harmonization

Harmonization in services, means a race to the "least common denominator" - ie. race to the bottom on everything, not a race to the top. It also means destruction of the social contract by stealth.

Article VI:4 of GATS, which states that the “measures relating to qualification requirements and procedures, technical standards and licensing requirements” should be developed to “ensure that such requirements are not more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of the services.”

Under neoliberalism, its often said that there are winners and losers.

However, given the set of conditions which is evolving, almost everybody is likely to become a loser.

This process is somehow now understood to leave many people jobless with no recourse whatsoever and that's accepted. 

The biggest concern is appearances, not substance.

The winners of bids, or their workforces (who may not be winners at all, because all their firm wins is an entitlement to do a once-good job that has been bid down into a near nullity in a global competition between their and similar companies). may not realize this for some time, however.

By the time they do, however, they may not have any other choices.

The outgoing workers, who often have to train their replacements, are unlikely to be invested in by a society under neoliberalism, which will view them, as it viewed frugal older Americans and Europeans who had been through the Great Depression, as damaged goods.

They are behaving as society expects them to, trying to save money.

However, it turns out thats not what society really wants.

Advertisers are more blunt, they called them "dead weight".

Society will disinvest in and disengage from them.

It will redevelop their communities, pushing them out, but with rapidly dwindling funds, they will have nowhere to go.

After peoples jobs have been outsourced/offshored/eliminated, the so called general equilibrium model assumes they can get other jobs that use their skills, so it counts their job loss on paper as an "efficiency gain" because it produces profits, on paper.

But that is making a lot of assumptions that are very unlikely to prove true.

Of course, due to what will amount to an unprecedented situation, globally, its quite possible that wont be able to, even if they are at the peak of their career. 

Its basically a global race downward in regulation so everything and everybody becomes an interchangeable part.

It involves cross recognition of professional qualifications of all kinds, as well as rules (GATS Article 1:4 )

that require that jobs not functionally discriminate against foreign firms that could result in almost anything that reduces their business opportunities under their own terms and wage structures, and customs FTA-illegal.

That means a race to the bottom where all measures, say those against discrimination will be eliminated. Including, for example, all affirmative action.

Perhaps not openly,  as trade barriers. Instead actors will pretend its for other reasons.

This is why I think Biden for example, does not want to win the general election, only the primaries against Bernie Sanders. He would likely rather trump do all these things in order so that the Demcratic brand can be preserved, in what amounts to  caricature of a democracy.

GATS will decimate the prospects of American young people without college degrees, and those with degrees and lots of debt, or insufficient means to continue in college to at least the PhD level. It will make jobs far more difficult to get because it will effectively increase the size of the labor poll by hundreds of milliions of people, perhaps even more, as one goes down in required skill levels.

GATS and TISA will also credentialize a great many skilled jobs that realistically now do not need an advanced degree, just an advanced level of skill. GATS already has been doing that in computing, to the great loss of many.

This will create emnity between groups of people that did not exist before. In a strange role reversal, in IT it already has created a great many US workplaces where "Americans need not apply". I.e. really shameless, overt racism.The reason of course is that these companies want disempowered workers who will work 60 hour weeks year round without complaining.  For more on the reason this happens see GATS Mode 4

Newcomers - the managerial class of the new companies will generally be wealthy people from a small number of service exporting developing countries.

After the quota is disposed of, their workers, many also with advanced degrees may often be paid so little they will not be able to participate economically in communities outside of their own.

Replacing diverse and vibrant professional communities.

They will push out educationally and culturally diverse existing professional communities.

Profits may increase temporarily but those funds will be funneled entirely upward in both the labor supplying and consuming countries. They will not go to wages.

Healthcare will tell a similar story, both in healthcare providers and in patients.

There are many complaints now from doctors and nurses that HMOS are trying to force out professionals who stand up for patients.

It will get much worse.

Services liberalization is unlikely to lower healthcare costs or address the problems caused by reverting to the 1998 ceiling on regulation. It wont bring back pre-existing condition coverage which is very expensive to provide and inconsistent with practice in the insurance industry globally. In most countries, health insurance is for the well to do and the poor have access to a PRE-WTO public healthcare system that has not been disrupted much so far by the WTO rules on public options,  (but likely will be, if the lesson of Brexit is not recognized and learned by the UK and knowledge of it disseminated widely. Which is unlikely in the English speaking world, because the English speaking news media is hiding all these things, globally.)

What about young people?

These changes pull jobs out from underneath workers all throughout their lives, simply because they become framed as too expensive and as having unrealistic expectations that cannot be met by firms if they want to "stay competitive" and at that point that will be hard to prevent. We should have been more informed about what was happening in the period right before the signing of the URAA in December 1994 and stopped it.

One of the aims of the GATS is clearly ending the universality of public primary education (although it pays lip service to it now) Not just higher education.

"Whats the point of educating us, as we'll always be too expensive to hire".

Arguments like that are not uncommon in some circles.

That's what one large service exporting country that vocally opposes the subsidization of education for US young people claiming that government subsidies of a service sector entitles them to its jobs if they are not excluded by a definition that almost never applies. That's how GATS works and thats what they argue.

