TPP talks delayed again

Published: Mon 5 Oct 2015 09:00 AM
TPP talks delayed again: still deadlocked on medicines, tobacco and dairy access
October 4th
“The extension of secret TPP talks into Sunday October 4 shows the US desperation to force a deal, despite fundamental differences remaining over medicines and access to US sugar and dairy markets,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.
“Reports from observers at the TPP negotiations in Atlanta Georgia indicate that the main sticking points are still Australia’s refusal, along with Chile and Peru, to agree to more than five years’ monopoly for data on costly biologic medicines, which would delay the availability of cheaper forms of these medicines. Studies have shown that even one year’s delay in availability would cost the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme hundreds of millions of dollars, and higher costs would eventually be passed on to patients. Cancer patients have called such delays a death sentence,” said Dr Ranald.
“The US negotiating position is dictated by its major industries and their Congress supporters. Pharmaceutical companies want an additional three years of monopolies on biologic drugs. The danger is that Australia will agree to compromise on this issue in return for increased access to US sugar and dairy markets. But so far the US has been constrained by agribusiness from offering significant access. The extension is a last ditch attempt to force Australia to compromise.
“Tobacco companies have reportedly pressured the US to remove an exemption which would have prevented more cases like the current Philip Morris suit against the Australian government for billions of dollars. Australia is being asked to choose between its right to have affordable medicines, and its right to regulate tobacco in the interests of public health.
“This is unacceptable. Australia’s policy on access to life-saving medicines and tobacco regulation should be decided through open democratic processes, not secretly traded away behind closed doors,” said Dr Ranald.
“Until now Trade Minister Robb has been standing firm on five years for medicines, and has said he was aware that the opposition and minor parties in the Senate would likely reject the required change to the Therapeutic Goods Act.
“We urge Mr Robb to keep his promise to the Australian people, to say no to longer medicine monopolies and reject this shameful deal. We will campaign to ensure that any extension of medicine monopolies will be blocked in the Senate,” said Dr Ranald.

Next in New Zealand politics

Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers
By: New Zealand Government
Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector
By: New Zealand Government
Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion
By: New Zealand Government
Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate
By: New Zealand Government
Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer
By: New Zealand National Party
Independent Review To Explore Future For Local Government
By: New Zealand Government
PM Ardern And PM Morrison - Commencement Of Two-way Quarantine-free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand
By: New Zealand Government
Labour Stuck In 1970s With National Awards 2.0
By: New Zealand National Party
ACT Would Repeal Undemocratic Compulsory Unionism
By: ACT New Zealand
Bus Drivers And Supermarket Workers Will Welcome Fair Pay Agreements
By: First Union
E tū Welcomes Next Steps For Fair Pay Agreements
By: E tu
Fair Pay Agreements Should Be Terminated
By: Business NZ
FPAs Have No Place In Modern Workplace - Canterbury Chamber
By: Canterbury Employers' Chamber Of Commerce
No Positive Outcomes From FPA Proposal
Fair Pay Agreements Good News For Employees - Contractors Need Protection Too
By: Public Service Association
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media