Washington, DC – Negotiators will meet next week to work on what US Trade Representative Michael Froman has called a “basic framework” of the proposed working on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).
“The basic framework of the agreement is in place, initial market access offers have been exchanged, and sector-specific work in areas like telecommunications and financial services is in full swing,” said Froman.
The TISA, which seeks to free up trade in services from cross-border data flows and monopolies by state-owned enterprises to air pollution monitoring, shipping and postal services, is being negotiated among 50 countries that make up nearly two-thirds of global services trade.
In 2013, US exports of private services measured nearly $659 billion, and the sale of services through foreign affiliates were nearly $1.3 trillion.
Combined then, international sales of services by US companies amount to approximately $1.8 trillion per year with the sector currently generating some 80 percent of the country’s private sector jobs.
According to the European Commission in Brussels, the EU’s service sector accounts for almost 75 percent of gross domestic product and employment.
Taking into account the value added by services such as transport, logistics, finance and communication, the services sector contributes around half the value of total exports in the US, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy, according to the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
In China, where services make up only about 10 percent of gross exports, services value-added amounts are worth nearly one-third of the total.
The WTO estimates that services account for more than 40 percent of world trade, if measured in value-added terms, and two-thirds of the world’s foreign direct investment stock.
The seventh round of TISA talks will take place next week, involving the US, the EU, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Pakistan, Peru, Switzerland and several other countries.
Combined, the fifty nations represent nearly two-thirds of global trade in services and a combined services market exceeding $30 trillion.