Costa Rica amongst countries negotiating secret trade deal leaked by WikiLeaks

June 24th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) Costa Rica is party to negotiations surrounding a secret trade deal which critics say is aimed at ensuring financial deregulation for major international banks and financial services firms that was leaked by the whistleblower web site WikiLeaks on Thursday.

 

The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) covers 50 countries and 68.2% of world trade in services.  The US and the EU are the main proponents of the agreement, and the authors of most joint changes, which also covers cross-border data flow. In a significant anti-transparency maneuver by the parties, the draft has been classified to keep it secret not just during the negotiations but for five years after the TISA enters into force.

 

“Despite the failures in financial regulation evident during the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis and calls for improvement of relevant regulatory structures, proponents of TISA aim to further deregulate global financial services markets. The draft Financial Services Annex sets rules which would assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals – mainly headquartered in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt – into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. The leaked draft also shows that the US is particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow, which would allow uninhibited exchange of personal and financial data,” WikiLeaks said in a press release.

 

“TISA negotiations are currently taking place outside of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework. However, the Agreement is being crafted to be compatible with GATS so that a critical mass of participants will be able to pressure remaining WTO members to sign on in the future. Conspicuously absent from the 50 countries covered by the negotiations are the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The exclusive nature of TISA will weaken their position in future services negotiations.”

 

The draft text comes from the April 2014 negotiation round – the sixth round since the first held in April 2013. The next round of negotiations are taking place between June 23rd and June 27th in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

“A sample of provisions from this leaked text show that governments signing on to TISA will: be expected to lock in and extend their current levels of financial deregulation and liberalisation; lose the right to require data to be held onshore; face pressure to authorise potentially toxic insurance products; and risk a legal challenge if they adopt measures to prevent or respond to another crisis,” Professor Jane Kelsey of the Faculty of Law at the University of Auckland told WikiLeaks.

 

Critics and watchdog groups have decried the secret agreement, alleging TISA would violate countries’ sovereignty and is designed solely to ensure the dominance of major multinational banks and finance firms in New York and London.

 

“It is impossible to obey a law or know how it affects you when the law is secret. And that is what this agreement would be, a new rulebook for trade in services — principally banking, insurance and trusts,” David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer winning author and law professor, says in a column for Al Jazeera America.

 

“[TISA] is intended to subvert the creation, by governments, of rules that benefit all of society and instead make sure the rules enhance the power of the financial services industry and reduce its accountability,” Johnston continues.

 

“Not one of the five big American newspapers — The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today — wrote a word about the document. Ditto the major TV networks. […]

 

Big Business and national governments wanted to conceal the terms of the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) while keeping consumers, unions, environmentalists and the vast majority of businesses in the dark. Thanks to WikiLeaks, they failed,” Johnston said.

 

Current WTO parties negotiating TISA are: Australia, Canada, Chile, Taiwan, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, which includes its 28 member states Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

 

 

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    • NorthendFool

      So all we have to be happy about is a soccer game. Gasoline is almost $6 per gallon or will be soon. Corp. taxes, exit taxes, etc. etc. have not helped one bit. The school on our road is still a piece of shit, the teacher never comes cause she has a job in another city. Her husband is a criminal who came and loaded up all the new building materials for the school and took them to his farm. Chief of Police in nearby city is busy cutting down and hauling and selling trees on endangered list. Huge marijuana plantations up above us in the hills, locals calling cops complaining while the cops tell the growers to hurry up and get it harvested before there is more trouble. Pura Vida

      • dr meno

        ummm so where are these plantations?

    • Suzen Caring

      WAKE UP COSTA RICA! Stop following the west down its s**t hole, geez!

    • richard schlinder

      Stalin said”Control the land and you control the people”.Well with all the regulations on land they already have control. Now they want to control our currency.If you are broke living week to week you will have no problems. If you have money in the bank you will have to fight to keep it or barter and steal for a living.

    • dr meno

      LIKE I SAID, OSCAR AND LAURA SOLD OUT THE COUNTRY. They both ned to go to jail. Cancel all contracts they enter to the criminal banks and the USA.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPRQD9-KmK4

      • HONEST

        The facts on Costa Rica are things are getting very bad and no Costa Ricans wants to talk about it. The current goverment is scared to start saying the truth about the last goverment and all the money that was stolen. The cost of visiting and living in Costa Rica have gone up so much that most Costa Rican are going back to the basics. Tourism is going down big time because of the world cup and now most travellers are looking at other countries to travel to. Lots of resorts and hotels are laying off staff and now farmers are having a hard time getting paid by association. Walk around San Jose and see all the for rent sighns just in a two block area i counted 45 for rent sighn and empty spaces. Sorry everyone Costa Rica is changing and things are going to get worse before they get better. Also stores like Automercado are layiing off staff and even Walmart is laying staff off. Austerity is not happening its now a country on the brink of disaster .