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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
5-Feb-2016 MSFMSF urges all ASEAN member states to lead an effort to reject the ratification and implementation of the TPP and the expansion of its negative consequences for public health in the whole region.
5-Feb-2016 ISCKim-Hwang Kyeongsan, General Secretary of the Korean Woman Peasants’ Association, explains the government’s recent rice policy that hurts rice farmers and impacts Korea’s food sovereignty and how FTAs make it worse.
1-Feb-2016 War on WantGerman MPs will be granted restricted access to documents from secret EU-US trade negotiations. Access to the documents will only be possible under supervision.
1-Feb-2016 AFL-CIOThe U.S. government claims the labor protections in the Trans-Pacific Partnership are “gold standard,” but we need to look no further than Honduras to see how inadequate and unenforced labor obligations endanger workers’ lives.
28-Jan-2016 CAPThe Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is shocked that the Government is making a mockery of Parliament by seeking a blank cheque for the country to be tied to the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
26-Jan-2016 Acción por la BiodiversidadOrganizaciones sociales y colectivos a lo largo de todo Chile se movilizaron en las calles para denunciar y manifestar rechazo ante la eventual firma del Acuerdo Transpacífico de Cooperación Económica.
22-Jan-2016 AITECDes organisations de la société civile française et tunisienne expriment leur plus grand scepticisme face aux "mesures commerciales autonomes d’urgence".
22-Jan-2016 XnetWhat is hiding behind the new laws on trade secrets?
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