Yes it is so shocking that a secret trade pact would include things that are harmful to the populace…
Because deals hammered out in secret—by an unknown number of high-priced lobbyists—are always good for the average citizen.
Here is Emma Woollacott at Forbes.com: “Leaked TISA Documents Reveal Privacy Threat.”
Wikileaks has released 17 documents relating to the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), currently under negotiation between the US, the European Union and 23 other nations. These negotiating texts are supposed to remain secret for five years after TISA is finalized and brought into force.
The deal, which has been under discussion behind closed doors since early 2013, is intended to remove barriers to trade in services. It’s a sort of companion piece to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which cover trade in goods – but potentially far bigger, with Wikileaks claiming that ‘services’ now account for nearly 80 per cent of the US and EU economies.
Like TTIP and TPP, TISA could be sped through Congress using Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as fast-track authority, which has been passed by the US Senate and may be taken up in the House this month. Under TPA, Congress is barred from making amendments to the trade deals, and must simply give yes-or-no approval.
And the contents of TISA make interesting reading, particularly for anybody concerned about privacy. Under the draft agreement, the EU would be barred from requiring the personal data of its citizens to be held within European borders, an idea currently under discussion in Germany.
Republican leadership has gone totally deaf—they have not delivered on a single promise they made before the 2014 elections (in fact, now news is sifting out that they’re planning not to eliminate Obamacare if the Supreme Court rules against it, but to create a plan to keep the subsidies going!), and here they are asking us to trust them about a secret trade pact that apparently makes citizens’ private information fair game for people around the globe.
Thank goodness for WikiLeaks! Long may their hacking live.
See Mark Horne’s post for how Republicans are ready to make sure a a trade law will pass even though they haven’t bothered to read it!