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Joe Stiglitz writes open letter to TPP negotiators
KEI | 7 Dec 2014
Joe Stiglitz writes open letter to TPP negotiators
Professor Joseph Stiglitz has written an open letter to the TPP
negotiators, asking that they resist proposals to weaken consumer rights in
intellectual property. The letter identifies 12 specific "grave risks" in
the IP Chapter, and calls upon negotiators to publish the investor state
dispute resolution text.
Professor Stiglitiz is one of the best know economists in the world, having
won the Nobel prize for Economic Science in 2001, and having previously
served as the chief economist for the World Bank and the as the Chairman of
the Council of Economic Advisors for President Clinton. A PDF of the letter
is attached below. The text follows:
Dear TPP negotiators,
December 6, 2013
As trade negotiators, you are being asked to resolve a large number of
important issues that have divided Parties in the negotiations for a Trans
Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
The decision to make the negotiating text secret from the public (even
though the details are accessible to hundred of advisors to big
corporations) makes it difficult for the public to offer informed
commentary. But the recent publication of the negotiating text for the
intellectual property rights chapter by Wikileaks, and an earlier leak of
the investor state dispute resolution proposals, as well as numerous
reports in the business press, make it clear that the agreement presents
grave risks on all sorts of topics.
As regards the provisions on intellectual property, negotiators should
resist text that would, among other things:
weaken the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health
mandate extensions of patents terms
mandate lower standards for granting patents on medicines
mandate granting patents on surgical procedures,
mandate monopolies of 12 years on test data for biologic drugs
narrow the grouds for granting compulsory license on patents,
increase damages for infringements of patents and copyrights,
reduce space for exceptions as regards limits on injunctions, and
narrow copyright exceptions
requiring life+ 70 years of copyright protection,
mandate excessive enforcement measures for digital information, and
otherwise restrict access to knowledge.
At this point in time, we do not need a TRIPS plus trade agreement, we need
a TRIPS minus agreement. The TPP proposes to freeze into a binding trade
agreement many of the worst features of the worst laws in the TPP
countries, making needed reforms extremely difficult if not impossible.
The investor state dispute resolution mechanisms should not be shrouded in
mystery to the general public, while the same provisions are routinely
discussed with advisors to big corporations.
bilaterals.org and a new ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement) platform to be hosted at bilaterals.org seek to hire a coordinator for their work. This is a great opportunity for someone interested in working on a full-time, paid basis to support people’s struggles against so-called free trade and investment deals globally, through a job share for two separate but complementary projects.
Find out more.
News from the movements
31-Jul-2015 ZDNETNegotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement appear likely to undo New Zealand’s ban on software patents, showing "how disconnected the government and the negotiators are from the interests of New Zealanders."
31-Jul-2015 ScoopA legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations will be launched in the High Court of New Zealand next week.
30-Jul-2015 The Associated PressAbout 400 protesters blew conch shells on a Hawaii beach to demonstrate against a trade agreement being negotiated by ministers from 12 Pacific Rim nations.
29-Jul-2015 Center for International Environmental LawA coalition of environmental and fair trade organizations are protesting the inclusion of language in the “Customs bill” in the US Congress that would explicitly prevent the United States Trade Representative from seeking to address climate change in trade agreements.
28-Jul-2015 Maui NowA coalition of advocates for the environment, labor, health and native Hawaiians will gather on Kāʻanapali Beach, outside the negotiators’ hotel, to speak out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
27-Jul-2015 APWLDAsia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development have prepared a toolkit for groups that want to join the struggle against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
25-Jul-2015 Malaysia KiniAs the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) enter what could be its last round, we as people living with HIV/Aids (PLHIV), urge the Malaysian government not to trade away our lives.
23-Jul-2015 Intenational Business TimesAnonymous claims responsibility for a cyber-attack conducted against a US government website because of TTIP and TPP talks
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