Uruguay has announced it has withdrawn from the Trade In Services Agreement talks after saying: ¬†“A ratchet clause in a trade agreement means a country cannot reintroduce a particular trade barrier that it had previously and unilaterally removed in an area where it had made a commitment”.
The ratchet clause ensures that there is only one direction of travel – towards greater deregulation, and greater loss of control by sovereign nations.
It is believed that Uruguay withdrew when it recognised that¬†once a country has joined the negotiations, it becomes increasingly hard to get out – irrespective of public opposition.
Inside US Trade today¬†says: “Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez has decided to withdraw his country from the negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) following opposition from the center-left ruling coalition and national labor unions, and has ordered his foreign minister to formally notify other participants in the talks”
The withdrawal of Uruguay will have little¬†effect on TiSA itself and the major nations¬†will continue their talks but Uruguay’s move is of major symbolic importance¬†proving that it is¬†possible to withdraw from global negotiations, and that the apparently irreversible trade deal ratchet can actually be turned back.
It sets an important precedent that other nations with growing doubts about TTIP, CETA, TPP and TISA¬†could follow.