Sure. I know what you are thinking:
"The TPP will not make us surfs subservient enough, and besides, it will be debated in public for at least 20 minutes before it is ratified byFear not. International Bankers to the rescue. They have a plan. And you have a place in it, Serf.
Multinational CorporationsCongress, so we may have to think about it. Disappointing."
2014.06.19 Wikileaks leaked a secret draft of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex, a document that outlines rules the parties to the secret negotiation intend to supersede the WTO and status quo of national laws that would conflict with it.
But if you think this sounds like a replay of the TPP, you are wrong, because negotiation of this agreement has not only been conducted secretively, but has been classified and is intended to remain so. Enter Wikileaks, with appropriate drama.
Rejoice! After the fold is something for everyone. You were enjoying your Sunday too much.
Reference Documents - Suggested Reading to Understand this Subject
WARNNG: The below list of documents includes some from Wikileaks Website. Persons hitting the links should only do so with the understanding your IP address may be logged by government agencies. You take responsibility. JUST DO IT.Wikileaks Website Links
Press Release - TISA Financial Services Annex explaining the scope
Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) - Financial Services Annex subject page
Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex Text (PDF)
Memorandum on Leaked TISA Financial Services Text - Analysis (PDF)
External Document Referenced by Wikileaks & Their Analyst
On the Wrong Side of Globalization, Joseph E. Stiglitz
U.S. Foreign Trade in Services: Trends & Policy Challenges, Congressional Research Ser.
TISA versus Public Services, Public Services International
Public Citizen's Finance Regulation Factsheet
Our World is Not for Sale Factsheet on TISA
From the Wikileaks Press Release:
Today, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex, which covers 50 countries and 68.2% 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.A deep dive into the documents ruined my weekend recreation time, but I do recommend this to anyone who thinks:
Despite the failures in financial regulation evident during the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis and calls for improvement of relevant regulatory structures, 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.
TISA negotiations are currently taking place outside of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework. However, the Agreement is being crafted to be compatible with GATS so that a critical mass of participants will be able to pressure remaining WTO members to sign on in the future. Conspicuously absent from the 50 countries covered by the negotiations are the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The exclusive nature of TISA will weaken their position in future services negotiations.
The draft text comes from the April 2014 negotiation round - the sixth round since the first held in April 2013. The next round of negotiations will take place on 23-27 June in Geneva, Switzerland.
• the citizens of nations should have a say in the economic policies that shape our lives
• countries should not surrender sovereignty to Multinational Corporations
• countries should not give International Banks unrestricted access to citizens data
• international trade, finance and legal agreements should be fully vetted in public with adequate time and means for public debate BEFORE they are ratified and should be transparent in every respect with NO secrets
If the above is important to you, I recommend that you at least read the excellent analysis (brief and to the point) by Professor Jane Kelsey of the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, and the draft Annex itself.
Professor Kelsey does a far better job of explaining key points than I would, but a few points I think worth noting are:
• It would significantly liberalize regulations governing trans-national financial and banking services, and trans-national direct investment.
• It provides the very financial institutions that failed to effectively self-regulate, causing a protracted global recession, a greater degree of freedom and ultimately subordinates governments to their will as it requires national law to conform to the (final) terms of the agreement which are being negotiated for their (the banks) ultimate benefit, and;
• Contains a "ratchet" mechanism that forces liberalization of financial services while holding at a standstill regulatory controls, and blocking new regulations that would strengthen controls on financial institutions.
• The agreement is being negotiated outside of the WTO by a group of 50 nations lead by the USA and excludes the BRIC nations (although China and Uruguay have expressed an interest to participate, but have been excluded); in this respect it seems to be predicated on maintaining US-European economic hegemony in trade agreements. Kelsey provides a concise account of how some of the main protagonists in this negotiation are the nations the undermined open and fair negotiations in the WTO Doha Round they now seek to circumvent (Stiglitz goes deeper).
• The USA is pressing for data "protection" clauses that, in effect, would provide financial institutions free access to consumer financial data across borders and "protects" them from having to disclose information to consumers, making them less transparent. As the German Newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung headline suggests, "USA greifen nach Kontodaten europäischer Bürger" ("USA grabs account data of European citizens") this might meet some resistance by European regulators.
• The overall secrecy of the negotiations has far exceeded even that of the TPP, with drafts and memos being treated a classified information. To understand the USTR position on this refer to Techdirt's USTR's Anti-Transparency Rules For TAFTA/TTIP Documents Published, where the Doublespeak is on full, maddening, display.
I could go on, but seriously, Professor Kelsey does the subject justice so I defer to her.
And I'm still digesting the contents, if not my dinner.
Dare I wonder how Ms Clinton will triangulate this?