MONTEVIDEO – The Uruguayan foreign minister spoke out on Tuesday against President Tabare Vazquez’s decision to withdraw from talks on the proposed international Trade in Services Agreement, known as TISA.
“I think that what happened in recent days is not good for Uruguay,” Rodolfo Nin Novoa said during a breakfast with business executives in Montevideo.
The Uruguayan government said Monday that it decided to abandon the TISA talks followed a weekend assembly of the ruling leftist Broad Front coalition, where a majority rejected participation in the accord as inconsistent with the formation’s “vision of the country’s comprehensive development.”
Opposition politicians denounced the move as senseless and said they planned to summon Nin Novoa before Congress to explain the government’s reasoning.
The government’s decision was announced by Tourism Minister Liliam Kechichian following Monday’s Cabinet meeting.
“The decision took into account the will of the political force (the Broad Front) expressed by a vast majority,” she said. “It was a vote strong enough to make a decision.”
Last week, Nin Novoa advocated for continued participation in the TISA bargaining “to see what is the final result,” arguing that leaving the talks would cause Uruguay to lose credibility on the world stage.
Uruguay has taken part in three meetings with the other participants in TISA negotiations, including the U.S., the European Union, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.
Like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TISA is being negotiated behind closed doors.
The TISA draft text has been classified and is set to remain secret for five years after the agreement takes effect.