Restore Democracy and Free Speech, Please.

This site is based on a hope that if informed about anti-democracy trade deals that freeze progress on new public services, and create a race to the bottom on environmental and labor standards, and privatize existing services of all kinds, that we might somehow be able to change course and come together in consensus to restore true democracy by peaceful and rational means.

Long Introduction to GATS

“Governments are free in principle to pursue any national policy objectives, provided the relevant measures are compatible with the GATS.” –WTO, Oct. 1999

"TISA's Threat to Democracy" A Trade Justice Alliance Webinar

"The TISA would override your Constitution, override your domestic laws" - 55:30 (Sanya Reid Smith) 2 hour video with: Sanya Reid Smith, Legal Advisor and Senior Researcher, Third World Network, Deborah James, Director of International Programs at the Center for Economic and Policy Research ABOUT TISA: TISA, the Trade in Services Agreement or TiSA, is the largest multilateral trade deal ever negotiated, and currently includes 50 countries. TiSA would set the rules for “services” that the text defines so broadly as to encompass almost all areas of our lives. TiSA would apply to approximately 80% of the global economy yet the massive corporate-designed agreement has been negotiated completely behind closed doors without public input. Without WikiLeaks, we would know very little. TiSA would inhibit regulations of the very banks that brought down the global economy, destroy online privacy and data protections and would legally codify global privatization of the commons, including access to clean water, public education and quality health care. TiSA would entrench neoliberal dirty energy projects like fracking and tar sands at the expense of renewables like solar and wind power. Despite President Trump’s proclaimed opposition to TPP, and his checkered messages around NAFTA, he has yet to say one word about TiSA which has farther-reaching implications.

Interpreting the General Agreement on Trade in Services and the WTO Instruments Relevant to the International Trade of Financial Services: The Lawyer's Perspective

25 N.C. J. Int'l L. & Com. Reg.1 (1999). by J. S. Jarreau, This is a very good essay on the GATS financial services provisions, especially their history and where they sit in the general GATS and WTO millieu.

The Potential Impact of the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services on Health System Reform and Regulation in the United States. (2009)

This paper is perhaps one of the best introductions to the GATS and healthcare issue for Americans on this site. In this 2009 paper, the late Nicholas Skala, explains the "GATS" agreement, and its implications for US healthcare reform and why we urgently need to apply for and pursue a specific procedure (Article XXI) to withdraw from the GATS in order to avoid built in traps for the unwary, for example, to get sustainable public health care. If you only read a few papers on GATS on this site, make sure this is one and also read the materials on GATS Article I:3 and 'governmental authority exclusion" keyword. Also see "explainer" tagged items.

Recently Added Links , Articles and News

Slavery's Last Stronghold (CNN)

Moulkheir Mint Yarba returned from a day of tending her master’s goats out on the Sahara Desert to find something unimaginable: Her baby girl, barely old enough to crawl, had been left outdoors to die.

The Scramble for Africa

A previous "gold rush" or "land grab" structurally similar to GATS and its global grab of today Exploration of Africa Scramble for Africa Part of a series on New Imperialism "The Rhodes Colossus" (1892) by Edward Linley Sambourne History Western imperialism in Asia "The Great Game" The "Scramble for Africa" Historiography of the British Empire Theory The Expansion of England Gentlemanly capitalism The Imperialism of Free Trade Imperialism: A Study Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism Porter–MacKenzie debate See also ImperialismColonialism Decolonization Areas of Africa controlled by European colonial powers (Belgian, British, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish Empires) The Scramble for Africa, also called the Partition of Africa, Conquest of Africa, or the Rape of Africa,[1][2][3] was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonization of most of Africa by a handful of European powers during a short period known to historians as the New Imperialism (between 1881 and 1914). The 10 percent of Africa that was under formal European control in 1870 increased to almost 90 percent by 1914, with only Ethiopia (Abyssinia) and Liberia remaining independent. The Berlin Conference of 1884, which regulated European colonization and trade in Africa, is usually referred to as the starting point of the Scramble for Africa.[4] There were considerable political and economic rivalries among the European empires in the last quarter of the 19th century. Partitioning Africa was effected largely without Europeans going to war.[5] In the later years of the 19th century, the European nations transitioned from "informal imperialism" — i.e., exercising military influence and economic dominance — to direct rule, bringing about colonial imperialism.

TISA vs Climate Action: Trading Away Energy Democracy

Energy is possibly the global economy’s most strategic sector given its implications for national security, economic growth, social stability, and ecological sustainability. Yet 80% of the world’s primary energy comes from fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases. If humanity is to avert the worst extremes of the climate crisis, we must all reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, rapidly and dramatically. This was recognised by UN Member States in the December 2015 Climate Agreement. Yet, at the very time that Member States were negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement 1 , their trade negotiators were meeting in Geneva to secretly forge a new Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) covering Energy Related Services (ERS). The climate crisis is recognized as the free market’s single largest failure, and there are few who think that markets have the tools needed to solve the deepening climate crisis. Yet, TiSA’s ERS aims to strengthen the market and limit the space for government policy and regulation in the energy sector. Governments preparing to implement the Paris Agreement may find their trade ministers undermining their efforts in the TiSA negotiations.>>More at link- (PDF)

Webinar: The Energy Charter Treaty: To "modernize" or to exit?

