What is TISA?

The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) was initiated by Australia and the United States in 2013.  Negotiations are held in Geneva, Switzerland with 50 participants that represent 70% of the world’s trade in services.

As of July 2014, participants in the TiSA include Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States and the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom).

tisa-parties
TiSA participants.

TISA will Enhance GATS, the General Agreement on Trade in Services that was established in 1995 by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).  The world has evolved dramatically as a result of technological advances, changing business practices, and deeper global integration. The TiSA will establish new market access commitments and universal rules that reflect 21st century trade.

TISA negotiations cover financial services; ICT services (including telecommunications and e-commerce); 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. These negotiations are still in the early stages but will likely reflect developments in other free trade agreements.

The TISA has the opportunity to address major and fundamental barriers to trade in services affecting the global. Some barriers to services trade include limited movement of data across borders, unfair competition from state-owned enterprises, lack of transparency and need for due process of law, and forced local ownership and discrimination in obtaining business licenses and permits.

The services sector accounts for around 70 per cent of Australia’s economic activity, employs four out of five Australians and plays an important role in international trade, accounting for around 17 per cent of Australia’s total exports.

Reaction to TISA documents leaked by Wikileaks in June(s) 2014 and 2015.

References:

Team Tisa -What is TISA? – http://www.teamtisa.org/the-tisa-agreement/what-is-the-tisa

Wikipedia – Trade in Services Agreement – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_in_Services_Agreement

Coalition of Services Industries – https://servicescoalition.org/negotiations/trade-in-services-agreement

Australian government.  Free Trade Agreements. Trade in services Agreement  http://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/trade-in-services-agreement/Pages/trade-in-services-agreement.aspx