Wikileaks has leaked new information about the Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa), an international trade agreement between the U.S. and 23 other countries including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Israel. The agreement aims at liberalizing the worldwide trade of services such as banking, health care and transport.
TISA is the sibling of the TPP and the TTIP. All are being negotiated in absolute secrecy.
The information released raises questions about privacy. Foreign countries will be able to keep U.S. citizens’ data in their home country.
Forbes stated that the draft requires all signatories to allow suppliers to keep private information of customers outside their territory. In other words, if a company in Timbuktu does business in the United States, that company would not be required to keep American customer information in the U.S. and could instead store that information in Timbuktu.
The left are exercised about one proposal from Turkey that would allow health tourism to foreign countries, reimbursed by home countries’ health insurance plans. Under the proposal, people with health problems in the U.S. and Europe. would be encouraged to travel to other countries for cheaper healthcare. Turkey hopes to provide healthcare to Europe’s elderly at Europe’s expense.
In his June 3rd interview with NPR’s Marketplace, Barack Obama indicated that the trade treaty would be a back door to implementing his climate change policy worldwide:
If we want to solve something like climate change, which is one of my highest priorities, then I’ve got to be able to get into places like Malaysia, and say to them, this is in your interest. What leverage do I have to get them to stop deforestation? Well part of the leverage is if I’m in a trade relationship with them that allows me to raise standards.
Congress is planning to pass fast track authority to the president for the TPP which would allow him to negotiate the treaty unilaterally. When the final deal is presented to Congress, it will only take a third plus one votes to pass and no amendments can be offered.