Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Time to wave the white flag on TISA secrecy

2 July 2015

Strictly embargoed until 1am.

Another week, another Wikileak – time to wave the white flag on TISA secrecy

Less than a month ago, Wikileaks posted 17 documents leaked from the secretive negotiations for a Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). New Zealand is part of the group of countries calling themselves ‘the Really Good Friends of Services’ who are trying to negotiate the deal.

The process is taking place outside the World Trade Organisation in a move to bypass opposition to expanding ‘trade in services’ rules that favour transnational corporations and constrain governments’ right to regulate in the national interest.

Today, Wikileaks has posted recent texts from April and May 2015, including the proposed core text and annexes on domestic regulation and transparency, and provided expert analysis of those texts (wikileaks.org/tisa/).

In her analysis of the core text, University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey noted that the rules aim to tighten the handcuffs on the freedom of governments to regulate their services, and the way they are constructed is clearly designed to export them back into the WTO.

TISA is a companion to the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, with even more extreme secrecy conditions – in TISA, background documents are to remain secret for five years beyond the agreement coming into force of negotiations being abandoned. For the TPPA the secrecy hangover applies for four years.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

‘There is clearly no tolerance for this secrecy within the countries participating in TISA. The steady stream of leaks makes a mockery of the confidentiality memorandum, and they seem set to continue.’

‘We are seeing a repeat of what has happened with previous agreements, including the TPPA and the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.’

The leaks of ACTA ultimately led the European Parliament to demand the release of the draft text, and in April 2010 the ministers, including New Zealand’s Trade Minister Tim Groser, agreed.

Indeed, Minister Groser said ‘New Zealand has supported the release of the negotiating text, in response to strong public interest, and I am pleased that we have now reached agreement with the other participants in this negotiation. This will make the ACT negotiations more accessible to the public and I hope that it will help the process of reaching a final agreement’.

The TISA negotiations are due to resume in Geneva next week. Professor Kelsey urged the participants to ‘face the reality that these leaks will continue, wave the white flag of surrender, and release the negotiating documents for public scrutiny – as we would expect to happen if the talks were taking place within the WTO.’


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Joining AUKUS Pillar Two


The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...
More


 
 

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.