This webinar, part of IISD's series of Webinars on Investment Law and Policy, focused on the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). The event was held on January 22, 2020, at 3:30 PM CET/9:30 AM EST. The ECT is a treaty from 1994 that aimed to set out a multilateral framework for cooperation in the energy sector. It covers, among other areas, trade and investment, and includes an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism that has been used in various arbitration cases. A negotiation mandate for an ECT "modernization" process was adopted in late 2019, with meetings planned throughout the coming year. Given this context, this webinar considered the history of the ECT, the modernization process now underway, and some of the main aspects of reform, including from the perspective of climate action. It considered questions such as the implications of ECT termination and withdrawal and noted the case history under the ECT to date. The guest speaker for the webinar was *Kyla Tienhaara*, Canada Research Chair in Economy and Environment and Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies and Department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. IISD International Law Advisor Martin Dietrich Brauch also served as speaker as well as webinar moderator. The webinar was held on the Zoom platform. It can be viewed below and on IISD's YouTube channel.

Webinar on Termination and Renegotiation of Investment Treaties (IISD)

This webinar involved a discussion on the termination and renegotiation of investment treaties, including the presentation of a paper from our Best Practices Series, entitled Terminating a Bilateral Investment Treaty. March 25, 2020 8:00 pm (Open to public) Share this page: Twitter Facebook This webinar was held on Thursday March 26 at 3 PM CET / 10 AM EST. It involved a discussion on the termination and renegotiation of investment treaties, including a presentation of our paper from our Best Practices Series, entitled Terminating a Bilateral Investment Treaty. This paper situates the growing trend of bilateral investment treaty (BIT) termination and renegotiation in the context of UNCTAD’s Phase II of International Investment Agreement (IIA) Reform, examining recent developments in this area. It undertakes a detailed examination of recent state practice in BIT terminations and related drafting, and presents options and recommendations for states that wish to use termination and renegotiation to deal with their stock of older BITs. The event is part of our series of Webinars in Investment Law and Policy. Our featured speakers included Sarah Brewin and Suzy Nikièma from IISD and Hamed El Kady from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, IISD Senior Director, Economic Law and Policy, served as the webinar moderator. It also involved a dedicated Q&A session.

GATES Foundation using coronavirus as a cover for its biometrics and global ID surveillance agenda

Please read this article, There is another issue..discussed in the linked article as well.. I would not have believed this had I not had arguments with "Malthusian" people who want population reduction myself a few years ago when I wrote an article about how Ambien sometimes almost miraculously brings TBI injured people out of comas. It attracted a lot of comments, some nasty, from creepy people who literally really wanted to just let them die. Yuck.

Papers please! EU heralds end of uncontrolled activities (a Trojan Horse for ID2020 campaign to force digital ID on the whole world- creepy special interests are promoting it)

By Norbert Haering of Norberthaering.de ID 2020 – a unified digital identity for everybody on earth April 21, 2020 | Eric Wagner of multipolar has written a piece on ID2020, which cites translated sections from my reporting in German. Since I have not gotten around to translating my recent writing on ID2020, I take this opportunity to familiarize international readers with this creepy campaign. The following is the second part of … a multipolar article ID 2020 – a unified digital identity for everybody on earth April 21, 2020 | Eric Wagner of multipolar has written a piece on ID2020, which cites translated sections from my reporting in German. Since I have not gotten around to translating my recent writing on ID2020, I take this opportunity to familiarize international readers with this creepy campaign. The following is the second part of a multipolar-article. A link to the first part on mass vaccinations is at the end. Eric Wagner. The “Digital Identity Alliance”, or “ID 2020”, says it is concerned with the creation of a digital identity that will enable people to identify themselves across borders while retaining control over their personal data. The founding partners of the project are Gates’ company Microsoft, the Gates-sponsored vaccination alliance GAVI, the management consultancy Accenture and the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the oldest and wealthiest foundations in the USA. Since September 2019, the “Digital Identity Alliance” has been cooperating with the government of Bangladesh to introduce digital identities. This involves combining vaccinations with the recording of biometric data, such as fingerprints, to enable digital identification of the respective person. By February 2020, 100 million digital identities had been created, as the responsible minister reported in an article for the World Economic Forum. This collection is marketed as “digital inclusion”, supposedly to include disadvantaged people in the benefits of the modern world. Traveling only with a “digital immunity proof”? Also in Europe, the first approaches to establish the technology are emerging. Journalist Norbert Häring, for example, reports on an application within the framework of the “Known Traveller” program of the arguably evil, antidemocracy World Economic Forum, which provides for an initially voluntary data release for preferred handling in air travel. In the long term, however, a mandatory regulation also appears possible, once the system has been established. Gates explained on 24 March in an interview with TED host Chris Anderson:

Gerald Casale: Oral History of Devo

This interview was originally intended to be used in a documentary on the history of rock 'n' roll in 1995. It is unclear as to what stopped this from being shown on TV, but the footage was clearly early in the filming process for the special. Either way, this interview contains tons of background information on Devo, a lot of interesting insight into punk and rocks histories, and some really hilarious stories.