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'Outrageous US bullying' on intellectual property and health

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

‘The US has adopted a strategy of exhaustion in its bullying of negotiators on the crucial intellectual property chapter to force countries to trade away health in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations in Salt Lake City’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, who is monitoring the negotiations.

‘The US has stepped up its aggression as they move towards their "end point" of the TPPA ministerial meeting in Singapore from 7 to 10 December’, said Professor Kelsey.

The group on IP and medicines is being chaired by Assistant US Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation Stan McCoy.

‘This is a loaded game’, Professor Kelsey said. ‘McCoy sets the agenda and timetable. Negotiators are working from morning until late at night and preparing to work all night, if necessary.’

The US has around twenty people in Salt Lake City for the intellectual property chapter, who can rotate. Some countries have only one delegate for crucial talks on intellectual property on medicines. Their negotiations on medicines have been extended beyond the dates that were scheduled before negotiators came. They have continued despite the fact that some health negotiators, especially from poor countries, could not extend their stay.

This follows a pattern of abuse over recent rounds reported in Inside US Trade and other media, where McCoy has acted as a gatekeeper, deciding what proposals from other countries are allowed into the text and what are not.

‘This is a crucial period for New Zealand and a number of other countries’, Kelsey observed. The text posted by Wikileaks last week shows they have tabled an alternative to the US proposed text that has been repeatedly rejected.

‘This is an early warning of the extreme bullying that can be expected in when the trade ministers seek to close the deal off in December’, Professor Kelsey warned.

‘New Zealand’s trade minister Tim Groser and his counterparts from the other ten countries must tell the US to stop this behaviour now’, she said.

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