[Ip-health] Fwd: Thai Activists to Obama: no TPP

Matthew Kavanagh matthew at healthgap.org
Sun Nov 18 07:53:24 PST 2012

Dear all,
  See below the powerful letter to President Obama brought to the airport
by Thai activists in a demonstration as he landed this morning (photos
attached).   The unfortunate news from colleagues there is that prime
minister Shiniwatra made a joint statement with President Obama that
reportedly confirmed Thailand's intention to join the TPP.


18 November 2012
Open letter to
H.E. the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama

Thai civil society welcomes your visit to Thailand.  We are aware that over
the last 3-4 years, the United States has faced one of the most serious
economic crises in its history.  You have promised the people that you will
right the wrongs of Wall Street and to pay attention to Main Street, and
the 99%.  More than 50 million Americans are not able to access health care.
The United States is the only developed country in the world which does not
have a national public health care system.  We learn that you have made a
commitment to extend access to health care through ObamaCare.
However, the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement you are pushing for, and
inviting Thailand to join, will push us in the opposite direction.  The TPP
will push the people in the different countries within this Agreement
towards the same destiny as those American people excluded from health care.

>From the substance of the negotiations which have leaked out to the public,
we have learned that the TPP agreement will:

   - help allow the pharmaceutical industry to push up the price of
   medicines both inside and outside the country, consolidate their
   monopolies, and gain profits for even longer periods.  There is a
   pharmaceutical chapter, which restricts negotiation on the prices of
   medicines and dismantles efforts to regulate the appropriate use of
   medicines within the health care system;

   - increase the power of the giant  transnational corporations in
   attempts to abolish a variety of national laws and public policies, which
   are there to protect public health from harmful products such as tobacco
   and alcohol, and to protect the environment and the resource base, through
   petitions to the International Arbiter;

   - undermine financial security through restricting the country’s right
   to use measures and policies on the movement of finance capital in order to
   maintain economic stability, as well as enforce laws related to consumer

   - destroy the freedom of the internet by monitoring content and
   restricting the rights of the people, in the name of preventing copyright

   - destroy the principles of transparency, through a veil of secrecy,
   failing to divulge the content and the impacts that will arise from the TPP
   Agreement, and authorizing business representatives to join in these

We are fully aware that PhRMA and the giant pharmaceutical companies,
including those who are able to find finance in Wall Street, were some of
the major funders who helped support your electoral campaign.  They gave
more money to support you in your fight to be re-elected as president, than
in the elections in 2008.  This could mean you will have to break your
promise to the American people by using their tax dollars to support these
businesses and building an ObamaCare that will be a compromise with the
pharmaceutical industry so that they can still make profits from it, while
the American people get very little benefit.
But we will not let you use the lives of the people in our country as if we
are life-jackets for the failed US economy, or as a reward for the
financial power of these capital groups which allowed you to return to the
White House for another 4 years, despite not being able to keep a single
one of the promises which you gave to the people.

So we strongly urge you to keep your word to create employment for American
people, without using the blood of people in other countries, regulate the
many financial institutions and banks, put checks on their enormous power,
control the pharmaceutical companies to behave ethically and only seek
proportionate profits, build transparency, stop hiding information from the
people, and most importantly, stop hitting your knees on the floor when
corporations knock on your door.

(Assist.Prof.Sumlee Jaidee)
Chair Person of FTA Watch
FTA Watch
The Thai Network of People living with HIV/AIDS (TNP+)
Renal Failure Patient Group
Alternative Agricultural Network
Rural Pharmacists Foundation
Drug Study Group
Thai NGO Coalition on AIDS
Foundation for AIDS Rights
AIDS ACCESS Foundation
BioThai Foundation
Foundation for Consumers
Health and Development Foundation
Thai Holistic Health Foundation
Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH)

Coordinator: Mr.Jacques-chai Chomthongdi +66-84-805-0666
                     Mr.Chalermsak Kittitrakul +66-81-612-9551

Matthew  Kavanagh
Health GAP (Global Access Project)
tel +1 202 355-6343 // mob +1 202 486-2488
matthew at healthgap.org

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