How a Proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Matters to Everyone: OWINFS event at WTO Public Forum 2014

Original Publication Date: 
1 October, 2014
OWINFS Public Forum 2014 Event Flyer - Uni & PSI on TISA.pdf77.33 KB

How a Proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)

Matters to Everyone 

WTO Public Forum, Room E

Wednesday, October 1, 15:00-17:00 

Services affect every aspect of our daily lives, even more than goods. Trade in services has expanded exponentially, and offers one of the largest potential for expanding trade in the future and will have a large impact on jobs. At the same time, controversy has arisen around the fact that some WTO members are negotiating a Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) outside of the multilateral context of the WTO.   

*How would the Domestic Regulation aspects of the proposed TISA affect everyone, from policymakers and regulators to consumers, workers and users of public services? 

*Given the importance of financial stability to citizens and governments around the world, what are the potential impacts of proposed disciplines on financial services in the TISA on the global goal of increasing financial stability? 

*How could a potential TISA affect non-participating members especially in Africa? There have been rumours of the TISA being “brought back into” the WTO; how would that affect WTO members, acceding members, and the multilateral system generally?  

*What are the potential risks and threats for public and private services workers of the proposed TISA, given its aim of binding current liberalisation practices and further liberalising of disciplines such as ICT services, e-commerce, postal and courier services, transport, water, energy, environment, financial services, audio-visual services, and the temporary movement of natural persons?  

*According to new research, what is the impact of a potential TISA on public sector service provision especially in essential public services such as health, education, water, energy and waste?  

*What implications does a potential TISA have on the multilateral trade system, particularly the WTO and the conclusion of the Doha Development Round?   

*How would a proposed TISA affect consumers, for example of information and communications technology in an era of threats to privacy? The shift towards more sustainable sources of energy towards climate change stabilization?  The Sustainable Development Goals such as access to water, health care, and education?


Speakers will include:

Danny Bertossa, Director Policy and Governance, Public Services International (PSI)

MyriamvanderStichele, Senior Researcher, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)

Peter Rossman, International Officer, International Union of Foodworkers (IUF-UITA-IUL)

Sanya Reid Smith, Senior Researcher, Third World Network

Stephen DeMatteo, Head of Post and Logistics, UNI Global Union


Background: More than 50 governments around the world are engaged in negotiations towards a proposed TISA, given the stalled talks on expanding the GeneralAgreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in the WTO. Services represent the fastest growing segments of many economies, and the rules disciplining trade in services affect policymakers, regulators and public services at the municipal, provincial and national levels. New research exposes how consumers, workers and users of public services will be affected by the regulations under which they can both provide and access those services. Potential TISA disciplines negotiations would alter current rules disciplining trade in services and consequently impact consumers, workers and users of public services in both the provision and the access to services. Finally, services regulation also affect global goals: of global financial stability; to increase sustainable sources in the mix of energy services provision; and the new proposed Sustainable Development Goals such as universal access to health care, education, and water will all be affected by the potential outcomes of the negotiations on the proposed TISA.