World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


WikiLeaks Reveals True Intent of Secret TiSA Talks

International Trade Union Confederation

WikiLeaks Reveals True Intent of Secret TiSA Trade Talks

Brussels, 26 June 2014 (ITUC OnLine): A WikiLeaks exposé has revealed the true intent behind secret 50-country negotiations on a new “financial services” chapter of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) at the WTO in Geneva. The draft agreement being discussed by government officials is aimed at weakening financial regulation and giving extra market access to hedge funds, banks, insurers and other providers.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, “Governments are negotiating away financial regulation in secret, instead of tackling the unfinished regulation task that triggered the current global economic crisis in 2007. It defies belief that they are actually planning to help the already ‘too big to fail’ banks and other financial conglomerates to expand."

“It is deeply disturbing to find out that governments are getting ready to exempt from or expedite the approval of some of the most toxic insurance products, like Credit Default Swaps, and also allow hedge funds and banks to launch ‘unlimited new products’ without proper controls.”

The leaked draft includes self-defeating provisions that would reinforce the power of big finance over democratic processes, with bizarre clauses such as:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of the Agreement”, prudential measures are allowed in order to “ensure the integrity and stability of a Party’s financial system”, but “[w]here such measures do not conform with the provisions of this Agreement, they shall not be used […]”.

In stark contrast to the interests of taxpayers, welfare for the finance industry, including through bailouts, is welcomed under the proposals. “Bailouts are meant for the clean-up stage; prudential measures are meant to prevent disasters and mitigate financial risk. The negotiating governments even ignored the stipulations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the usefulness of capital control measures both to prevent and to deal with crises,” said John Evans, ITUC Chief Economist and General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC).

The proposed TiSA rules on financial services go hand-in-hand with “investment protection” provisions of bilateral investment treaties (BITs). Investors in financial products of other countries will effectively be granted the privilege to contest financial regulation and decisions of competent authorities through private dispute procedures.

On top of the drive to give the finance sector free reign over sovereign states, the TiSA proposals also aim to liberalise professional services, information technology, construction and social and public services, a move sharply criticised by the Public Services International (PSI). The PSI and UNI Global Union have called for the TiSA negotiations to be stopped.

At the beginning of the negotiations, the ITUC and the European Trade Union Confederation called on negotiators to reject clauses that would stop governments exercising regulatory and licensing authority to buy back privatised public services and utilities as well as removing consumer protection and limiting the scope for public policy.

“Thanks to WikiLeaks, we now know the full extent to which some governments are prepared to go to satisfy their big-business paymasters at the expense of ordinary people and of democracy itself,” said Burrow.

The TiSA negotiations include Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, European Union (28 Member States), Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news