AFTINET | Monday, 20 October 2014
Experts condemn possible TPP trade-offs as talks resume
MPs, public health and copyright experts condemn possible TPP trade-offs as talks resume in Canberra
When: 11 AM Monday, October 20
Where: Parliament house lawn, in front of the public entrance
Speakers: Kelvin Thompson MP (ALP), Senator Peter whish Wilson (Greens), Dr Patricia Ranald, Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, John Edwards, (MSF) Doctors without Borders, Dr Matthew Rimmer, ANU.
“As Trans-Pacific trade negotiations begin again in Canberra this week, the leaked intellectual property draft text shows that US proposals which would mean higher prices for medicines and less rights for internet consumers are still on the table. The US also wants special rights for foreign investors to sue governments for damages if a change in law or policy harms their investment, which would undermine future laws to protect health and the environment. The danger is that the Coalition government has said it is prepared to agree to some of these proposals in return for increased US market access for agricultural products,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.
Kelvin Thompson MP, Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties added: “When it comes to trade agreements, we need to ensure they don’t undermine our national sovereignty. I do not support the inclusion of investor rights to sue governments in trade agreements. We do not need, and are crazy to have, this handbrake on government.”
Jon Edwards, Advocacy Manger MSF Australia said: “If this trade deal includes provisions which give even more rights to pharmaceutical companies to restrict competition and innovation then millions of patients in the Asia Pacific will suffer.“
Dr Matthew Rimmer, from the Australian National University College of Law said, "The copyright maximalist regime in the Trans-Pacific Partnership could crush freedom of speech, innovation and competition in Australia."
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said: “Australians have every right to be concerned about the way this deal is being done behind closed doors. The leaked documents indicate that the government is on course to hand over protections for human rights, public health, the environment and internet freedom. The Greens will continue to strive to bring this deal out into the open.”