TiSA negotiations: myths versus realities

Myth: the TiSA will lead to the privatisation of Australia’s public services, including health services

Reality: No

The TiSA will not prevent the Government from regulating in the public interest.  It includes no requirement by Australia to privatise any public services. Australia is not offering to make any commitments that would impact on public services. This includes health, public education, public utilities, social security or other public services.

Myth: the Government is using the TiSA to drive a deregulation agenda in Australia

Reality: No

Australia has an open and competitive services sector, and world-class exporters. Australia’s regulatory settings are the benchmark we use when making international trade commitments - not the other way around.

Myth: the TiSA will undermine the stability of Australia’s banks

Reality: No.

Australia’s system of prudential measures has been central to the stability of our financial system. Nothing in the TiSA will require Australia to take action that limits our right to maintain prudential measures that are in Australia’s economic interests. And nothing in the TiSA will affect  the Government’s ability to maintain the “four pillars” banking policy in Australia.

Myth: the TiSA will mean that the Government will forfeit the ability to retain Australia Post in public ownership and to regulate access to postal and courier services

Reality: No

The TiSA will not compromise Australia’s Post’s ability to provide postal and courier services. Australia will only negotiate commitments which preserve Australia’ Post’s existing monopoly and policy flexibility in relation to reserved universal postal services. The TiSA will not undermine Australia Post’s capacity to deliver mail across Australia, including to remote areas.

Myth: the TiSA will undermine Australia’s world class professional qualifications and standards

Reality: No.

The Australian Government wants Australian professionals to have improved access to overseas markets at the same level of openness we provide for foreign professionals in Australia. This ambition will not impact  Australia’s  ability to regulate professional services or result in any changes to Australia’s immigration arrangements system.

Myth: if parties are discussing an idea in TiSA, they are willing to agree to it

Reality: No

The 23 Parties that are currently involved in the TiSA negotiations have tabled many proposals, and each is discussed in detail. But a proposal is not the same as an agreement. There is a long road to travel before a concluded treaty text.

Last Updated: 6 July 2015