The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Challenges for Australian Health and Medicine Policies
Medical Journal of Australia, Vol. 2, No. 194, pp. 83-86, 2011
4 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 16, 2011
Four formal rounds of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations took place in 2010 (in Melbourne, San Francisco, Peru and Brunei). They involved over 200 officials from Australia, the United States (US), New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Peru and Vietnam.
Future negotiations officially are set to include three issues with public health and medicines policy implications for Australia and our region: first, ways to approach regulatory coherence and transparency, second how to benefit multinational and small-medium corporate enterprises (SMEs) and third, multilateral investor-state dispute settlement.
This article analyses the likely impact on Australia of these issues by focusing on submissions made about them to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) by influential US health and medicines corporations and lobby groups, as well as reflecting on the opportunities they present to re-shape US and regional health technology safety and cost-effectiveness regulation.
Of particular concern is that these submissions advocate investor state dispute settlement procedures that (as well as allowing Australian corporations to sue in other nations) would allow US corporations (such as those involved in pharmaceutical, alcohol, tobacco, fossil fuel or chemical production) as well as those of the other TPPA nations, to obtain damages against Australian governments through arbitral proceedings rather than domestic courts if their investments are impeded by Australian public health and environment protection legislation.
Keywords: Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, Trade Agreements, Investor State, Tobacco companies, plain packaging, intellectual monopoly privileges, Doha-minus, TRIPS-plus
JEL Classification: D42, F13, H41, K21, L66, L65, K32, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation