Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)

On March 18, 2013, the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, announced that Canada will join 22 other World Trade Organization members in the negotiations of a Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). The current participants in these discussions with Canada are Australia, the United States, the European Union, New Zealand, Korea, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Hong Kong China, Norway, Switzerland, Pakistan, Israel, Peru, Costa Rica, Turkey, Panama, Iceland and Liechtenstein. However, other interested WTO members could potentially join the negotiations and a finished agreement would also be open for accession to other WTO members.

Canada has been participating in WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) negotiations – which are part of the Doha Round negotiations – since 2000. In early 2012, a group of WTO members who share a strong interest in services started discussing new approaches to advance the liberalization of trade in services while the Doha Round is at an impasse. Discussions have revealed that the members of this group are willing to pursue an ambitious agreement on trade in services amongst themselves, as permitted under the GATS rules. These discussions gained momentum during the fall 2012 and negotiations started in early 2013.

A Trade in Services Agreement will complement other initiatives that the government of Canada is taking to open up markets and potentially provide more market access and legal stability where markets are already open but not subject to trade agreements.

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