Sunday, July 10, 2016



The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a com- prehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – in secret – between the European Union and the USA. The inten- tion to launch TTIP negotiations was rst announced by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address in February 2013, and the rst round of negotiations took place between European Commission and US o cials in July of the same year. The aim is to rush through the talks as swiftly as possible with no details entering the public domain, in the hope that they can be concluded before the peoples of Europe and the USA and out the true scale of the TTIP threat.

“Trade” is a propaganda word. It short-circuits thinking. People hear “trade” and the brain stops working. People think, “Of course, trade is good.” And that ends the discussion.

Calling TPP a “trade” agreement lets the pro-TPP people argue that TPP is about trade instead of what it is really about. It diverts attention from the real problem. It enables advocates to say things like, “95 percent of the world lives outside the U.S.” as if that has anything to do with TPP. It lets them say, “We know that exports support American jobs” to sell a corporate rights agreement. It enables them to say nonsense like this about a corporate rights agreement designed to send American jobs to Vietnam so a few “investors” can pocket the wage difference: “Exports of U.S. goods and services supported an estimated 9.8 million American jobs, including 25 percent of all manufacturing jobs … and those export-supported jobs pay 13 to 18 percent higher than the national average wage.”

Trade is good. Opening up the border so you can get bananas and they can get fertilizer is trade because they have a climate that lets them grow bananas and you already have a fertilizer plant. Enabling companies to move $30/hour jobs to countries with $.60/hour wages so a few billionaires can pocket the difference is not trade.

Calling TPP a “trade” agreement lets TPP supporters say people opposed to TPP are “anti-trade.”

TPP Is A Corporate/Investor Rights Agreement

TPP is a corporate/investor rights agreement, and that is the problem.

TPP extends patents, copyrights and other monopolies so investors can collect “rents.”

TPP elevates corporations and corporate profits to and above the level of governments. TPP lets corporations sue governments for laws and regulations that cause them to be less profitable. Enabling tobacco companies to sue governments because anti-smoking campaigns limit profits has nothing to do with trade. Enabling corporations to sue states that try to regulate fracking has nothing to do with trade.

While giving corporations a special channel to sue governments, labor, environmental, consumer and other “stakeholder” organizations do not get a channel for enforcement. This helps enable corporations to break unions, force wages down and pollute without cost. This increases the power of corporations over governments – and us.
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.

Read the full press release here.

[1] Swiss National Center for Competence in Research: A Plurilateral Agenda for Services?: Assessing the Case for a Trade in Services Agreement, Working Paper No. 2013/29, May 2013, p. 10.

[2] For example, in June 2012 Ecuador tabled a discussion on re-thinking regulation and GATS rules; in September 2009 the Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, convened by the President of the United Nations and chaired by Joseph Stiglitz, released its final report, stating that "All trade agreements need to be reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with the need for an inclusive and comprehensive international regulatory framework which is conducive to crisis prevention and management, counter-cyclical and prudential safeguards, development, and inclusive finance."

Click on the partners listed to the left for their articles on this TISA Financial Services Annex.

Download the full secret TISA Financial Services Annex as PDF here.

Download Analysis Article of secret TISA Financial Services Annex as PDF here or read it online here.

WikiLeaks Release of Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)

Financial Services Annex Consolidated Text
(April 14, 2014)

WikiLeaks release: June 19, 2014

WTO, GATS, TISA, G20, BCBS, IAIS, IOSCO, FATF, OECD, trade agreement, negotiation, draft, financial services, investment, banking, credit, privacy

Limited - contains TISA-U.S. CONFIDENTIAL Information Modified handling authorized

Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Annex [X]: Financial Services, Consolidation of text proposals

April 14, 2014
Trade in Services Agreement
Trade in Services Agreement country negotiators


Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex

This is the secret draft of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex, currently under negotiation between Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, including its 28 member states Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The Agreement is meant to liberalize trade in services amongst the world's largest services providers, and it is being negotiated outside of the WTO framework. TISA members hold the largest services markets worldwide, with a combined GDP of over two-thirds of the world economy. This text was drafted just before the 6th round of TISA negotiations held from 28 April - 2 May in Geneva, Switzerland. The next round of negotiations are set to be held 23-27 June in Geneva.