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Friday, 02 October 2015 14:27

Time to say no to shameful TPP trade-offs

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trade shipAfter more than five years of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations it is time to ask why our government would secretly trade off democratic rights to decide national laws on medicines, public health and copyright, and agree to have such laws challenged by global corporations, writes Dr Patricia Ranald in The Age.

The last TPP Ministerial talks collapsed at the end of July, because the US and Japan could not agree about market access to their own agricultural and vehicle markets, and so could not make market access offers to others. Market access talks between the US, Japan, Mexico and Canada, and between those countries, Australia and others have continued. Trade Ministers will meet to seal the deal with final trade-offs only if market access issues are resolved.

The TPP is promoted as a huge trade deal covering 40 per cent of the global economy. Australia has little to gain because it already has free trade agreements with nine of the 12 countries, but could lose much. The US is driving the agenda on behalf of its pharmaceutical, media and tobacco industries, which want rules which suit their needs, but would tie the hands of future governments.

Read the article in full at The Age.