TiSA… Big Brother and Big Business Together

President Obama started a fresh push for the Transpacific Partnership on Friday when he sent Congress a draft Statement of Administrative Action.

That action means that after 30 days, the White House will be able to present Congress with legislation on the TPP.

And on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton chose Ken Salazar, who is an aggressively outspoken supporter of the Transpacific Partnership, to lead her White House transition team, despite the fact that Hillary Clinton has come out firmly against the TPP.

Salazar's appointment raises serious questions about what we can expect from a Hillary Clinton administration and whether she's sincere in her opposition to the TPP and other so-called "free trade" deals that are still being negotiated.

And it's important to remember why these trade deals are so dangerous to begin with.

Activists from the right and the left have been working hard to raise awareness about the dangers of the TPP and its transatlantic cousin, the TTIP.

But by far the most sweeping deal that's being negotiated in secret and largely overlooked by activists is the Trade in Services Agreement, also known as TiSA.

TiSA will undermine citizens' privacy and governments' sovereignty, and negotiators are hoping to have a deal finalized by the end of this year.

Paola Casale at EconomyInCrisis writes bluntly about TiSA that "You may be asking: 'how does this affect me?' The best one sentence response I can come up with is: 'how does this not affect you.'"

Fifty-one countries would be initially governed by TiSA, including the United States, the European Union, and 22 other nations from around the world, representing 70% of the world's services' trade.

If it goes into effect, it would cover close to 80% of the U.S. economy that falls under the heading of "services".

"Services" is a broad term that covers all sorts of things, such as shipping, air travel, e-commerce, telecommunications, the internet, healthcare, financial services, engineering, and the list goes on and on.

Based on leaked texts and summaries published by the European Union, it's clear that TiSA aims to go even further than the WTO to globalize markets, functionally destroy national borders, and to create new corporate-friendly rules and regulations in sectors like e-commerce and financial services.

TiSA would include a "standstill clause" for financial services, and Switzerland has proposed that the agreement force all signatories to allow "any new financial service" to enter the market, which would virtually guarantee that banks all over the world, freed from sovereign regulation, would adopt the same sort of reckless speculation that destroyed the global economy just 8 years ago.

The deal also aims to make it so that banks and e-commerce outlets like Amazon could send an individual's data out of a TiSA country for processing, regardless of national privacy laws, breaking with centuries of precedent on locally kept business records according to David Dayen at The New Republic.

Alberto Mucci recently explained in an article on Politico that "TiSA deals with barriers to services' trade such as the conditions by which lawyers from Norway might be able to practice in the United States or German engineers might gain easier access to Mexico.".

In other words, TiSA will have profound impacts on immigration and employment policies in every single country that takes part in the agreement.

More than that, it will cripple our democratic republic by making it even easier for corporations to manage or strike down our public laws.

In recent months under existing trade laws, we've seen Canada and Mexico successfully sue the United States to force us to overturn our Country Of Origin Labeling law for meat imports.

And TransCanada is suing the United States right now for $15 billion as retaliation for Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

David Dayen also reported last year that under TiSA "governments may not be able to regulate staff to patient ratios in hospitals, or ban fracking, or tighten safety controls on airlines, or refuse accreditation to [bad] schools and universities. Foreign corporations must receive the same 'national treatment' as domestic ones, and could argue that such regulations violate their ability to provide the service."

Based on leaked documents, we know that democratically passed government regulations would only be allowed so long as they are not "more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of service."

That would likely mean gutting important rules on financial services, foreign investment limits, and it could force state-owned public services around the world to compete with foreign corporations.

Almost every single country that's taking part in the TiSA negotiations is already part of the World Trade Organization, and the agreement is actually based on the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services, also known as GATS, which includes 159 member countries.

And it's telling that TiSA involves WTO member nations and is based on the WTO, because as David Dayen points out, "The only reason to re-write the rules is to replace GATS, which the European Union readily admits.". On the European Commission's webpage it says very clearly that "if enough WTO members join, TiSA could be turned into a broader WTO agreement."

In other words, TiSA isn't just another sweeping regional trade agreement like the TPP or the TTIP.

TiSA aims to corporatize markets and functionally destroy borders around the world so that Corporate Big Brother can know everything about everyone and so that Big Business can sell anything to anyone, no matter the harm it may cause.

