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.

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