Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)

TISA members represent the world’s largest services market with nearly 1.6 billion people and a combined GDP of more than $48 trillion—more than two-thirds of the world’s economy. In 2012, these countries exported close to $3.3 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, seven rounds of negotiations have taken place in Geneva and two more are planned for this year. At the end of 2013, the text negotiations were advanced enough to allow the TISA parties to table initial offers. During the June 2014 round, discussions focused on a number of proposals including transparency, domestic regulations, telecommunication services and e-commerce, financial services, transportation, and movement of natural persons.

The services industry includes 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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