[pp.int.general] TiSA - New "Trade in Services Agreement" being negotiated.

Jack Allnutt j.allnutt at pirateparty.org.uk
Sun Apr 27 21:32:12 CEST 2014

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Hi all,

I've just become aware (thanks to @glynmoody's tweets[0][1]) about a
new(ish) treaty - the Trade in Services Agreement - that is currently
being negotiated by WTO members outside of the WTO infrastructure.

So far, countries involved in negotiations are: Australia, Canada,
Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, European Union
(representing its 28 Member States), Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan,
Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay,
Peru, Republic of Korea, Switzerland,, Turkey and the United States.

There is an EU document[2] that lists areas that may be included:
> Such proposals are expected to be made in the area of domestic regulation (e.g. authorisation and
licensing procedures), international maritime transport services,
Information and Communication Technology (?ICT?) services (including
cross-border data transfers), e-commerce, computer related services,
postal and courier services, financial services, temporary movement of
natural persons, government procurement of services, export subsidies
and state-owned enterprises. This list is neither an exhaustive list,
nor does it mean that it was agreed that in all those sectors there will
be new and enhanced disciplines.

References to "liberalisation" earlier in the document and "cross-border
data transfers" there have me particularly worried given the EU member
states' reluctance to pass the GDPR despite strong Parliamentary support.

According to the Australian Government's website[3] on TiSA, the next
round of negotiations will start *tomorrow* (28th April) and last until
Friday (2nd May), taking place in Geneva. They also state that at the
last meeting (in February)
> [The TiSA parties] agreed to move from proposals to negotiating texts for all of these disciplines.

We should get some very strong wording out ASAFP demanding that this
negotiation is fully open and transparent at the very least, and
demanding that the TiSA parties release the working texts at the end of
every round. If they don't (and I suspect they won't), it's yet another
stick we have to beat the opposition around the head with in the EP
elections [as if we needed any more ;)].

Also, apparently there is a public meeting[4] being held on Wednesday at
The Varembé Conference Centre (CCV), Room A, 17 rue de Varembé, 1211
Geneva 20 between 18:30 and 21:00 - if any French or Swiss Pirates who
live near are able to go along, ask annoying questions and report back
that would be amazing.

Jack Allnutt

EU2014 Candidate,
Dept. Campaigns Officer
Pirate Party UK

[0] https://twitter.com/glynmoody/status/460487172815343616
[1] https://twitter.com/glynmoody/status/460489144004018176
[2] http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2013/june/tradoc_151374.pdf

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