08:33 GMT +323 January 2020
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    TiSA Needs More Flexible Regulations to Serve Public Interest - Researcher

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    The "toxic" Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) pact currently in negotiations between the United States, EU members and several other countries needs more flexible regulations to protect sensitive services and serve the public interest, a WTO Public Forum panelist told Sputnik on Friday.

    GENEVA (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko – Analysts contend that the 24-party agreement, said to be in support of streamlined trade, risks shifting commercial and public services from serving the public interest to serving the interests of the shareholders of multinational corporations.

    "TiSA needs more flexibility in regulations. Public interest, which is the core of democracy, should be a priority," Myriam Vander Stichele, a Center for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) senior researcher, said.

    The Amsterdam-based sustainable development non-profit researcher stressed that key public infrastructure services, including transportation and power generation, must remain within the control of the rightful government of a sovereign nation, an historic concept of governance that the TiSA pact aims to "liberalize."

    "If you want to protect some of the other rights-related services, then you don't have space any more to protect services like national airlines. So states will have to make a difficult choice and to choose services that they don't want to liberalize," Stichele observed.

    TiSA opponents point out that the controversial deal seeks primarily to deregulate trade for the benefit of what Washington wants to sell abroad, paving the way for supranational labor laws, as well as financial and industrial policies that undermine a sovereign governments' ability to protect its citizens.

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