Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)

TISA members represent an enormous services market with nearly 1.6 billion people and a combined GDP of more than $50 trillion in 2013—nearly two-thirds of the world’s economy. In 2013, these countries exported more than $3.6 trillion in services.

The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) is a major attempt to further liberalize trade in services. There are currently 23 parties taking part in the TISA negotiations: Australia; Canada; Chile; Chinese Taipei; Colombia; Costa Rica; the European Union; Hong Kong (China); Iceland; Israel; Japan; Liechtenstein; New Zealand; Norway; Mexico; Pakistan; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; South Korea; Switzerland; Turkey; and the United States. The participants have agreed to welcome other WTO members that wish to join the negotiations and that share the objectives of the group. A final agreement would also be open for accession to other WTO members.

Since the negotiations were launched in March 2013, nine rounds of negotiations have taken place in Geneva and five more are planned for 2015. At the end of 2013, the text negotiations were advanced enough to allow the TISA parties to table initial offers. Parties intend to intensify market access negotiations over the next year. During the December 2014 round, discussions focused on a number of proposals including transparency, domestic regulations, telecommunication services and e-commerce, environmental services, financial services, transportation, and movement of natural persons.

The services industry includes sectors such as telecommunications services, financial services, computer services, retail distribution, transportation, environmental services, express delivery, energy services and professional services (e.g. accountants, lawyers, architects and engineers).

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