Trans-Pacific Partnership

TPP Senate inquiry urgent in the face of even stronger medicine monopolies

***UPDATE:  A Senate inquiry was established on September 15***

12 September 2016

Sixty diverse Australian civil society organisations, representing two million Australians, have called for a Senate inquiry into the TPP before Parliament votes on the TPP’s implementing legislation. This call is now even more urgent after recent revelations that the US is pushing for even stronger monopoly rights for lifesaving biologic medicines in  the TPP.

TPP: US pressures Australia for even stronger monopolies on biologic drugs

Media Release, September 9 2016:  “We are alarmed by reports that US Senate Finance Committee Orrin Hatch says the US administration has “made progress” in talks with Australia and other TPP countries to find a way to increase data protection for costly lifesaving biologic drugs from eight years in the current TPP text to twelve years,” said Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network.

Update on TPP ratification process in Australia

6 September 2016

The inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties was interrupted by the early election, but will resume with public hearings likely in October. After the inquiry, the TPP implementing legislation will be introduced to Parliament, and the aim remains to legislate this year. 

But the Committee is dominated by the government and relies on a report done by DFAT, which negotiated the deal. A Senate Inquiry could produce a more independent and critical report.