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Wikileaks Exposes Destructive Financial Services Pact

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page.

Wikileaks published an April draft of a critical section of pending "trade" deal called the Trade in Services Agreement, which is being negotiated among 50 countries, including the US, the member nations of the EU, Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, South Korea, and Switzerland. TISA would liberalize, as in reduce the ability of nations to regulate, a large range of services.

The document that Wikileaks exposed on Thursday is a portion of the financial services section. It is clearly designed to serve the pet interests of big international players. This agreement is designed to institutionalize the current level of deregulation as a baseline and facilitate the introduction of new products, further ease the movement of funds, data, and key personnel, and facilitate cross-border acquisitions and other forms of market entry.

It is distressing to see how the media is pointedly ignoring this damning Wikileaks revelation. As of this hour, my Google News search does not show a single mainstream media outlet reporting on this story. The usual left-leaning stalwarts like Huffington Post, TruthOut, Firedoglake, and CommonDreams have articles up, along with Business Insider and RT. The only country where major news organizations have taken the story up are in Australia, and that appears to be due to the fact that approval of this deal would end Australia's restrictions on foreign ownership of banks.

Our World is Not for Sale describes the scope:

In February of 2014, negotiations began on six priority topics: financial services, telecommunications and e-commerce, domestic regulation and transparency, professional services, maritime transport, and the so-called "Mode 4" of the GATS, which refers to natural movement of persons. In addition, participants had extensive discussions on road transport, delivery services and air transport. But there are many more sectors and proposals that have been submitted: is also known that the EU has submitted a proposal on Government Procurement in Services, and on Postal Services, just as examples.

The Wikileaks release today makes clear why interested parties are uncertain about these negotiations. They impose even greater secrecy requirements than the toxic trade deals know as the TransPacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The TISA text is classified for five years after it becomes effective or negotiations are terminated, which exceeds the four-year blackout imposed by the TTP and the TTIP.       
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