WikiLeaks on Wednesday released a trove of documents detailing previously unknown pro-corporate provisions and updates to the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), exposing the extent to which the U.S.-driven deal will force signatory nations to privatize public services and deregulate corporations.
“As President Obama said of the TPP in October 2015, these agreements are about the U.S. making the rules for the global economy in the 21st century in ways that ‘reflect America’s values.'”
—Prof. Jane Kelsey, University of AucklandAs the 52 nations involved in TISA comprise a full two-thirds of global GDP, the deal is poised to impact billions of lives around the world. The 18th round of negotiations on TISA resumed Thursday.
Released for the very first time on Wednesday was TISA’s annex on “State-Owned Enterprises” (SOEs), which mandates that public services must be treated like private businesses. The documents reveal that the annex was introduced only two days after the U.S. successfully forced through similar text in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) in October 2015.
Trade expert Jane Kelsey, who teaches law at the University of Auckland, described how the U.S. pushed through such provisions in order to target other nations’ public services—and China’s in particular:
“The U.S. proposal for TISA adopts and adapts key parts of the [TPP] chapter that force majority-owned SOEs to operate like private sector businesses,” Kelsey added. “The most extreme, complicated and potentially unworkable provisions in the [TPP] relating to state support are not included—yet. But there is an extraordinary power for a single TISA party to require the development of those rules if another TISA country, or a country seeking to join TISA, has too many large SOEs.”