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  • Vote NO on Fast Track

    This moment could not be more important. Our years of work against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are boiling down to this moment.

    Hours ago, U.S. Representative Dave Camp and Senator Max Baucus introduced a bill for Congress to grant President Barack Obama Fast Track trade authority. If Congress approves this bill, it will give away its constitutional authority to protect us from the numerous threats posed by the TPP.  

    Write now and demand that your representative commit to you in writing to vote “no” on Fast Track.

    If the Fast Track bill passes, the TPP could be signed before Congress votes on it. Then the deal could be rushed through Congress with no amendments and limited debate. Fast Track trade authority is how Clinton and Bush passed the WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA and other disastrous “trade” deals.

    The TPP would empower foreign corporations to sue governments in international tribunals if a country implements environmental, public health or other public interests policies that undermine corporations’ “expected future profits.” It would create new incentives to offshore more American jobs.

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  • How a Free Trade Agreement Threatens Your Health and the Health of the People You Care About

    Reshma Ramachandran and David Carroll warn that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will trample over access to affordable medicines. They drafted this article for PLOS: http://tinyurl.com/l488n2z

    Last month, Wikileaks posted the complete Intellectual Property (IP) Chapter of the secretly-negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) confirming public health advocates’ worst fears of the agreement’s impact on patients worldwide. The TPP is the largest free trade agreement to date between the United States and 11 other countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam) comprising over 40 percent of global GDP. This landmark agreement is expected to “set the standard for 21st century trade agreements going forward.” While free trade agreements are designed to lower barriers for the importation and exportation of goods between countries and strengthen the global economy through mechanisms such as lowered tariffs, the TPP goes far beyond past traditional trade regulations with the inclusion of over 20 chapters on a variety of non-trade related issues including domestic food safety, health, labor, environmental policies. Two of these chapters on investment and intellectual property will have far reaching consequences on the public health of populations worldwide. The TPP has been shrouded in secrecy, ...

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  • Physicians and Scientists-in-Training Push for Access in TPP Negotiations

    According to recently leaked text of the Intellectual Property Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the United States and other governments are prioritizing multinational corporate profits over patients and consumers around the world including their own citizens. The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), Australian Medical Student Association, International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), IFMSA-Quebec, Student Global AIDS Campaign (SGAC), and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) today sent a letter to TPP negotiators urging them to ensure that all TPP provisions provide future patients access to evidence-based and effective medicines and procedures rather than forcing us, as practitioners, to compromise our medical professionalism and the quality of care we are able to provide our patients.

    On November 13, 2013, WikiLeaks released the entire consolidated negotiating text for the Intellectual Property (IP) Chapter of the TPP. These organizations, representing pharmacists, biomedical researchers, and physicians-in-training from countries participating in TPP negotiations, expressed their concerns regarding the chapter text stating “the proposed provisions will severely restrict access to affordable medicines, access to knowledge, and access to responsible innovation.”

    This week, TPP negotiators are meeting in Salt Lake City to further negotiate the Intellectual Property Chapter provisions. The organizational letter calls for the ...

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  • Exclude tobacco from the Trans Pacific Partnership

    The U.S. Trade Representative intends to introduce a proposal on tobacco at negotiations to create the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement among 12 nations, at meetings in Brunei this week. The proposal capitulates to multinational tobacco corporations, jeopardizing the nation's health and economic welfare.

    Tobacco companies have recently accelerated their use of trade rules to attempt to delay and reverse tobacco control measures that limit marketing in the U.S., Australia, Uruguay, Norway, and Ireland. Trade rules grant corporations rights to contest nations' public health and other policies. Countries that lose trade challenges face stiff financial penalties, payable to the complaining corporation.

    Public health and medical advocates in the U.S. and abroad have urged the USTR to exclude tobacco control protections from trade challenges under the TPP. The USTR informally floated a policy in 2012 that could create a "safe harbor" for some tobacco control regulations. Many legal and medical experts noted that tobacco companies could easily exploit the remaining substantial loopholes.

    But the tobacco industry marshaled opposition claiming that the U.S. proposal might actually reduce tobacco use, tobacco-related deaths, and tobacco sales. Other corporations backed up Big Tobacco, expressing concern that addressing the uniquely lethal effects of tobacco ...

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  • AMSA Testifies On TTIP Negotiations

    Yesterday, AMSA National President Dr. Nida Degesys testified in front of the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

    Below are some of her comments that were submitted on behalf of the organization regarding the Administration’s intention to enter into negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement.

    As physicians-in-training, we believe that trade agreements should promote public health and access to medicines. For this reason, we urge the exclusion of any and all intellectual property provisions as well as any tobacco and alcohol provisions in the TTIP. Finally, we demand full transparency in the negotiations.

    First, during our medical training, we witness firsthand how access to affordable medications is critical in preventing unnecessary deaths due to both infectious and non-communicable diseases. Unfortunately, it appears that recent free trade agreements (FTAs) including the Australia-United States FTA and Korea-United States FTA as well as the current Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations compromise this access by imposing unprecedented TRIPS-plus IP provisions. These provisions have the potential to jeopardize millions of lives in participating countries by granting monopoly protections to pharmaceutical companies, which significantly drive up the costs of medicines. Even in the United States, there has been an outcry from ...

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