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WikiLeaks Strikes Again: Leaked TISA Docs Expose Corporate Plan For Reshaping Global Economy

“It’s a dark day for democracy when we are dependent on leaks like this for the general public to be informed of the radical restructuring of regulatory frameworks that our governments are proposing,” said Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now. (Image created by Common Dreams)

Leaked Docs reveal that little-known corporate treaty poised to privatize and deregulate public services across globe.

By Sarah Lazare

An enormous corporate-friendly treaty that many people haven’t heard of was thrust into the public limelight Wednesday when famed publisher of government and corporate secrets, WikiLeaks, released 17 documents from closed-door negotiations between countries that together comprise two-thirds of the word’s economy.

Analysts warn that preliminary review shows that the pact, known as the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), is aimed at further privatizing and deregulating vital services, from transportation to healthcare, with a potentially devastating impact for people of the countries involved in the deal, and the world more broadly.

“This TISA text again favors privatization over public services, limits governmental action on issues ranging from safety to the environment using trade as a smokescreen to limit citizen rights,” said Larry Cohen, president of Communications Workers of America, in a statement released Wednesday.

Under secret negotiation by 50 countries for roughly two years, the pact includes the United States, European Union, and 23 other countries—including Israel, Turkey, and Colombia. Notably, the BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—are excluded from the talks.

Along with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, which are also currently being negotiated, TISA is part of what WikiLeaks calls the “T-treaty trinity.” Like the TTP and TTIP, it would fall “under consideration for collective ‘Fast-Track’ authority in Congress this month,” WikiLeaks noted in a statement issued Wednesday.

However, TISA stands out from this trio as being the most secretive and least understood of all, with its negotiating sessions not even announced to the public.

Wednesday’s leak provides the largest window yet into TISA and comes on the heels of two other leaks about the accord last year, the first from WikiLeaks and the other from the Associated Whistleblowing Press, a non-profit organization with local platforms in Iceland and Spain.

While analysts are still poring over the contents of the new revelations, civil society organizations released some preliminary analysis of the accord’s potential implications for transportation, communication, democratic controls, and non-participating nations:

>Telecommunications: “The leaked telecommunications annex, among others, demonstrate potentially grave impacts for deregulation of state owned enterprises like their national telephone company,” wrote the global network Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) in a statement issued Wednesday.

>Transportation: The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), comprised of roughly 700 unions from more than 150 countries, warned on Wednesday that the just-published documents “foresee consolidated power for big transport industry players and threaten the public interest, jobs and a voice for workers.” ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: “This text would supercharge the most powerful companies in the transport industry, giving them preferential treatment. What’s missing from this equation is any value at all for workers and citizens.”

>Bypassing democratic regulations: “Preliminary analysis notes that the goal of domestic regulation texts is to remove domestic policies, laws and regulations that make it harder for transnational corporations to sell their services in other countries (actually or virtually), to dominate their local suppliers, and to maximize their profits and withdraw their investment, services and profits at will,” writes OWINFS. “Since this requires restricting the right of governments to regulate in the public interest, the corporate lobby is using TISA to bypass elected officials in order to apply a set of across-the-board rules that would never be approved on their own by democratic governments.”

>Broad impact: “The documents show that the TISA will impact even non-participating countries,” wrote OWINFS. “The TISA is exposed as a developed countries’ corporate wish lists for services which seeks to bypass resistance from the global South to this agenda inside the WTO, and to secure and agreement on servcies without confronting the continued inequities on agriculture, intellectual property, cotton subsidies, and many other issues.”

The warnings follow concerns, based on previous leaks, that TISA poses a threat to net neutrality, internet freedoms, and privacy.

Moreover, global social movements charge that the deal poses a threat to democracy itself.

In a letter released in September 2013, 241 civil society groups from around the world aired concerns about the TISA deal: “Democracy is eroded when decision-making about important sectors– such as financial services (including banking, securities trading, accounting, insurance, etc.), energy, education, healthcare, retail, shipping, telecommunications, legal services, transportation, and tourism– is transferred from citizens, local oversight boards, and local or provincial/state jurisdiction to unaccountable trade’ negotiators who have shown a clear proclivity for curtailing regulation and prioritizing corporate profits.”

Analysts note that the leak underscores the intense secretiveness of the talks, whose texts are supposed to be kept completely secret for five years following the reaching of a deal or abandonment of the process.

“That the negotiating texts say they are supposed to stay secret for five years is quite shocking, and therefore it is really important that the text is made public,” Melinda St. Louis, international campaigns director for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, told Common Dreams.

