[Ip-health] Reuters: TPP countries consider amendments to stalled trade deal: sources

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Aug 29 02:31:07 PDT 2017


Thanks to Helle Aagaard for flagging this story.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trade-tpp-australia-idUSKCN1B90KP

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Eager to keep all members onboard, representatives from the remaining
countries are considering changes to the original TPP deal, three sources
familiar with the talks said.

“We’re all open to evaluating what we can do and what viable alternatives
there may be,” Edgar Vasquez, Peru’s deputy trade minister, told Reuters.

While no agreement is expected at the end of the three-day meeting,
Vietnam’s desire to shelve the IP provisions around pharmaceutical data is
likely to win broad support, with Japanese and New Zealand officials also
indicating their support for the change, two other sources said.

The original TPP agreement was seen as particularly onerous on Vietnam,
which be forced to make significant reforms, analysts said.

“There’s not much sense to agree to provisions they don’t really want such
as stronger monopolies on medicines if they are not going to get access to
the U.S. market,” said Patricia Ranald, research associate, University of
Sydney.

The original TPP offered an eight-year window before competitors can have
access to proprietary pharmaceutical data, which critics said would impede
development of cheap generics.

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#WORLD NEWS
AUGUST 29, 2017 / 8:57 AM / 2 HOURS AGO

TPP countries consider amendments to stalled trade deal: sources


SYDNEY (Reuters) - The 11 countries committed to the Trans-Pacific
Partnership are considering amendments to the trade deal, three sources
said on Tuesday, as officials meet in Sydney for talks to re-energize the
stalled agreement.

Among the areas being discussed, Vietnam has raised the prospect of changes
to labor rights and intellectual property (IP) provisions in the original
pact, one source familiar with the talks told Reuters.

Vietnam had been one of the countries expected to enjoy the biggest
economic benefits from TPP through greater access to U.S. markets.

However, the original 12-member TPP, which aims to cut trade barriers in
some of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, was thrown into limbo in January
when U.S. President Trump withdrew from the agreement.

Trump’s move fulfilled a campaign pledge to put “America first” - a policy
that aimed to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

Although the remaining members have publicly said they remain committed to
the deal, implementation of the agreement linking 11 countries with a
combined GDP of $12.4 trillion has stalled - raising fears that other
countries will follow the U.S. lead and withdraw.

Eager to keep all members onboard, representatives from the remaining
countries are considering changes to the original TPP deal, three sources
familiar with the talks said.

“We’re all open to evaluating what we can do and what viable alternatives
there may be,” Edgar Vasquez, Peru’s deputy trade minister, told Reuters.

While no agreement is expected at the end of the three-day meeting,
Vietnam’s desire to shelve the IP provisions around pharmaceutical data is
likely to win broad support, with Japanese and New Zealand officials also
indicating their support for the change, two other sources said.

The original TPP agreement was seen as particularly onerous on Vietnam,
which be forced to make significant reforms, analysts said.

“There’s not much sense to agree to provisions they don’t really want such
as stronger monopolies on medicines if they are not going to get access to
the U.S. market,” said Patricia Ranald, research associate, University of
Sydney.

The original TPP offered an eight-year window before competitors can have
access to proprietary pharmaceutical data, which critics said would impede
development of cheap generics.

Potential amendments, however, require delicate positioning.

While Trump has said he will not change his mind on TPP, the remaining
members are hopeful a future U.S. president will commit to the agreement, a
cornerstone of former President Barack Obama's pivot to Asia.

But analysts said wholesale changes, while ensuring the support of smaller
members, would repel the United States.

"The more you change the agreement, it is going to be harder to get the
U.S. to sign on when it is ready to," said Shiro Armstrong, research fellow
at the Crawford School of Economics in Canberra.

Reporting by Colin Packham and Alison Bevege in Sydney; Additional
reporting by Charlotte Greenfield in Wellington; Kaori Kaneko in Tokyo and
Mitra Taj in Lima; Editing by Kim Coghill

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Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org



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