[Ip-health] public health voice and Re:NGOs meeting on the TPP, June 30, 2010

Ellen Shaffer ershaffer at gmail.com
Tue Jul 6 08:45:57 PDT 2010


Also of note, in addition to Mike's helpful report:

Apparently many of the "stakeholders" who would usually be invited to this
briefing did not receive notices about it from the USTR.  CPATH did get the
notice, perhaps because we attended the week-long TPP negotiations in San
Francisco (see http://www.cpath.org/id47.html ).  We distributed the notice
of the meeting to CPATH's list and several others.

While USTR did address my question (from the phone) about transparency, much
of the answer addressed transparency in trade among the partner
countries. There is a need fro dramatic improvement in the USTR's own
policy-making, though. One environmental NGO who was present at the TPP
meeting in San Francisco and is a member of trade advisory committees, and
therefore has advisors with security clearance and regular access to USTR
staff as well as confidential text, reported that their participation on the
advisory committees offers enormous advantages for advocacy.

HR 2293 in the U.S. Congress would add public health representatives to all
tiers of the advisory committees.  This is an important time for advocates
to seek additional Congressional co-sponsors to this bill.

Some incisive comments and questions came by phone from Third World Network,
based in Malaysia, regarding the U.S.' efforts to reconsider its trade
policy in light of the global economic crisis.  (No such efforts were
reported.) - Ellen Shaffer


On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 8:02 AM, Michael Palmedo
<mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu>wrote:

> Notes from USTR / NGOs meeting on the TPP, June 30, 2010
>
>
>
> (These are combined notes from WCL student Prudence Cho and I)
>
>
>
> Barbara Weisel opened with a description of the San Francisco round that
> just ended.  She said there were four main goals that the negotiators
> had going into the talks:
>
> -          Clarifying the relationship between the TPP and the existing
> trade agreements among the members.  USTR would like the TPP to be the
> primary FTA whenever possible, and they realize that the TPP may lead to
> trade obligations that exceed those of other trade agreements among
> members.  It will be decided later and on a case-by-case basis what will
> happen if the TPP conflicts with other agreements. In all cases, they
> want these issues to be figured out transparently.
>
> -          Market access for agriculture and textiles. These obligations
> involve transitional periods.  Countries are pretty far apart on this
> set of issues.
>
> -          Texts.  The negotiators want to begin tabling texts in the
> third round in October in Brunnei.  (They want to have texts ready to go
> internally in September.)  At the San Francisco round, they went over
> what the specific issues in each chapter ought to be.   They acknowledge
> it may not be possible to have full texts ready for each of the
> chapters, but they will do what they can.
>
> -          Horizontal Issues, also called "cross-cutting" or "21st
> Century" issues.  These are issues that will come up in many of the
> individual chapters, and that may or may not additionally become
> chapters themselves.
>
> o   Competitiveness and supply chain issues
>
> o   Small and Medium Enterprises
>
> o   Development
>
> o   Regional competition
>
> o   Transparency
>
> o   Regulatory coherence
>
> o   Making the TPP a "living FTA" - meaning it can grow and change
>
>
>
> Trade associations and NGOs were present in San Francisco, and they got
> a chance to talk with negotiators from all of the different countries.
> The next round will be held in Brunei Darussalam in October.
>
>
>
> Q&A
>
>
>
> During Q&A, there was little talk about the specifics of what might wind
> up in the TPP.
>
>
>
> I asked if the TPP would include a chapter on pharmaceuticals similar to
> Chapter 5 of the Korea-US FTA or Annex 2(c) of the US-Australia FTA.  If
> there is going to be such a chapter, would it include protection for
> Medicaid's price negotiations?  Barbara Weisel said that the negotiators
> walked through the standard chapters in FTAs with the US, including the
> IPRs chapter, but that pharmaceuticals chapters like those in KORUS Ch.
> 5 had not been discussed.
>
>
>
> I asked how development as a horizontal issue would apply to IP?  Would
> it emphasize the flexibilities and limitations to IP that are found in
> TRIPS?  Stan McCoy said that the IP discussions were "open floor" and
> people could bring up whatever issues they wanted, including
> development.  He said they are all well aware of the access to medicines
> issue, and all that of the countries acknowledge that IP can play an
> important role in economic development.
>
>
>
> When asked about transparency, USTR staff said that they discussed this
> at the meeting, and that they went over the transparency measures in US
> FTAs and those of the other FTAs among TPP countries.  All the
> negotiators want to be transparent.  When asked specifically if people
> could go to the next round, the answer was that its up to the host
> country, but if you get a visa and a ticket, you can do what you want.
>
>
>
> When discussing regulatory coherence, Stan McCoy brought up efforts to
> coordinate the ways that applicants obtain IP.  He mentioned the PCT and
> the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, and said that these types
> of coordination can save applicants a lot of time and money.
>
>
>
> When asked about how development would be applied to each of the
> chapters, USTR did not give examples, but said that Vietnam and Brunei
> had ideas on this.
>
>
>
> Stephanie asked Barbara if there was an opportunity for groups to
> discuss text with USTR before it was finalized and the answer was a
> strong "Yes."  They will meet with big groups or little groups.  The
> clock is ticking, however, so if you want to influence the text, meet
> with them by the end of August at the latest.
>
>
>
> Other countries may join.  The TPP is open to all APEC countries.
> Canada and Malaysia have expressed interest, but each are still having
> domestic debates about joining.  Negotiators would prefer it if other
> countries that want to join did so earlier in the process rather than
> later.  If other countries join, the US will have to go back to Congress
> and notify them (and other countries will need to notify their
> legislatures as well).
>
>
>
>
>
> Mike Palmedo
>
> Assistant Director
>
> Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property
>
> American University Washington College of Law
>
> 4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW
>
> Washington, DC 20016
>
> T - 202-2274-4442 | F - 202-274-4495
>
> mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> Ip-health at lists.keionline.org
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>



-- 
Ellen R. Shaffer, PhD MPH
Co-Director, Center for Policy Analysis/EQUAL/CPATH
San Francisco Presidio
P.O. Box 29586
San Francisco, CA 94129-0586
Phone 415-922-6204
www.centerforpolicyanalysis.org
www.cpath.org
cell: 415-680-4603



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