Pakistan is Part of the Biggest Corporate Powergrab in History

According to WikiLeaks, Pakistan is part of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Currently being negotiated away from public eyes between the US, EU and 23 countries that make up two thirds of the world’s GDP, it has the potential to alter the service economy across the world.

According to an analysis of the core text (which you can see for yourself here), the idea behind the trade agreement is to limit the ability of member governments to regulate national services. Foreign corporations would have an alarming amount of freedom to conduct business and we could see privatization of services across the globe on an unprecedented level.

The trade agreement aims to limit the ability of governments to regulate national services, giving corporations more control than ever

What’s even more staggering about the TiSA is that it is being negotiated in secret and the final text is going to remain secret for 5 years after it’s passed. Overall, it’s part of three major agreements being negotiated in secret: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), TiSA and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

They have the potential to “form not only a new legal order shaped for transnational corporations, but a new economic ‘grand enclosure’, which excludes China and all other BRICS countries”, according to Wikileaks. As such, they’ve been subject to intense scrutiny and criticism for the secrecy and lack of public consultation during the negotiation phase.

The public won’t have access to the text of the agreement until 5 years after TiSA is passed

In his expert analysis, University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, says this about TiSA:

“A self-selected group of mainly rich countries” plans to “bypass other governments in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and rewrite its services agreement in the interests of their corporations.

Major Points in the TiSA:

Here are the major points from the TiSA. The list is by no means comprehensive but I’ve made an attempt to cover the most prominent points. The overarching goal seems to be privatization and deregulation of core services.

  • Governments have to sign away their rights to choose local service providers in areas like broadcasting, education, electricity and sanitation. The influence of small local businesses will be limited while more power will be granted to corporations.
  • Reforms to liberalize trade in all sectors including banking, financial, e-commerce, health, transport, and consulting. These would impact all levels of government including federal and provincial.
  • Government input in economic activities like setting size and growth limits will be restricted. This will also impact banks.
  • Foreign companies would no longer be accountable to the countries in which they operate. They will have no responsibility to provide any social or developmental benefits their service could have.
  • There is a huge emphasis on reducing government intervention, control and oversight on the cross border movement of anything related to services and capital. Capital control measures can’t be passed even if there is deficit in the national balance of payments.
  • E-commerce could be affected with provisions that violate net neutrality as well as data privacy.

In light of the revelations, we would like the government of Pakistan to enlighten us as to what exactly we are getting out of participating in the TiSA. Services comprise 53% of our economy and the TiSA will have a major impact how they are conducted. Why are we negotiating a secret deal that could move us away from being self sufficient?

Future governments could find it is impossible to restore public services to public control, even in cases where private service delivery has failed. It would also restrict a government’s ability to regulate key sectors including financial, energy, telecommunications and cross-border data flows.- PSI Special Report

Negotiations have been ongoing since early 2013 and they are set to resume on July 6. The time is ripe for us to raise our collective voices and get some answers.

TISA would expand deregulatory ‘trade’ rules written under the advisement of large banks before the financial crisis, requiring domestic laws to conform to the now-rejected model of extreme deregulation that led to global recession. —Ben Beachy, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

If you are more interested in TiSA and its impact, TISA vs Public Services by PSI (Special Report) and  Why “Trade in Services Agreement” (TISA) is dangerous to democracy, development, and the public interest? by Our World is Not for Sale are well worth reading.

Talal is a Director and the Chief Content Officer at ProPakistani. Reach out at [email protected]

  • Remind me of some old 007 movies and about Jon parkens book “confessions of economic hitman” and shadow government documentary by a radio presenter.

  • You really think Nawaz Shareef and Zardari care about Pakistan? You are wrong then.
    They only care about their own wealth and power.

  • “New World Order” People, that’s what’s happening “One World Government” . Privatize everything and guess who will control everything?
    Dajjal and his minions.
    Looks vague but that’s just about it folks. Order is being set.
    Those who are in far areas with no access to the world would be safe enough from this one world order.
    Good Luck. May Allah be with us.

  • TISA will actually benefit Pakistan the most. Pakistan is the the poorest country among the TISA group countries. It will open up US Govt.’s IT services for us. Since India is not part of TISA, the IT/ BPO work should shift to Pakistan from TISA member countries after the signing of TISA. For more info please read detailed blog at RiazHaqdotCom

  • Trade in Services Agreement List of Participants

    The following are current participants in the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations:

    Costa Rica
    The European Union
    Hong Kong, China
    New Zealand
    The Republic of Korea
    Chinese Taipei
    The United States

  • A key TISA provision likely to benefit Pakistanis is ease of visa restrictions for “Movement of Natural Persons” among member nations which include the United States, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Canada. This section discusses commitments by the parties not to place undue burdens on visas and singles out face-to-face interviews as an example of “overly burdensome procedures.” Even before this agreement is in place, there has been a growing ravel from Pakistan to US with 78,000 Pakistanis traveling to the United States on various non-immigrant visas in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available.

    Other provisions of TISA would ease outsourcing of a variety of services from America and Europe to Pakistan. These include information technology services, back office services, medical, engineering, legal and accounting services. These outsourced services will help create job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of college grads pouring into the job market every year.

    • Don’t sale that bullshit! thats governments to decide whom to give visa not cooperate.

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