What is TISA?
The negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) were proposed by the US and Australia in early 2012. The TiSA negotiations arose in response to the ongoing impasse in WTO trade talks, including talks to expand the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The participants call themselves the “Really Good Friends of Services” and are the strongest advocates of service liberalisation.
The agreement is intended to further liberalise trade in services and provide legally-binding rules in areas such as licensing, financial services, telecoms, e-commerce, maritime transport and professional services, which would give foreign investors and companies freely access the markets of the TiSA Parties and ensure that governments do not discriminate between public and private sector service providers.
The negotiations are held in secret and details on the proposed TiSA are therefore very limited. However, following a number of TiSA leaks, a few of the Parties have published their initial services offers and the European Commission has created a dedicated TiSA page. Nevertheless, TiSA remains one of the most secret trade negotiations.