[Ip-health] Stratfor - Australia: TPP Trade Talks Sail on Without the United States

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Aug 31 23:20:02 PDT 2017


https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/australia-tpp-trade-talks-sail-without-united-states

<SNIP>


In spite of their differences, all TPP members — Japan, Australia, Brunei,
New Zealand, Peru, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam —
unanimously agreed to suspend a clause on pharmaceutical data exclusivity,
which prevents new versions of a drug from entering the market until a
certain amount of time has passed. The now-absent United States pushed hard
for the inclusion of the clause, and resounding agreement to ditch it may
be further echoed in a planned patent-requirement freeze.

--

Australia: TPP Trade Talks Sail on Without the United States

Stratfor 2017

Snapshots

Aug 31, 2017 | 19:56 GMT


The 11 remaining countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are
moving forward after the departure of the United States early this year.
They recently concluded three-day negotiations in Sydney, meant to map a
way forward and broadly address certain issues that will be discussed more
thoroughly at the group's September meeting in Japan. And while the Sydney
meeting was seen as a success, there is still some uncertainty over how the
group will progress without the United States.

Japan, Australia and New Zealand — all enthusiastic to see progress made —
served facilitating roles in the talks, while Mexico and Canada arrived
with their own amendments, which they hoped to see made quickly. The TPP
could have the power to set standards in other trade deals, and the two
North American countries were aiming to reshape the agreement in a way that
will benefit them in current NAFTA renegotiations.

In spite of their differences, all TPP members — Japan, Australia, Brunei,
New Zealand, Peru, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam —
unanimously agreed to suspend a clause on pharmaceutical data exclusivity,
which prevents new versions of a drug from entering the market until a
certain amount of time has passed. The now-absent United States pushed hard
for the inclusion of the clause, and resounding agreement to ditch it may
be further echoed in a planned patent-requirement freeze.

With access to huge U.S. markets no longer an incentive, it's not
surprising that the remaining countries have become a little less ambitious
in their commitments. Meanwhile, this type of watering down of trade terms
could also have domestic repercussions for individual countries. For
example, Vietnam's reform progress was partly driven by TPP requirements,
and if they are made less stringent, the country's reform momentum could
also suffer.

Most of the TPP members remain on board with the tariffs and import caps
negotiated in the original deal, but they have yet to reach conclusions
about investment rules, copyright protection and other topics. The
countries will decide which specific terms to suspend at their next
meeting, and are aiming to reach an agreement at the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation in Hanoi in November.

Overall, negotiations seem to be progressing well (unlike ongoing Regional
Comprehensive Economic Partnership talks, which have seen China struggling
to get its Asian neighbors to align). But ultimately, if this new TPP
agreement is finalized, it will likely be a shallower deal than originally
envisioned, composed of smaller economies and making less of a global
impact.

And there are still sizable hurdles on the way to a final deal. For
example, if the TPP-skeptic New Zealand First Party comes into power in New
Zealand's Sep. 23 election, the country could withdraw from negotiations.
And a recent public consultation process in Canada revealed strong negative
sentiment toward TPP among some Canadians. Any additional departures from
the group could slow down or even derail progress. But if they are avoided,
the accomplishments of this recent summit indicate that a final deal on a
smaller, shallower TPP appears to be coming together.

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



More information about the Ip-health mailing list