Trading Away Health: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is currently being negotiated between the US and ten other Pacific Rim nations: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The agreement is slated to further expand its membership, potentially to all 21 Asia Pacific APEC nations.
The negotiations, which began in 2010, are being conducted in secret, without the opportunity for public scrutiny. However, leaked drafts of the United States government’s proposals for some sections of the agreement reveal the inclusion of dangerous provisions that would dismantle public health safeguards enshrined in international law and restrict access to affordable generic medicines for millions of people in developing countries.
This briefing document from MSF illustrates how the TPP represents the most far reaching attempt to date to impose aggressive TRIPS-plus IP standards that further tip the balance towards commercial interests and away from public health. In developing countries, where people rarely have health insurance and must pay for medicines out of pocket, high prices keep lifesaving medicines out of reach and are often a matter of life and death.