Call your lawmakers and tell them that you oppose any trade deal that gives corporations the ability to challenge the sovereignty of governments around the world.

Instead, democratic republics should be able to pass and enforce laws and trade policies that first serve the best interests of its citizens instead of transnational corporations and billionaires.

Just say "no" to TPP, TTIP, and especially to TiSA.


eagleye's picture
eagleye 6 years 41 weeks ago

My guess is that Clinton is hoping the deal will get done while Obama is still President. That way she can posture and pretend that she's against TPP.

Old_Curmudgeon 6 years 41 weeks ago

"Eagle Eye" seems right-on. ... ... What's an appropriate adjective to describe TPP-TTIP-TiSA? - or a descriptor for the proponents? Maybe a thesaurus's synonym for "unconscionable"?

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 6 years 41 weeks ago

And now we have to choose between two reckless and power hungry nominies for POTUS! Either way we get screwed badly. Who will protect our nation from Global Financial Terror? I hate that I am forced into a position of choosing my values and principals over two choices that are basically opposames and will bring the same results to the USA. Right now I cannot in good conscious vote for either major party offerings. This is the product of the extreme LEFT and the extreme RIGHT. Both seek the same end results. Our best hope is the POTUS being stalemated by a House and Senate of the opposite party. The best outcome is 4 years of NOTHING getting done and making sure that the POTUS does not try to become another Obama and use the power of the pen. Also four years of an 8 member Supreme Court would also help. A good revolt and stalemate on any and all proposals from any of the three branches for 48 months.

Could be a lot of fun to watch.....In the end, no matter who wins, the goal for us citizens to keep the three branches paralyzed for the next 4 years. Then hopefully we can fire all three branches and start all over with an intellengent caring citizen government.

If not, we are destined to become the largest Bannana Republic the world has ever seen or George Soros' dream comes to reality.

Not good choices......Pray, Get Involved, Make The Lawmakers Squirm!!!

Uncle Ralph's picture
Uncle Ralph 6 years 41 weeks ago

I would really like to hear someone in favor of TPP/TIPP/TISA explain to an American working stiff how one or all of these agreements benefit him/her. Do they really just hand unlimited power over to corporations and that's why nobody involved will even discuss them? If that's the case, why is Obama for these deals in the last months of his presidency with nothing left to lose in the way of a reelection bid?

Something doesn't make sense.

Scotty11 6 years 41 weeks ago

I disagree in there being (only) 2 bad choices for President. This is the year I draw a line in the sand...and start voting my conscience instead of 'the lesser of two evils' (so to speak).

So; I'm looking into the platforms of the 2nd tier parties...e.g. Constitution, Green, Libertarian. I may even look further down the list to see 'who's doing what'...however, my vote will likely be 2nd tier.

Unless I write in Bernie Sanders...hmmm

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 6 years 41 weeks ago

First thing to remember here is that the Teapublic Party members of the legislative branch gave Obama the go ahead on TPP, not the vast majority of the Democratic Party members.

I have several theories on Obama's support for TPP, the most recent one being that he has adopted a right wing talking point regarding relative economic well being of global citizens vs United States workers. The piggish Fascists will tell you that what the American worker considers poverty, the third world worker would regard as a comfortable living. This talking point is simply to justify the economic race to the bottom while concentration of wealth goes on steroids. Could it be Obama truly believes he is helping the impoverished by exporting to them the chance to work for next to nothing while enriching multi nationalist /fascists who are already too rich to care? .....or is he looking ahead to retirement and wanting acceptance from a very exclusive country club class who stand to benefit the most from this economic madness? He must realize he's hurting the American worker....so what else could it be?

At least the Teapublic Party is open about their reason for TPP support....they simply want to make good on the investment the Fascists have made in their re-elections.

Salazar is a giant mistake!

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 41 weeks ago

They know they've made us virtualy powerless so they're just having a laugh!

ikeberltersen's picture
ikeberltersen 6 years 41 weeks ago

So if I have this right a financial company can contrive some sort of financial 'gimmick' and no single nation will be able to say no, unless all member nations agree to say no together, and of course the chances of all member nations agreeing to stop the excesses of a financial company are slim to none.

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