April 12, 2015: Michaela Whitbourn reported in the Sydney Sunday Sun Herald that the TPP may create new criminal sanctions for illicit downloading of films and TV shows, following a legal battle over Hollywood blockbuster Dallas Buyers Club.
The Conversation 10 April 2015
April 8 2015, Harriet Alexander writes in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and Canberra Times that the peak lobby group for American pharmaceutical manufacturers has been given privileged access to negotiations for a major regional trade pact that could see the cost of medicines skyrocket in Australia.
Public health advocates and business groups are concerned that pharmaceutical giants will be able to advance their commercial interests in the once-in-a-lifetime pact through their seat at the negotiating table, while the details are kept secret from the Australian public.
April 7 2015:Peter Martin wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Canberra Times that eight health and community organisations have sent an open letter to the Trade Minister Andrew Robb expressing "grave concerns" about the latest leaked draft of the nearly concluded Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
On March 31, 2015, ABC national TV program Lateline did a 30-minute critical show on the TPP which is available on the website in three parts.
“The leaked investment chapter from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in January confirms that foreign companies could sue the Australian government for damages over decisions of key institutions like the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Medicare, the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, which regulates GE crops and food,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today.
Alan Beattie writes in the Financial Times March 25, 2015
"It’s not clear that a country’s affection for the US will increase after being required to rewrite its patent and copyright law every few years on a model dictated by, respectively, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. The US itself does not offer much liberalisation. It is highly unlikely to substantially dismantle its agricultural subsidy and protection regime to allow Australian and New Zealand farmers abundant access to its dairy market or stop its rice subsidies disadvantaging Vietnamese rice exports in world markets. America’s trading partners are thus on a permanent treadmill of enforced policy change in order to keep their trade access to the US".
March 25, 2015: The Greens, Public Health groups and AFTINET explain that proposed new labelling rules in response to the contaminated berries scandal could result in foreign companies using ISDS in the Korea, China or Trans-Pacific trade agreements to sue the government for damages if their profits are reduced. See the feature article in the Sydney Morning Herald and other Fairfax papers here