TiSA a new threat to democracy, Wikileaks shows

5 July 2015

TiSA a new threat to democracy, Wikileaks shows

Foto: Wikileaks

The SP is shocked at the contents of the freshly-leaked documents on the Trade in Services Agreement, the international treaty which the EU has been negotiating for the past two years. The treat represents a threat to European standards, but also to workers’ rights and to privacy. The SP is demanding maximum transparency in order that a broad public debate can be conducted on whether such a treaty is desirable. On Monday, the twelfth round of negotiations gets under way in Geneva.

The International Transport Workers' Federation has had sight of the leaked documents and predicts a power grab by people in the transport sector at the expense of the general interest, of jobs and of workers’ rights. One of the most immediately striking sections of the treaty deals with electronic trade. Negotiations on an open internet are being conducted behind closed doors. The leaked papers on e-trade show that these trade negotiations are playing an important role in giving shape to the future of management via the internet.

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur has still more concerns about the consequences of such a major treaty. “The formation of a single internal market in Europe has demonstrated that it’s not so advantageous to get rid of all barriers to trade,’ she argues. ‘Our truck drivers in the Netherlands have been destroyed by competition from drivers from European countries where wages and the cost of living are a great deal lower. With this treaty we are opening the door to a much bigger labour market of workers who will do still more work at much lower cost. We’ve seen that it’s not the workers who profit from this, but first and foremost big corporations.’

Mineur has a huge problem with the fact that the negotiations on this far-reaching treaty are taking place entirely behind closed doors. ‘Parliamentarians are permitted to read a number of negotiating texts from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, currently being negotiated with the United States, in a secret room, but as for TiSA nobody has seen anything. And then there’s the fact that the intention was that the documents would remain secret until five years after the conclusion of the accord. If Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström were herself to be open about these matters then leaks such as that carried out by WikiLeaks would no longer be necessary. This treaty turns the world upside down and the people must be allowed to discuss it.’

TiSA is the most extensive and the least known trade treaty currently being negotiated by the European Union. It’s a treaty with a total of fifty-one countries, including the United States, South Korea and Japan. With a total of 1.1 billion inhabitants these countries account for 70% of world trade in services.

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