- About bilaterals.org
- Feb-2016: New ISDS platform launched
- Sep-2004: Launch announcement
- Feb-2015: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Mar-2013: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Jun-2009: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Dec-2008: An update from bilaterals.org and logo design contest announcement
- Dec-2006: bilaterals.org in Spanish & French
- Sep-2006: Update from bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
Sri Lanka pressed by USTR on IP protection, GM food
Lanka Business | 17 Oct, 2009
Sri Lanka pressed by US on IP protection, GM food
Oct 17, 2009 (LBO) — The United States has asked Sri Lanka, ranked high for software piracy in Asia, to better enforce intellectual property rights and also lift restrictions on American imports like genetically modified food.
A visiting senior American official, Michael Delaney, assistant US Trade Representative for South Asia, said intellectual property protection was one of the concerns that figured in trade talks this week between the two sides.
"We’d like to see a strengthened focus on intellectual property protection and strengthened enforcement," he told LBO soon after talks on trade and investment between a visiting US business delegation and Sri Lankan officials.
It was the first round of talks under the US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) after the island’s 30-year ethnic war ended in May hen government forces defeated the Tamil Tiger separatists.
Sri Lanka was ranked the second worst offender in software piracy in 2008 for the second year running in a survey of Asia by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) industry body and industry research firm IDC.
The survey published in May showed that Bangladesh was the biggest culprit in the region last year with a piracy rate of 92 percent and Sri Lanka a close second at 90 percent.
It mirrored a similar survey by BSA in 2007 which showed Bangladesh had the highest Asian piracy rate in 2007, at 92 percent, followed by Sri Lanka’s 90 percent.
Sri Lanka’s Director-General of Commerce Gomi Senadheera acknowledged the US concerns on IP rights and said the government was trying to improve enforcement.
"They had concerns with regard to IP. In the last few years we have made a lot of progress. We have the rules in place — it is enforcement that’s the issue."
Delaney also said restrictions on US imports by Sri Lanka had figured in the talks.
"There are a variety of restrictions on US imports."
These include GM food, Delaney said.
Sri Lanka introduced rules to ban GM food imports some years ago but later relaxed them after protests from importers.
Agriculture development minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara said in July this year that Sri Lanka favours GM food imports, albeit with some restrictions, and that the government was consulting US experts on allowing GM food imports and cultivation of GM crops.
Nanayakkara said imported GM food is being consumed in the island although officially it is not allowed in Sri Lanka and imports of GM food were not labelled as such.
GM crops are genetically modified to improve resistance to disease, pests or drought and improve yields, but there is a growing debate about potential harmful impacts on humans and animals.
A US embassy statement said the TIFA talks this week helped attract US private sector investment in post-war Sri Lanka which would serve to generate jobs, particularly in the conflict-affected areas of the island.
Among the issues discussed were Sri Lanka’s agricultural biotechnology policies, high import tariffs, intellectual property rights protection and transparency in government procurement, it said.
Upcoming days of action
8 Oct: mobilisation in Athens against CETA - 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 - contact
22 Oct: mobilisation in Amsterdam against CETA - contact
27-28 Oct: mobilisation in Brussels against CETA - contact
03-05 Nov: mobilisation in Brussels against TTIP - contact
4 Nov: Continental day for democracy and against FTAs & neoliberalism in Latin America - contact
Any edits, please contact us
News from the movements
30-Sep-2016 OMAL"Frente a la velocidad y las largas distancias que plantean el TTIP y el CETA, frente a los productos kilométricos del capitalismo global, frente al poder de las finanzas y la concentración del capital, frente al consumismo depredador, necesitamos profundizar las experiencias de soberanía alimentaria, de gestión colectiva de los cuidados, de democratización de la producción, de gestión pública de los bienes comunes."
28-Sep-2016 Global Labour ColumnFor decades, labour has been fighting purely defensive battles against the neo-liberal trade and investment agenda; we lack an agenda of our own. Lost ground will not be reclaimed on what is fundamentally hostile territory, argues Peter Rossmann of the IUF.
26-Sep-2016 No al TTIP
Aprobada en Les Corts Valencianes una iniciativa para instar al Gobierno central a no autorizar la firma del Acuerdo Económico y Comercial Global (CETA)Un total de 32 ayuntamientos valencianos, que aglutinan a más de un millón de personas, han rechazado este acuerdo.
23-Sep-2016 La DiariaSuplemento especial elaborado por La Diaria, Uruguay, dedicado a los Tratados de Libre Comercio.
23-Sep-2016 TeleSurDozens of Indigenous people in Peru have been absolved of accusations that they were responsible for a massacre seven years ago that killed at least 32 people, due to intense conflict triggered by the country’s free trade agreements.
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.
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Get involved.