Another leaked TPP chapter…this one deals with the issue that includes generic drugs. This is an issue that is becoming increasingly important as the Canadian population ages.
There are many people that depend on prescription drugs simply to stay alive. How much is a life saving drug worth? I am sure we will soon find out the answer to that question…and mark my words, the corporatocracy has a number in mind and its large.
‘TPP would cost lives’: WikiLeaks unveils full intellectual property chapterTransparency advocate WikiLeaks has obtained and released the intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the massive trade deal among Pacific Rim nations comprising 40 percent of global gross domestic product.
The leaked documents are dated October 5, the same day the 12 participating nations ‒ including the United States, Mexico, Canada, Japan and Vietnam ‒ announced a deal had been struck in secret between trade negotiators. The full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will not be released to the public until after October 19, WikiLeaks noted, the date of the Canadian federal election.
“The finalized chapter would require all countries eventually to conform to every pharmaceutical patent rule in the TPP, regardless of any individual country’s wealth (or lack thereof) or level of development,” Public Citizen, a government transparency group, wrote in an expert analysis of the leaked documents.
“If adopted, the rules will delay generic and biosimilar competition, making the medicines upon which people depend to stay alive expensive for longer and, as a consequence, unobtainable.”
The intellectual property (IP) rules relating to pharmaceuticals demand that nations will have different transition periods by which they must implement the terms of the agreement.
Public Citizen said in the analysis that with some “limited exceptions,” all participating TPP nations, no matter their level of poverty, must comply with the TPP’s pharmaceutical IP rules after an as-yet-to-be-determined transition period.
“There is little reason to believe that these rules would actually be good for the people residing in TPP countries, even after the transition periods allowed,” the group wrote. “Indeed, even in the U.S., where similar rules are already in place, the high prices of medicines – bolstered by TPP-style monopolistic protections – have led to treatment rationing, prescriptions going unfilled and severe budgetary strains.”
The intellectual property chapter is one of the most contentious sections of the controversial TPP, which has been negotiated in secret for the last five-and-a-half years.
“If TPP is ratified, people in the Pacific-Rim countries would have to live by the rules in this leaked text,”said Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program Director. “The new monopoly rights for big pharmaceutical firms would compromise access to medicines in TPP countries. The TPP would cost lives.”
Earlier this week, New Zealand, one of the 12 nations involved in the TPP negotiations, revealed that the section dealing with intellectual property almost aligns perfectly with how copyright law is handled within the US, meaning copyrights will last for 70 years beyond the death of the creator rather than 50 years.
New Zealand said the provision would cost NZ$55 million per year. Michael Geist, law professor at the University of Ottawa, said the cost will be deeper for a much larger nation like Canada, which, he said, has “agreed to significant changes to Canadian copyright law without an opportunity for public comment or discussion.”
In the TPP draft, he wrote, Canada “has increased the criminalization of copyright, adding new criminal liability for the removal of “rights management information” (rules associated with Canada’s controversial protection of digital locks) and it has expanded restrictions on the importation or distribution of goods whose rights management information has been altered. It has expanded border measures rules (just months after passing legislation on the issue), by agreeing to notification system on suspect in-transit shipments that will not even enter Canada.”
Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said this week that the TPP “is a collection of provisions that amount to a wish list for giant multinational corporations,” and that the Office of the US Trade Representative, the American agency involved in negotiations, “was willing to hold up the entire deal to try to extract more concessions for Big Pharma.”
Corporate America was certainly in on the terms of negotiations, unlike the public, which has been blocked from seeing the pact’s provisions, he added.
“As a result, we have a deal that comes out that prioritizes the needs and demands of multinational corporations, gives them special rights, gives them special powers, and entrenches a failed development model and a failed trade model, which we can reasonably call NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) on steroids,” Weissman said.
US officials have insisted that the TPP will boost American businesses and workers. Opponents counter, though, pointing out that leaked documents have indicated that the deal is a consolidation of power and not a benefit for the working class. Labor unions, among many others, have lined up to oppose the TPP based on concerns over a number of issues, including environmental and health protections, food safety, pharmaceutical monopolies, offshoring of jobs and internet privacy.
The deal has also been criticized for its lack of transparency, as the contents of the TPP have been kept in strict secrecy. Leaked drafts of TPP negotiations have suggested that corporations would be allowed to sue governments in private courts over lost profits due to regulation, elevating corporate entities to the status held by sovereign nations.
Participating nations must now approve the TPP draft as is, presented to them by their respective trade officials. In the US, members of Congress, who have had only restricted access to the TPP’s details, must now vote simply for or against the deal without the ability to modify its terms. – RT
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WikiLeaks Press Release
TPP Treaty: Intellectual Property Rights Chapter – 5 October 2015
Today, 9 October, 2015 WikiLeaks releases the final negotiated text for the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP encompasses 12 nations representing more than 40 per cent of global GDP. Despite a final agreement, the text is still being withheld from the public, notably until after the Canadian election on October 19.
The document is dated four days ago, October 5th, or last Monday, the same day it was announced in Atlanta, Georgia that the 12 member states to the treaty had reached an accord after five and a half years of negotiations.
The IP Chapter of the TPP has perhaps been the most controversial chapter due to its wide-ranging effects on internet services, medicines, publishers, civil liberties and biological patents. “If TPP is ratified, people in the Pacific-Rim countries would have to live by the rules in this leaked text,” said Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program Director. “The new monopoly rights for big pharmaceutical firms would compromise access to medicines in TPP countries. The TPP would cost lives.”
Hundreds of representatives from large corporations had direct access to the negotiations whereas elected officials had limited or no access. Political opposition to the TPP in the United States, the dominant member of the 12 negotiating nations, has increased over time as details have emerged through previous WikiLeaks disclosures. Notably, the Democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton, came out against the TPP on Wednesday saying: “Based on what I know so far, I can´t support this agreement.” This is a populist reversal by Hillary Clinton as earlier she has hailed the TPP as “the gold standard in trade agreements”.
In June the House of Representatives of the US Congress narrowly approved to “fast-track” the TPP, preventing the Congressmen from discussing or amending any parts of the treaty, only vote for or against it. 218 voted for the “fast-track” measure and 208 against. Only 28 House Democrats backed it. TPP is the first of a trinity of US backed economic treaties, the “Three Big T’s”, to be finalized. The other two being Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) which covers 52 countries and TTIP, the EU-US version of TPP. – WikiLeaks Press Release
read full document here
previous released chapters found on left side of press release page