(COMMON DREAMS) Viviana Barreto, Sam Cossar-Gilbert — Last week the Uruguayan government decided to end its involvement in the secret negotiations of the Trade in Services Agreement TISA, signifying an important victory in the global fight against bad trade deals.
TISA is a radical new deal that aims to go far beyond current trade rules and force States to further open their markets to foreign corporations, privatize public services and reduce regulations. These measures often mean job losses, less environmental protection, and less accessible healthcare and education.
Uruguay has created a blueprint for how to stop this corporate-driven agreement. It is time for other countries to follow the lead and end TISA once and for all.
After months of intense pressure led by unions and other social movements—including a general strike on the issue—the Uruguayan President listened to public opinion and left the US-led trade agreement. The overwhelming majority of members of the ruling Frente Amplio party believe that the deal would undermine the government’s national development strategy and therefore considered it “unadvisable to continue participating in the TISA negotiations”.
The little-known TISA negotiations involve 52 nations, who together comprise around two-thirds of the global economy: the United States, European Union and 23 other countries, including Turkey, Mexico, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Chile. It relates to the ‘services sector’ of the economy, which in the EU makes up approximately 75% of the total economic activity.