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Obama visit: Activists take TPP protest to airport
Bangkok Post | 19/11/2012
Activists take TPP protest to airport
Activists from 14 non-governmental organisations and consumer advocacy groups gathered outside Don Mueang airport yesterday to protest against the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement (TPP).
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had said she would not give a commitment on the trade deal to US President Barack Obama, who arrived at Don Mueang yesterday for a whirlwind Bangkok visit.
Nimit Thiam-udom, director of the Aids Access Foundation, said any trade agreement should be made in the public interest rather than to favour business groups, particularly exporters who have been pressuring the prime minister to support the US deal.
The government should seek public comment and consider the deal carefully, not merely do the Americans’ bidding.
Saree Aongsomwang, secretary-general of the Foundation for Consumers, said Thailand has to pay more than 100 billion baht each year to buy medicines for the public health system.
If the TPP is signed, Thailand will have to pay about 80 billion baht more to purchase the same medicines from foreign countries, Ms Saree said.
The trade agreement specifies that Thailand cannot bargain for the prices of pharmaceuticals, she added.
Samlee Jaidee, an academic at Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of pharmaceutical sciences, said the TPP would also have adverse repercussions on the domestic pharmaceutical industry.
She said the agreement would allow major foreign companies to increase the prices of medicines, wield monopolistic control over the industry, and curb Thailand’s bargaining power.
The Commerce Ministry’s Department of Trade yesterday defended the government’s position on the TPP.
It said the government would only express Thailand’s intention to enter TPP negotiations, but would not commit to signing the agreement.
There are procedures involved in studying and approving any decision to join foreign trade deals, as required by Section 190 of the constitution, the department said.
Section 190 requires any international treaty that could affect national security or the economy to be endorsed by parliament.
The Commerce Ministry said it will study the benefits and consequences of the pact and gather public input before drawing up a framework for negotiations to present to the cabinet and to parliament for consideration.
1 Oct: Public debate on FTAs in Casablanca (Morocco) - contact
8 Oct: mobilisation in Luxembourg against CETA - contact
8-15 oct: October of resistance against TTIP and CETA in Spain - contact
15 Oct: mobilisation in Paris against CETA - contact
10-15 Oct: regional week of action against RCEP in Asia-Pacific
27-28 Oct: mobilisation in Brussels against CETA - contact
Any edits, please contact us
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22-Sep-2016 CADTMIl est urgent de lever le silence qui entoure cette question dans notre pays et de présenter des éléments de réflexion critique et de débat sur ce sujet
21-Sep-2016 El EconomistaMiles de personas se manifestaron hoy (20-9) en el barrio europeo de Bruselas contra el TTIP y el pacto comercial ya cerrado con Canadá (conocido por CETA), aún pendiente de ratificación.
21-Sep-2016 EurActivThousands of protesters marched through Brussels to demand the European Union abandon planned transatlantic free trade deals.
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19-Sep-2016 La VanguardiaLas protestas estuvieron marcadas por el ambiente festivo y por la demanda de un “comercio mundial justo”
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