Tag: Patricia Ranald

Call for release of Trans-Pacific Trade Text

Press Release – Patricia Ranald Senior legislators in seven TPP countries have released a statement calling for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement text to be released before it is signed by governments, Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment …Senior legislators in seven countries call for release of Trans-Pacific Trade Text “Senior legislators in seven TPP countries have released a statement calling for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement text to be released before it is signed by governments, ” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today. The statement calls on governments to publish the draft text of the Agreement before any final agreement is signed, with sufficient time to enable effective legislative scrutiny and public debate. The statement involves senior politicians from Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru who have expressed concern about the lack of transparency in the TPPA negotiations. Calls for the release of the text from politicians in the US and Chile are also attached. “The statement includes the motion from Senator Penny Wong, the Opposition ALP Shadow Trade Minister, which was passed in the Senate last December calling for the release of text of the TPPA and all other trade agreements before they are signed. The statement is also endorsed by Australian Greens Trade spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson,” said Dr Ranald. “The current...

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US fast track Bill for TPP faces stiff opposition

Press Release – Patricia Ranald US fast track Bill for Trans-Pacific Trade deal (TPP) faces stiff opposition in CongressUS fast track Bill for Trans-Pacific Trade deal (TPP) faces stiff opposition in Congress The fast-track (Trade Priorities Act) Bill was tabled in the US Congress today but immediately faced a storm of opposition from Democrats as well as Republicans. The 107-page Bill aims to persuade the Congress to give up its constitutional power to amend the text of any trade agreement, and sets objectives for US trade policy. If it is passed, Congress could only vote yes or no without amending the text of trade agreements. The Bill would apply to all trade agreements, not only the TPP. But the timing of the Bill is aimed at reassuring other TPP governments about the capacity of the Obama administration to deliver on commitments made in negotiations, which are continuing this year after missing the US-imposed deadline of December 2013. “The Australian Government would be extremely foolish to rely on such reassurances”, Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today. “The introduction of the Bill does not mean it will be passed, and in fact this is very unlikely. Congress has not agreed to fast-track since it lapsed in 2007. In November last year, 151 Democrats vowed not to support fast track. Leading Democrats today issued...

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Divisions over US demands prevent final deal at TPP meeting

Press Release – Patricia Ranald Divisions over US demands prevent final deal at TPP Singapore meeting: negotiations to continue next year Another missed deadline in the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership talks shows that there are still divisions over US demands on investor rights to …Divisions over US demands prevent final deal at TPP Singapore meeting: negotiations to continue next year “Another missed deadline in the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership talks shows that there are still divisions over US demands on investor rights to sue governments, higher prices for medicines and draconian copyright laws, all of which would increase corporate rights at the expense of consumers,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today. “Leaked documents have exposed these demands to the harsh light of public debate and there is growing community opposition to them.” Dr Ranald has just returned from Singapore where she was observing the talks. “The short Ministerial statement (attached) only mentions “progress” with no details and that Ministers will meet again in January. The fact that no new deadline has been set for completing the deal means that the US heavy-handed pressure to meet deadlines which suit its political timetable is meeting some resistance,” said Dr Ranald. “This makes the reported Australian government cave-in to US demands for longer patents on medicines, which would raise medicine prices, appear even more reckless and...

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Abbott Government caves in to US demands in TPP talks

Press Release – Patricia Ranald Abbott Government caves in to US demands on stronger patents and higher prices for medicines in TPP talksAbbott Government caves in to US demands on stronger patents and higher prices for medicines in TPP talks A report from the Singapore TPP talks today in the specialized US trade journal, The Washington Trade Daily, claims that Australia, New Zealand and Canada have agreed to drop their objections to US proposals on medicines in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks due to finish in Singapore today,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today. “This would mean that the Australian Government has agreed to extreme US demands for longer and stronger patent laws which will delay the availability of cheaper generic medicines and mean higher prices for medicines,” said Dr Ranald. “This report makes a mockery of the assurances given by Trade Minister Robb that he would not agree to anything that would undermine the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). “The current patent term for medicines is already 20 years, but the US wants extensions of 5 years in some circumstances. The PBS controls the wholesale price for new medicines by comparing the medical effectiveness and price of new patented medicines with existing medicines, including cheaper generic medicines. Longer patents will mean higher costs for new medicines in the PBS, and higher prices...

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Leaked documents expose deep divisions

Press Release – Patricia Ranald Leaked documents expose deep divisions, Australian positions and US pressure to complete TPP deal in SingaporeLeaked documents expose deep divisions, Australian positions and US pressure to complete TPP deal in Singapore “Two internal documents from a country in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations have been leaked to Huffington Post<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/08/tpp-trade-agreement_n_4409211.html> and published this morning. The documents are a chart<http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/1296_001.pdf> outlining the positions of each of the twelve countries on many issues being discussed in Singapore, and an account<http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/1294_001.pdf> of the state of negotiations at the end of the Salt Lake City round late last month. These raise doubts about the target of finishing the negotiations this year, and show deep ongoing divisions and resentment at US pressure,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today. “On the controversial US proposals for longer patents which would result in higher prices for medicines, and stronger copyright, the commentary says that “countries must be prepared for attempts deployed by the US to force closure of different areas of the intellectual property chapter during the Singapore negotiations.” The commentary also says that Australia has worked with Japan and the US on a revised version of the controversial annex which deals with government regulation of medicine prices, including Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, while most other countries are opposing it. This seems to indicate possible...

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