This study examines the adverse impacts on public services and public interest regulation of the little-known Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), quietly being negotiated in Geneva by a group of 23 governments, including Canada. Researchers Scott Sinclair of CCPA and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood from the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University highlight how the TISA would make it difficult or even impossible for future governments to restore public services, including those instances where private service delivery has failed.
The study also discusses how the TISA talks affect vital public policy issues only peripherally related to international trade.
- Despite disturbing revelations about spying and privacy, corporate interests are seeking to weaken national controls that protect data privacy.
- Even after the 2008 global financial crisis, the TISA includes talks to further liberalize financial markets.
- The TISA also promotes the temporary movement of professionals and workers, and in committed sectors would eliminate the legal onus on employers to hire local workers if they are available.
The report stresses the importance of greater public disclosure and accountability in these secretive treaty negotiations.
The report was commissioned by Public Services International, a global trade union federation representing 20 million public sector workers in 154 countries. It is available in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish at http://www.world-psi.org/en/psi-special-report-tisa-versus-public-services.