[Ip-health] IUST: TPP Ministerial May Be Extended Again As U.S., Australia Still At Odds On Biologics

Peter Maybarduk pmaybarduk at citizen.org
Sat Oct 3 10:33:27 PDT 2015


Daily News
TPP Ministerial May Be Extended Again As U.S., Australia Still At Odds On Biologics
Posted: October 03, 2015

ATLANTA - Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries are on the verge of extending the ministerial meeting here at least into Saturday evening (Oct. 3), after the United States and Australia overnight were unable to reach deal on the monopoly protection period for biologics drugs, according to informed sources.

Sources said biologics is now the only potential deal-breaker left in the talks, and that failure to reach an agreement on this issue has prevented negotiators from finalizing an emerging deal on dairy market access. That is because no country wants to make a final politically sensitive offer on dairy until it can be certain that a TPP agreement will be reached, sources said. As long as biologics remains unresolved, they cannot be sure a broader deal will come together.

Chief negotiators met at about 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, presumably to take stock of the negotiations. The disagreement over biologics also meant that negotiators had to push back their 4 a.m. deadline to submit final goods market access offers, sources said. They had also initially planned to submit final offers on market access for services and investment by 10 a.m., and it is unclear whether that deadline will be missed.

U.S. negotiators were working overnight on the biologics issue, and called in brand-name industry representatives in the early morning hours for consultations. This may be a signal that the U.S. is exploring whether it has any more flexibility on the biologics issue, one critic of stringent intellectual property rules speculated.

One external deadline negotiators are facing is that some delegations only booked hotel rooms and conferences spaces through the end of Saturday, meaning they may be forced to vacate because the space is already booked by other guests, sources said.

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