The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed free trade agreement under negotiation between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Leaked documents show the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is pressuring TPP countries to expand pharmaceutical monopoly protections and trade away access to medicines. Public Citizen and our partners envision a very different Asia-Pacific region partnership--one that advances pharmaceutical access and innovation simultaneously. Through analysis, and advocacy, we are working to spotlight public health and the knowledge economy at the negotiations and helping countries push back against Big Pharma's corporate influence.
Access to Medicines in the Trans-Pacific FTA
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed free trade agreement under negotiation between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. The United States has ambitions to eventually apply the terms of the proposed Trans-Pacific FTA to the entire Asia-Pacific region – roughly half the world’s population. Recently, President Obama told reporters that the Trans-Pacific FTA could be “a real model, not only for the region but for the world.”
While the negotiating parties to the Trans-Pacific FTA pledged that it will represent a “new model” and a “high-standard, 21st century agreement,” it has become clear that the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) intends to follow the same aggressive models established by other free trade agreements of years past – and then go even further. USTR has proposed measures harmful to access to medicines in several chapters that have not been seen before in U.S. trade pacts. These terms concern not only patent and data rules but also attacks on government purchasing and medicine formularies.
The U.S.-proposed terms would inhibit access to medicines in individual Trans-Pacific FTA countries and also constrain potential and emerging sources of supply such as Vietnam and Malaysia. Applied regionally, the Trans-Pacific FTA would limit the economies of scale necessary for the generics industry to keep prices low. These risks combined make the Trans-Pacific FTA especially dangerous for generic competition and access to medicines in the Asia-Pacific region.
The negotiations are closed to the public and the text is secret. Nevertheless, leaked texts have revealed U.S. demands that would:
· Expand pharmaceutical patenting and create new drug monopolies, by lowering patentability standards and requiring patentability of minor variations of older, known medicines.
· Lengthen drug monopolies by requiring countries to extend patent terms.
· Eliminate safeguards against patent abuse, including among others the right of third parties to challenge patent applications (pre-grant opposition).
· Risk facilitating patent abuse by requiring countries to condition marketing approval on patent status (patent linkage). Under patent linkage, even spurious patents may function as barriers to generic drug registration.
· Expand exclusive control over clinical trial data including through an extra three years of data exclusivity for new uses of known products (in addition to five years exclusivity for first uses) and a new provision on biotech medicines.
Our work with partners has supported and helped facilitate impressive resistance from health advocates and developing countries to anti-access proposals in the Trans-Pacific FTA. Peru has publicly announced it will yield “not one centimeter more” to U.S. demands on trade and health, and influential new partners such as the Malaysian AIDS Council have publicly criticized the agreement. Coalition work has also led to a new U.S. government initiative on access to medicines that, while substantively flawed, testifies to the growing influence of the access to medicine movement. Help us stand for access and fight Big Pharma in the Trans-Pacific FTA.
A draft agreement leaked Wednesday shows the Obama administration is pushing a secretive trade agreement that could vastly expand corporate power and directly contradict a 2008 campaign promise by President Obama. A U.S. proposal for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact between the United States and eight Pacific nations would allow foreign corporations operating in the U.S. to appeal key regulations to an international tribunal. The body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its ruling. We speak to Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, a fair trade group that posted the leaked documents on its website. "This isn’t just a bad trade agreement," Wallach says. "This is a 'one-percenter' power tool that could rip up our basic needs and rights." [includes rush transcript]
Source: Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
This is another U.S. tax giveaway fostered by globalist corporate would-be monopolies. They could keep law suits filed to extort billions from U.S. taxpayers. This totally undermines U.S. law and subjugates it to an international tribunal appointed by the global corporations. It is part of U.N. Agenda 21, global socialist governance.
Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader