Published: 18/06/2014
A new report from Public Services International exposes the threat to public services in the secret negotiations around the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) driven by a group of countries calling themselves “The really good friends of services” whose rich core includes the US, EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and South Korea.

Like the proposed EU-US and Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreements (see the IUF’s Trade Deals that Threaten Democracy), TISA, the report shows, would build on the work of the WTO and bilateral trade and investment agreements to open wider for privatization and deregulation such essential services  as education, health, water and transport and make it impossible for governments to reverse privatizations and restore these services to public control even where private ownership has failed. TISA would impose new obstacles to public interest regulation to protect workers, consumers and the environment and block initiatives to regulate global finance.

The secret TISA negotiations, writes PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli, must be exposed and defeated through public action.

“Public services are designed to provide vital social and economic necessities – such as health care and education – affordably, universally and on the basis of need… There should be no trade in public services”, she concludes.  

“Public services”, says IUF General Secretary Ron Oswald, “are workers’ unique form of accumulated wealth – unique because it is public – in an increasingly unequal world, and must be staunchly defended.”

The report is available on the PSI website here.