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Another Leak Confirms Extreme US Demands in TPP Deal

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Another Leak Confirms Extreme US Demands in Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal

By Professor Jane Kelsey

Leaks continue to beleaguer the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) even as the participating governments circle the wagons around the negotiating process, said Professor Jane Kelsey, a critic of the proposed TPPA.

The full text of the US chapter on intellectual property has been posted by Knowledge Ecology International (see: http://keionline.org/node/1091).

“This latest leak includes material not contained in the previous leak of the US intellectual property text last month and confirms the extreme nature of US demands”, Jane Kelsey said.

“For example, according to analysts the US text would stop countries from adopting practices that India and the Philippines have used to prevent the ‘evergreening’ of patents, which further restricts the production of cheaper generic medicines.”

This disclosure comes less than two weeks before the Singapore round of negotiations begins on 23rd March.

Intellectual property negotiations are expected to be among the most controversial items on the agenda, where the New Zealand and US positions on key aspects of the text remain polarised.

“This leak confirms how important it is for New Zealand’s negotiators to remain firm and not buckle to the US, not just to safeguard our own sovereignty but also for other countries that are caught up in the US’s free trade web,” said Professor Kelsey.

However, there are suggestions that Australia and New Zealand may support the US position on Geographical Indicators, in the hope it will benefit their agricultural exporters.

"Ironically, the latest leak comes after the governments involved in the negotiations rejected calls for greater transparency from prominent civil society groups across Australia, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United States. Early information from Singapore indicates they are tightening up the already token “stakeholder” access provided during previous rounds."

“Despite, or perhaps because, of that attitude, the leaks continue to flow. Governments should read the writing on the wall and open the process to genuine democratic scrutiny,” said Professor Kelsey.

ENDS

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