Danger presented by the WTO GATS Annex on Financial Services to reforms

The Annex applies to all financial services, such as banking, health insurance, etc. It provides an alternative definition of public services for use under some conditions.

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For example, the Annex may even be used by the WTO to remove Medicare and Social Security from protection from the GATS i- requiring their privatization,n the US, (which would immediately require its conversion to just another commercial investment, with low yields, a bonanza for Wall Street but a disaster for the people of the US, especially those millions of us who have no other retirement savings ) Medicare would be converted into a commercial program like COBRA - whose main purpose was to ensure access to market rate programs People with pore-existing conditions would fall through the cracks in huge numbers.

India's government in trade negotiations to offshore millions of US jobs, represent SS as standing in the way of that long planned "services liberalization" the jobs portion of the GATS, and other FTAS etc (See GATS Mode 4)

India also claims, (and no doubt Wall Street is overjoyed by this)  that it is unfair for the GATS to be hung up in negotiations for 25 years their now millions of "temporary" guest workers to work here for, in many cases decades, contributing into our Social Security, and not be able to "take their money out of the system".

Huge c0orporatins want the low cost of guest workers. (GATS Mode 4 is a modern version of indentured servitude or the bracero program, except for professionals).


So the long term trend, because of GATS is likely the privatization of these benefits, they will likely be turned into 401ks.

Thanks to GATS. Similarly, public healthcare benefits will likely be turned into vouchers applyable towards the payment of commercial health insurance around the world.

(Developing countries provide their skilled laborers, such as computer programmers, engineers, nurses, teachers, etc. at competitive rates, even insisting that we not be required to pay them our minimum wages. (this is disputed) They also promote their health care systems as cost effective alternatives to your local hospitals and doctors.

Here is a position paper which gives India's feelings about Mode Four as its called generally.)

Its true, it is unfair to make US workers train their replacements, pay them less than what they are worth, in some cases a lot less, and then not give them a path to citizenship or the money they paid in to benefits back.


It seems that Social Security was intended to protect domestic laborers in an era where most people worked, and those people were nationals of the country where they were working. Aocial security will not be approriate in a future where many people go their entire lives without ever having a job, priced out of the market by new technology and cut rate guest workers working for free just for the experience.

The winners of many contracts: new services subcontractors - foreign subcontracting firms often don't want to "hire locals".

Why would they when their own country is having riots over the lack of jobs?

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The facts are, Social Security was a promise made to the people of America in order to create a social contract when the US was in danger of civil unrest and the factories of the nation needed workers.  Now China is the factory of the world and India is the back office of the world. If we privatize public higher education, what will be the US's niche?

To restore the services which are being privatized we would need to go back 25 years and exit GATS, which was part of the WTO that we entered when Bill Clinton signed the URAA, on December 8, 1994. The GATS basically has the legal effect of a new external Constitution, above our own.

Democracy has vanished in all but name only but politicians are pretending it still exists, and hiding this covert scheme to dismantle the little of it that is left under a confusing "bocage" of good cop bad cop shenanigans-in order to deceive the public.

Legislators protected Social Security and Medicare- and the NHS in the UK, from privatization up until GATS. (1995) but failed to tell the Britons they had promised to privatize it gradually themselves.

And it seems, many of the British public still don't know that GATS endangers them.

Now many people are retiring early involuntarily.

Does Capitalism really want out of its responsibilities to society. Or was GATS a trick on legislators too?

(Not just in the US, also in other entities such as the EU that also are bound by it.)

Most people don't seem to know about it or that it applies to so many things.

The WTO Annex on Financial Services presents such substantial dangers to existing public services  it deserves its own treatment.

Such a treatment is waiting for me to be able to learn more about it. But Pat Arnold does a good job of explaining its impacts on health insurance, medicare, and Social Security. Its also good to understand that the WTO sees what we see as public services as temporary bridges to privatization that must be taken down.

thefts of business from corporations.

Other web pages that discuss this issue:

GATS and Financial Services Regulation

Publications by Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch (PCGTW) and Canada's Policy Alternatives' Trade and Investment Research Project (of the Council of Canadians NGO).

And several others.

See especially our Keyword (on the left, scroll down)  on the governmental authority exclusion, (i.e. GATS Article I:3 b+c and this Annex) but also many other pages, including those on necessity, proportionality, trade restrictiveness,  necessity testing, etc. Links are below, in the tags area.