UNI joins opposition call to a proposed Trade in Services Agreement
The TISA negotiations follow the corporate agenda of using “trade” agreements to bind countries to an agenda of extreme liberalisation and deregulation to ensure greater corporate profits at the expense of workers, farmers, consumers and the environment.
The proposed agreement is the direct result of systematic advocacy by transnational corporations in banking, energy, insurance, telecommunications, transportation, water, and other services sectors, working through lobby groups like the US Coalition of Service Industries (USCSI) and the European Services Forum (ESF).
Notwithstanding several financial, economic, social and environmental crises, the services rules proposed for the TISA expand upon the same rules that “discipline” government measures and limit policy space for regulation, enshrined in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and free trade agreements (FTAs), which contributed to those crises.
Strong regulation of and oversight over both public and private services is crucial for democracy, the public interest and sustainable development, as well as for the orderly functioning of the services market. We fear that all of these values and goals would be seriously undermined by this proposed TISA.
Philip Jennings, UNI Global Union General Secretary said that "We are concerned that the process is tainted. It feels like a corporate hijack. The concerns of the stakeholders appear to be a long way down the list of priorities. It is the workers and consumers who will suffer if this goes ahead."
The open letter to governments urging them to abandon the talks and the Press release of the OWINFS network can be accessed in the Related Files tab.