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Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – GATS on steroids

February 9, 2015

I guess I have been slow to pick up on this agreement, which however seems only just to have hit AVAAZ. Back in 1994 nations party to GATTS at the same time as establishing the WTO, made several agreements amongst which was GATS – ‘General Agreement on Trade in Services’, something that British governments have been remarkably coy about ever since. GATS is a framework agreement and negotiations on implementation went on for many years. They eventually stalled at the Doha round when India, China etc. sussed they were being shafted. By that time the US had already realised that the multilateral approach would not give them what they wanted so the shifted to the bilateral approach, starting with NAFTA, and moving on via many agreements with less powerful nations, to TPP and TTIP. All these bilaterals have adopted the secret courts (ISDS) and negotiations have become ever more secret, so we have total reliance on Wikileaks.

The best piece I have found so far is by Professor Jane Kelsey, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, ‘Memorandum on Leaked TISA Financial Services Text’, 19 June 2014, Please read it. One obvious implication is that people will no longer be able to rely on the state to provide a straightforward pension. More links via

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