This morning’s leak of documents from the highly secretive Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) negotiations are a backdoor to widespread deregulation, according to FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.
“The documents demonstrate that the government is trying to lock New Zealanders out from deciding how services are regulated, including in FIRST Union’s coverage areas of finance and transport, as well as telecommunications, post and the professions.”
“‘Liberalisation of trade in services’ is trade-speak for limiting government influence over the services that New Zealanders use every day. The NZ government’s involvement in these negotiations shows utter contempt for the democratic process, giving foreign investors and corporates disproportionate control over how services are regulated.”
“In the finance sector this means a free pass to the big banks to operate on a global scale with minimal regulation, driving down costs and employment conditions through off-shoring. Banks are solely concerned about maximising their profits. They take no responsibility for financial instability and crisis, leaving working class people to bear the brunt of the losses.”
“For the transport sector, service liberalisation will be a gift to large transport companies, driving down safety and employment conditions while creating barriers for government investment management or operation of national transport infrastructure.”
“TISA is not an economic development plan, it’s the kind of backdoor deal that would make even FIFA proud.”
“The secret Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) negotiations from the 1990s fell to pieces as information about its potential impacts started to come to light. FIRST Union categorically opposes secret ‘trade’ negotiations and calls on the government to make all negotiations public immediately so democracy can take its course.”