The pro-transparency group WikiLeaks has released the secret draft text for the Trade in Services Agreement, TISA, a trade agreement covering 50 countries and more than 68 percent of world trade in service. Until now, the draft has been classified to keep it clandestine, not only during the negotiations, but also for five years post-enactment. According to the leaked text, TISA aims to cement the extreme deregulatory model of the 1990s by forbidding countries from improving financial regulation. The draft Financial Services Annex would also establish rules favorable to the expansion of financial multinationals into other nations by preventing regulatory obstacles. The draft text comes from the April 2014 negotiation round. We discuss the leaked text with Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and author of “The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority.”
Photo Credit: WikiLeaks
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JUAN GONZÁLEZ: On Thursday, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for a trade deal called the Trade in Services Agreement. The deal covers 50 countries and over 68 percent of world trade in services. Until now, the draft has been classified to keep it secret, not only during the negotiations, but also for five years post-enactment. According to the leaked text, the trade deal aims to cement the deregulatory model of the 1990s by forbidding countries from improving financial regulation.
AMY GOODMAN: For more, we go to Denver, Colorado, where we’re joined by Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and the author of The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority.
Lori Wallach, welcome back to Democracy Now! Talk about the significance of this WikiLeaks leak around this trade agreement.
LORI WALLACH: Well, we’ve known these negotiations have been ongoing, but no one knew exactly what they were up to until this leaked. And effectively, the text, if it were enacted, would roll back a lot of the re-regulation that followed the global financial crisis and basically handcuff us into the 1990s extreme deregulation model that we all recognize was the cause of the crisis. And the perverse nature of it is, of course, because of the extreme secrecy, you have the Obama administration in public working to “re-regulate” the Dodd-Frank bill and its regulations, but then, behind closed doors in these negotiations in Geneva, sort of on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization, the U.S. and the European Union—the leaked text shows, because there are brackets that say who has what proposal—are pushing amongst the most retrograde anti-regulation provisions.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Lori, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, quote, “the payoff from TISA [could] be huge” for domestic service industry firms and presents, quote, “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tear down barriers to international trade.” The Chamber has also recommended that TISA “eliminate regulatory inconsistencies” and ensure that private companies are not put at a disadvantage when they compete with “state-owned enterprises.” Your response?
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