News 28/12: Think-tank warns against a TPP excluding China. Fears TPP undermining NZ patent law. US food groups want Japan in talks PDF Print E-mail

1. The conservative Australian Lowy Institute has published an op-ed piece questioning the Australian government's willingness to enter into a trade pact that would set out to exclude China.

2. NZCIS chief executive Paul Matthews has written for the NZ National Business Review warning that signing up to the TPP may put NZ's current domestic law excluding software from patent protection. Matthews concludes that the government is more concerned about agriculture concessions in the ongoing talks, rather than the technology sector.

3. A coalition of US agriculture and food lobby groups, spearheaded by the National Pork Producers Council, have written to the USTR requesting Japan's immediate inclusion in TPP talks, stating that this will generate enormous interest and support in US agriculture.

4. Public Citizen has now completed a comparative chart of pharmaceutical patent and data provisions in the TRIPS agreement, in existing FTAs between the US and four TPP parties, and in the leaked USĀ  IPR proposal. Both long-form and condensed versions are available here.

5. New Zealand's lead TPP negotiator, Mark Sinclair, has been announced as NZ's new Ambassador to Japan. He will be replaced in future rounds of talks by Dr. David Walker. Dr. Walker has an extensive trade background, including negotiating TPP's precusor, the P4 Agreement, and the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement.

6. The Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health journal for December features an editorial questioning some of the costs to public health policy involved in the TPPA and other free-trade agreements.

7. Public Citizen's Peter Maybarduk writes for Advocate.com on the TPPA's ramifications for the provision of generic HIV/AIDS drugs in the developing world, concluding that the current proposed trade rules would offer more political and economic power for the patent-based pharmaceutical industry than ever.

8. The December 14 hearing on TPP undertaken by the US House Ways and Means Subcommittee has put testimony from its witnesses online, including Demetrios Marantis (Deputy USTR) and business leaders who support the TPP. Public Citizen has reported on the hearing and provided its own submission for the record, as has Oxfam America and HealthGAP (Global Access Project).

9. Following the Ways and Means hearing, subcommittee member Kevin Brady (R-TX) has warned that Congress may oppose a TPP deal that extends labour provisions for workers' rights beyond those outlined in the US agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

10. Writing in an op-ed for The Hill blog, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America CEO John Castellani urges the TPP reflect existing US law on biologics, as well as the stronger provisions for pharmaceutical patents and data seen under KORUS.

11. The USTR has released a Green Paper on Conservation and the TPP, suggesting that the TPP will allow member countries to pursue a "coordinated response to harmful illegal wildlife and wild plant trade".

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 02:17

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