“It’s a dark day for democracy when we are dependent on leaks like this for the general public to be informed of the radical restructuring of regulatory frameworks that our governments are proposing,” said Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, in a statement released Wednesday.

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  • bsbafflesbrains

    At what point will sunshine become the disinfectant. Cartel, Collusion and Conspiracy by the Billionaires and multi-millionaires are being exposed almost daily. The world wide surveillance State is being expanded daily to control not protect. The people seem to be waking up and so far just nibbling around the edges but when will there be a billionaire who steps out of line and sides with the 99%?

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    Maybe, Omidyar will finally get off his duff, bs…! 😉

  • Chris Maukonen

    I really do hate capitalism and capitalists. I some natural or man made cataclysm were to befall all of corporate America or the world, I would make some popcorn and watch.

  • Bluedot

    This is something worse than merely bad. It is fucking evil. It shows who really controls the world.

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    And how, eh cmk…? 😉

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    Was there really any doubt about it, bd…? 8-(

  • bsbafflesbrains

    Hope so but it seems strange since even to the typical narcissistic monomaniac with a mission billionaire the Earth and all it’s Human population can’t survive with more greed and avarice; we are fouling our own nest for the sake of maximizing portfolios of people who couldn’t possibly spend all the money they currently have.

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    ‘I got Mine’ seems to be their Modus Operandi, bs…!

  • Bluedot

    The more you hear the worse it gets. I’m not sure I ever heard of this one. What are we going to do?

  • Bluedot

    If they privatize everything and restrict the government as they suggest, it will take government out entirely , like Greece. We will then all be slaves to our neoliberal profit seeking masters and their lackeys. What a future. How can we stop this shit?

  • Chris Maukonen

    I know how but you’re not going to like it and I will not spell it out here.

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    I’ll spell it out, cmk…! Massive Civil Disobedience…! 😉

  • Chris Maukonen

    At the very least.

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    Call your House critters, the Fast Track is very much up in the air in the House, with Obummer fiercely pushing it amongst the cantankerous House Dems…!

  • dubinsky

    is there a link to the text of TISA?

    it’s difficult to evaluate it without reading it.

  • Bluedot

    But judging by the people in the streets now, very few are at all worried about this or even know it exists. This is something the Occupy folks could take up or Sanders? But that is a way to go.

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    Is it beyond your dubious ability to actually click on the ’17 documents’ that wikileaks released, dub…?

  • Chris Maukonen

    Which brings up something I have been thinking about. We need to stop relying on the internet and bogs to get the message out. They/it is to easy to ignore.

    Revert to the low tech pre internet way of posting flyers that are direct and to the point. ALA Vietnam anti-war etc.

    Something that is more difficult to ignore and is most definitely Civil Disobedience.

  • Pluto

    You keep saying “we.” Who is we?

    There are many modern and decent nations that are not party to this. Nations that have modern constitutions that directly confer human and civil rights upon the people, rights that are senior to the vagaries of governments and corporations — unlike the US constitution.

    Migrate.

  • Bluedot

    Kinda like that idea.

  • dubinsky

    thank you for your prompt and courteous reply

    I looked at the link…and it contained annexes rather the main document.

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    Migrate.

    *heh* Where is the burning question, Pluto…! Pluto seems to be our only option…! 😉

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    I certainly love what Scarlet Pimpernel the FreewayBlogger and the Overhead Light Brigades have been doing for years now, cmk…! 😉

  • Chris Maukonen

    Yes…blogs and websites and even “News networks” are far to often preaching to the choir.

  • Pluto
  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    And your point is…?

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    True, but, if not for the choir we’d be bereft of any public discourse, cmk…! 8-(

  • Bluedot

    We meaning those who care about this. The post says this includes two thirds of the world economy. You can migrate to one of the Brics who are not party to it. Personally, I would rather we find another way but YMMV.

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    *heh* Speaking of Pluto, Pluto…!
    Watch the drunken wobble of Pluto’s smaller moons

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    You can migrate to one of the Brics…

    Brazil is looking good, just ask Glennzilla…! 😉

    I’m also thinking Costa Rica which has no standing Army…! 😉

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle
  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle
  • Chris Maukonen

    OT: Was scanning the sheriff sales in Geauga and Cuyahoga counties and could not believe how many thousand and million dollar houses are and have been sold at the sales.

    OY

  • bsbafflesbrains

    Larry Ellison (Oracle) is said to own 24 beach front homes in Malibu alone. Jusy sayin.

