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TPP11 countries meet in Sydney

29 August 2017

Global health community pleads, yet again, to be heard as TPP11 countries meet in Sydney

Leading international health organisations have urged the eleven governments that remain in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) following the US withdrawal to heed their calls for a renegotiation of the deal when they meet from 28 to 30th August in Sydney, Australia.

The open letter to ministers of health and trade has been signed by prominent international and national health bodies, including the World Federation of Public Health Associations and its affiliates in Australia and New Zealand, and the New Zealand Medical Association.

Health, consumer and patient groups who have signed include Médecins Sans Frontières, HIV/AIDs groups from Vietnam and Malaysia, the Latin American Alliance for access to medicines, and medical workers associations and unions from Japan and many other TPP11 countries.

Their membership spans ten of the eleven countries participating in negotiations to resurrect the TPP.

The health experts warn, yet again, that the TPP that would “have serious consequences for the health of the people in our countries”. Worse, given that these provisions “were imposed by the USA and the USA is no longer in the TPP, it makes no sense for you to keep those provisions, particularly without the projected gains from access to US markets”.

The letter advises the ministers that “the only truly acceptable approach to ensure adequate and effective protection of health and access to affordable medicines in all TPP11 countries is to renegotiate the whole TPP”.

If the governments fail to heed their call and opt instead to suspend the most dangerous provisions of the TPP until the US re-joins, a minimum number of provisions would need to be frozen. These are rules affecting the availability of generic medicines, the ability of foreign corporations to sue governments over health protection laws, and the processes for approving pharmaceuticals for subsidies.

Health advocates also reiterated the need for governments to conduct a health impact assessment before they consider adopting any TPP text that could impact adversely on the health of people.

The letter can be accessed at http://bilaterals.org/?sign-on-letter-health-community-s.


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