations being brought back into public hands, and how it will limit governments’ ability to regulate.

via The great climate change swindle | PSI.

Πρώην βουλευτής της ΝΔ έπαιρνε 10.000 ευρώ το μήνα από το νοσοκομείο «Ελπίς» | TVXS – TV Χωρίς Σύνορα

ον Οκτώβριο του 2012 υπουργός Υγείας ήταν ο νυν αντιπρόεδρος της Νέας Δημοκρατίας, Άδωνις Γεωργιάδης. Διοικητής στο «ΕΛΠΙΣ» ήταν ο κ. Θεόδωρος Γιάνναρος. Στις 21 Οκτωβρίου 2013 ο οδοντίατρος – στέλεχος της Νέας Δημοκρατίας απολαμβάνει ένα ωραίο «δώρο». Δεν είναι άλλο από την τοποθέτησή του στην Μόνιμη Αντιπροσωπεία της Ελλάδος στην Γενεύη. Πρόκειται για προσωπική απόφαση του κ. Αδώνιδος Γεωργιάδη. Την υπογράφουν ο τότε υπουργός Διοικητικής Μεταρρύθμισης και νυν πρόεδρος της ΝΔ, Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης και τότε αντιπρόεδρος της Κυβέρνησης και υπουργός Εξωτερικών, Ευάγγελος Βενιζέλος.

via Πρώην βουλευτής της ΝΔ έπαιρνε 10.000 ευρώ το μήνα από το νοσοκομείο «Ελπίς» | TVXS – TV Χωρίς Σύνορα.

Κούλογλου: Η TiSA υπονομεύει τα κοινωνικά θεμέλια της Ευρώπης | TVXS – TV Χωρίς Σύνορα

Η TISA είναι ένα είδος άσχημης αδελφής της ΤΤΙΡ. Δεν υπάρχει ανάγκη για ένα τέτοιο παιδί τέρας. Αν ήταν ανάγκη να προσαρμοστεί η συμφωνία GATS στις παρούσες συνθήκες, θα μπορούσαμε να την εκσυγχρονίσουμε ή να την τροποποιήσουμε. Αλλά αυτό είναι ένα σχέδιο που επιβάλλεται από τις πολυεθνικές έναντι των κρατών, ενάντια στην μεσαίες και μικρές επιχειρήσεις, εις βάρος των πολιτών και την προστασία των δεδομένων, το περιβάλλον, αλλά και το δικαίωμα των ψηφοφόρων να αλλάξουν με την ψήφο τους την πολιτική μιας συγκεκριμένης χώρας ή μιας πόλης, αν αυτό δεν αντιστοιχεί στα συμφέροντά τους

via Κούλογλου: Η TiSA υπονομεύει τα κοινωνικά θεμέλια της Ευρώπης | TVXS – TV Χωρίς Σύνορα.