GATS and TISA seem to attempt to doom the US working class, for the simple reason that our expectations are seen as unrealistic.

They assume that all wages will only go down, never up because of the opening up of markets will most assuredly push wages way down. basically it wants to put non-immigration (Temporary movement of natural persons to provide services) in the hands of international bodies (like the WTO)

Basically all objections that people might have have already been dismissed as "protectionism".

Of course people would say that, Other countries consider themselves as doing us a favor to prune away the "dead weight". 

This is the language of oligarchy, not democracy.

Countries will only be allowed to regulate permanent immigration (moving to a country with the intent to live there with one's family, not as an intra-corporate transfer)  Intra corporate transfer for multi-year periods even at low wages will likely be the norm in the world of work.

That is the Asian model rather than the Western model.

Where will the billions of once-employed prematurely retired  or never employed young people live?

The world is your rabbit hutch!

GATS and TISA are intended to expand to fill all service sectors and modes of supply. So the only jobs that will be immune to offshoring and outsourcing and precariatization are likely ones that require security clearances.

They fully intend to capture migration GATS has already turned it into an entitlement owned by countries, however its been held up while they work out the few remaining points.

GATS Mode 4 is not a gift to poor countries, it is opposed by workers and civil society organizations all around the world.

(FYI, many of the NGOs that support it were not actually started by countries and staffed by their own nationals, they are fake NGOs that were actually created by Europeans in order to set up sham representation that could engage in sham debates and then lose. This kind of tactic is the norm rather than the exception in trade deals.).

The entire GATS is basically the largest con job in human history, huge in intended scope (Michael Moore former WTO DG described it as the largest redistribution of wealth in human history)

However it will not help the poor as it transfers all that wealth upward, (from the middle class)

Acting as the middlemen in so many peoples labor will be extremely profitable for the South Asian and African firms that supply the labor to employers in places like the US and other high wage countries with low levels of union protections. The US is the largest target of trade in services agreements.

Of course as befits a global scheme designed to conquer nations more effectively than even an occupying army could, taking the place of a shooting war, without firing a shot, the same race to the bottom, the least common denominator,  is also happening in every other area too.

However the lions share of the profits is supposed to come from services. 80% of a modern economy.

Overview of TISA from the European Union. (The very inaccurately named "mandate" document. )
Notice how it is supposed to cover all service sectors and modes of supply (even ones that have not been invented yet) by DEFAULT. negative list  and "capture the autonomous level of regulation" (that's TISA's version of the same infamous standstill thats blocking all progress in areas like health insurance and banking regulation, requiring the regulations enacted during the financial crisis -like Obamacare- be rolled back to their level in 1998.).

This is what they mean when the G20 countries talk about "protectionism".

Non Tariff barriers..

The things that are preventing the outsourcing of jobs.

Single payer would eliminate the reason to offshore and in-source all those millions of healthcare jobs,m something that cannot be allowed to happen because we already committed in 1994-1998 to do it. See progressive liberalization

Video!

See Ellen Gould's video description of GATS here. (59 min) and Sanya Reid-Smith's explanation of TISA here.

Please see the web page on the pending DS503 case.

Its currently disputed whether we can even require that foreign firms pay US legal wages. (See the Matter of I-Corp case) This is an important issue because its basically over whether people can somehow get back the right to do things like control minimum wages.(Badly framed as the wage parity issue, implying that all Americans make the legal minimum wage, which seems like a lot of money to a foreign professional until they get here and realize its very little when the costs here are taken into account. But at that point they are stuck in multi-year contracts.

The WTO agreements don't have any kind of concept of things like "living wages" as the concept of a wage being higher than it needs to be - indeed any government regulation of the relationship between individual and employer is alien to neoliberalism, all wages being determined by the market forces like supply and demand, and so basically being locked into a race to the bottom, every two years the WTO meets and pushes for more and more progressive liberalization, with the worst restrictions being on financial services we committed..

We committed to a one way deregulation that can only remove rules, not restore or re-enact them.It is actually supposed to freeze the level of regulation at its level in the 1990s.

This is why Bidens promise to restore or expand the (noncompliant from its start) ACA rings false.

At the same time, the US is pursuing trade policies that put our right to regulate in mortal danger, policy space into free fall.

No, we are not having a debate over Medicare for All, that was already signed away in the 1990s along with all the rest of the service sectoral commitments.

Similarly, all of the things we had fought so hard for in the 20th century have all been put on the bargaining table and framed by our own and other governments as onerous trade barriers to be disposed on.

This will be especially damaging in areas like health insurance and banking where the loss of the ability to regulate will mean that we will lose the differences between states in areas like the medico-legal standard of care that triggers the ability to sue for criminal negligence in health care. Similarly to how ERISA preempts many cases today, a similar preemption will reempt such disputes (if a country risks it and allows regulation to exceed the "standstills" etc, established in trade agreements by their signings, they can be brought up before international tribunals and sanctioned for the violation. A good example (if we look at healthcare) are the two different situations faced by South Africa and the Slovak Republic.