The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between Europe and the United States have been published by the European Commission.
TiSA, or the Trade in Services Agreement, is a trade accord currently being negotiated by 23 member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including the EU, the U.S., Japan, Costa Rica, and Israel. TiSA aims to further open these markets up for trade in services, such as e-commerce, cross-border data flows, and technology transfer. The negotiations of this agreement were launched in 2013 and are taking place behind closed doors. They are not subject to public to the same pressure for transparency, as other infamous trade agreements have been in the past, including ACTA, the current TPP, and the TTIP. However, this trade deal could have a similar, if not bigger, impact on digital rights and particularly the rights to privacy, data protection and freedom of expression.
Senators are now working around the clock to re-introduce a bill that would put trade agreements on the fast track to passage in the US after those deals are finalized. Deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have been negotiated in almost complete secrecy, except for private industry advocates serving on trade advisory committees who can read and comment on these texts. That has enabled these agreements to include extreme copyright and other digital policy provisions that would bind all signatory nations to draconian rules that would hinder free speech, privacy, and access to knowledge. Under fast track, also referred to as Trade Promotion Authority, lawmakers would only have a small window of time to conduct hearings over binding trade provisions and give an up-or-down vote on ratification of the agreement without any ability to amend it before they bind the United States to its terms.
As the 8th round of the TTIP negotiations just ended in Brussels, Access reflects on the state of play of this major transatlantic trade deal.
On 9 March 2015, EDRi-member Vrijschrift sent a letter to the Dutch Parliament, highlighting the dangers of investor-state dispute settlement clauses (ISDS) in the trade agreements with Canada (CETA) and Singapore (EUSFTA) that the European Union is currently negotiating.
The two sides have been negotiating since 2011 over the so-called "umbrella agreement" that would protect personal data exchanged between police and judicial authorities in the course of investigations, as well as between companies and law enforcement authorities.
The European Commission, which leads the negotiations on behalf of the EU, has said that it aims to complete those negotiations before the summer.