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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.
News from the movements
7-Dec-2016 Radio UchileA la audiencia ante la CIDH asiste una delegación con representantes indígenas y de sociedad civil que forman parte de las entidades peticionarias de los tres países, además del Grupo Internacional de Trabajo sobre Asuntos Indígenas.
7-Dec-2016 Coalition Nationale Non aux APEOui à une intégration africaine souveraine et populaire
5-Dec-2016 Médecins Sans Frontières
MSF press release: RCEP trade deal negotiators must reject terms that would harm access to medicinesInternational medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), along with other health groups, reiterated concerns about harmful intellectual property provisions in the proposed agreement that would increase market monopolies for pharmaceutical corporations and delay or block access to affordable generic medicines.
30-Nov-2016 No al TTIPCientos de organizaciones europeas y canadienses instan a las/los legisladores a votar en contra del Acuerdo Integral de Economía y Comercio (CETA).
30-Nov-2016 Temp.coJelang perundingan perdagangan bebas ASEAN RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) di Indonesia, organisasi masyarakat sipil dari berbagai negara mulai melayangkan protes kepada pemerintah di negara-negara yang akan menandatangani perjanjian tersebut.
30-Nov-2016Este es un llamamiento urgente de 316 organizaciones de la sociedad civil de los países de Asia y el Pacífico que negocian la Asociación Económica Regional Ampliada para que el contenido tóxico del TPPT no se incorpore al RCEP
29-Nov-2016This is an urgent call by 316 civil society organisations from across the Asian and Pacific countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to reject TPP rules in the RCEP
29-Nov-2016 S2BWe, the undersigned civil society organisations from Canada and Europe, hereby express our deep concern about the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada.
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