  • dubinsky

    nice one. like the Hopper-esque approach.

  • Bluedot

    You can google Tisa leaks. There is a link there in June2014 to the document draft at that time. I have not read it. Check it out.

  • dubinsky

    the point is that, IIRC, when they train you as an historian …or a philosopher…or attorney…they insist on the importance of reading source documents.

    I thought that if we are to reliably assess the merits of TISA that we are best served by reading the text of the thing.

  • http://mosquitocloud.net/ aprescoup

    Ask Bernie why he plans to vote for the neoliberal Queen Hillary, once the curtain falls on the quadrennial kabuki extravaganza. This will make it clear that he is an unserious champion of the working class.

    LOTE is bullshit. From Truman through Carter Dems have been chipping away at socialist ideals (the worker/welfare state.)

    From Clinton on the Dem party has come to represent the more insidious, and more effective, kleptocratic evil.

  • Bluedot

    I suspect u know the answer to that.

  • metamars

    There’s a crying need to do what the anti-TPP “activists” have largely FAILED to do, and that is educate the public. The situation is abysmal – really shameful, IMO. I listened into the interoccupy anti-TPP conference call, tonight, and there’s still apparently no recognition of how bizarrely anemic the public education is. Being that we had well over a year to educate the public (thanks to wikileaks), I have to wonder why even those people who have communicated re TPP via their usual methods, are so obtuse about organizing and mobilizing their audiences to communicate outside their enlightened microcosms. (I’m thinking of Gary Null’s prn.fm and Alex Jones’ infowars, primarily. Jones even had his son document the ignorance of Austinites, but is there any chance he’ll ask his readers to print out flyers and pass them out?? Any chance he’ll sponsor an electoral hitlist type of website?? Any chance he’ll try and enlist veterans, as TPP is a form of treason – and if you can’t get a veteran worked up about treason, then I don’t know who you can get excited.)

    Here is evidence via video polling (the last one by yours truly):

    http://www.infowars.com/young-infowarrior-reveals-tpp-stupidity/

    http://www.infowars.com/video-some-americans-think-tpp-is-a-brand-of-toilet-paper/

    http://www.correntewire.com/why_i_m_sure_the_pew_research_poll_re_tpp_approval_in_the_us_is_a_fraudulent_pos

    As to why the public is so ignorant, see this article about the media blackout (pbs being a notable exception). http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/05/11/as-trans-pacific-partnership-debate-rages-broad/203603

    I’m quite broke, but if I can get a cousin to pay for flyers, I’d be willing to distribute them.

  • Bluedot

    I agree. The public is largely ignorant. I will write my congress critters and if there is still some Occupy site, I will contact them.

  • Pluto

    Two-thirds of the world’s economy, today, (and considering the propaganda metrics being used, here) is actually only 30 percent of both the global economy and population a mere five years from now.

    (You can tell the metric is propaganda because only a Neocon asshole would measure social and human rights by the size of the economy involved rather than the percentage of humans beings involved.)

    The TPP and TTIP are doomed, anyway.

  • dubinsky

    thank you. I will look for it.

    I would indeed be nice of that was part of the thing that Mr Tuttle copied and posted..or if it had been added by Tuttle.

    if I find it, I’ll post it in a comment.

  • Chris Maukonen

    And as I understand it pretty inexpensive to live there.

  • Bluedot

    Thanks

  • Pluto

    I think Ecuador is the future.

    Actually, all of South America is the future. Plus they already got the tee-shirt from the United Fruit Company and they aren’t going to enter into any more of these soul crushing trade deals with the neoliberals.

    Greece joined Russia today, for all intents and purposes, btw.

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    Bernie Sanders has been pretty vocal about his opposition, metamars…!

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    And the entire Island of Lanai too, bs…! 8-(

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    Wtf, dub…? Do I have to read the whole damn thing to ya…? Get a grip…! 8-(

  • dubinsky

    no, you needn’t read it to us…..did you read it to yourself…or are you simply repeating Lazare’s opinion?

  • Pluto

    Don’t believe everything you read 😉

  • Max_1

    Looks like H.W. will see his one world government before he kicks it…

  • Abraham Seggfej

    It’s not just a ” wish list’ it is an almost done-deal, providing the Political elite of each participating Nation can either be bribed or, bought it will happen. This is what happens when the State & corporate entities merge; Benito Musselini called it Fascism ! We cannot blame Russia, China or the BRICS for this one.