TiSA - Trade in Services Agreement
This agreement has been formally in negotations since early 2013 between the European Union and twenty one other countries. It is basically a free-trade agreement but only concerns trade in services. It is closely related to GATS and in particular seems to address questions that are related to personal data. The European Commission ran a consultation on it in 2013 . It continues the stalled negotiations begun within the Doha Round (launched 2001).
TiSA negotiations will cover all services sectors, aiming to develop new trade rules. In particular:
- financial services
- ICT services (including telecommunications and e-commerce); ("TISA should prohibit restrictions on legitimate cross‐border information flows and bar local infrastructure mandates relating to data storage.")
- professional services; maritime transport services;
- air transport services, competitive delivery services;
- energy services; temporary entry of business persons;
- government procurement;
- and new rules on domestic regulation to ensure regulatory settings do not operate as a barrier to trade in services.
Negotiating partners are: the European Union and twenty one WTO members: Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong China, Iceland, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Pakistan, Peru, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.
"This future trade in services agreement should be based on the General Agreement on Trade in Services ("GATS"), and is meant to advance the stalled multilateral negotiations carried out under the umbrella of the World Trade Organisation ("WTO") with those countries that are willing to continue negotiations on trade in services." (source: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/agreements/index_en.htm and http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2013/june/tradoc_151374.pdf)
- 28 April - 2 May 2014 : round of Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations in Geneva
- 17-24 February 2014: fifth round. Chaired by EU.
- 4–8 November 2013: Fourth Round. Chaired by USA.
- 16–20 September 2013: Third Round. Chaired by Australia.
- 24–28 June 2013: Second Round. Chaired by EU.
- 27 April – 3 May 2013 First Round. Chaired by USA.
- Since February 2012, "discussions in Geneva among a subset of WTO Members interested in progressing services trade liberalisation. In July 2012, parties released a joint statement outlining steps towards the negotiation of a comprehensive services-only trade agreement. In December 2012, parties agreed a Framework for Negotiations on a Trade in Services Agreement. The Framework detailed parties objectives and the proposed structure for the agreement and was the basis for seeking agreement to commence negotiations in 2013."
relevant articles/news/organisations/government websites
- Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website on TiSA.
- Press release - EU to chair plurilateral talks to open services markets European Commission - IP/14/153 17/02/2014
- Public Services International (PSI) webportal on TiSA
- Twitter, hashtag #TiSA
- Coalition of Service Industries CSI.
- US Chamber of Commerce on TiSA