The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA)
What is the TISA?
The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) is the most promising opportunity in two decades to improve and expand trade in services. Initiated by the United States and Australia, the TISA is currently being negotiated in Geneva, Switzerland with 50 participants that represent 70 percent of the world's trade in services.
As of July 2014, participants in the TISA include Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, the European Union*, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States.
The last major services agreement, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) was established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. Since then, the world has evolved dramatically from the result of technological advances, changing business practices, and deeper global integration. TheTISA can establish new market access commitments and universal rules that reflect 21st century trade.
The Importance of Services
The services sector is the world's largest employer, and produces 70 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). In the United States, services generate more than 75 percent of of the national economic output and provide 80 percent of private sector jobs. The United States consistantly maintains a surplus of services trade; currently the surplus is over $200 billion. According to the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative, if U.S. business services achieved the same export potential as U.S. manufactured goods, then U.S. exports as a whole could increase by $800 billion.
The TISA has the opportunity to address major and fundamental barriers to trade in services affecting the United States and the globe. Some barriers to services trade include limited movement of data across borders, unfair competition from state-owned enterprises, lack of transparency and need for due process of law, and forced local ownership and discrimination in obtaining business licenses and permits.
An international services agreement has the potential to create trading conditions that enable services industries to achieve their full potential. The TISA can be one of the most important economic contributions of this century-for the United States and the globe.
*European Union includes: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
More information on the TiSA: