TRIPS-plus through the backdoor

“TRIPS-plus” through the back door
How bilateral treaties impose much stronger rules for IPRs on life than the WTO

GRAIN
in cooperation with SANFEC

July 2001

Bilateral agreements are a powerful but hidden tool to achieve uniform market conditions for transnational corporations in developing countries. Silently hammered out between individual governments, they offer a direct means to cut deals over market access privileges, foreign investment, research funding or anchor-free profits. What’s more, they’re booming. The policies and procedures of multilateral institutions such as the World Trade Organisation or the International Monetary Fund are seen the world over as reason to riot. But the quietly crafted mini-pacts between Washington and Amman, or Brussels and Dhaka, are where more damage is sometimes being done. And patents on life have a central place on the agenda.

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