Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health - CPATH

Trans Pacific Partnership
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MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH TESTIMONY TO HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: EXCLUDE TOBACCO FROM TRADE AGREEMENTS; REPRESENT PUBLIC HEALTH ON TRADE ADVISORY COMMITTEES   Dec. 14, 2011 Hearing

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health, submitted testimony to the Trade Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee for the hearing on the TPP, on Dec. 14, 2011.  They recommended ensuring that all tobacco products, including tobacco, cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and other tobacco products are excluded from all provisions of this and any other Free Trade Agreement (FTA), that tobacco control measures be specifically exempted from any trade rules protecting intellectual property including trademarks and also exempted from any investor-state dispute resolution processes, and that our trading partners' current applied tariffs on these products not be reduced or eliminated.

They stated that the medical professions and public health would benefit from being well informed about trade policy, and are well positioned to advise the US Trade Representative on policies and measures that would safeguard health while promoting economic growth.  They continue to advocate for full public health representation  on trade advisory committees.

Click here to download Testimony by AAP, AAFP, ACPM, ASAM, CPATH

NEWS FROM TPP NEGOTIATIONS, CHICAGO, SEPTEMBER 2011

CPATH Media Release 9-16-2011

Public health, medicine and elected officials joined advocates for labor and the environment to speak out publicly against the U.S. Trade Representative's proposals to increase the prices of life-saving medicines and to make lethal tobacco products cheaper and easier to buy. They also call for greater public health representation and transparency in trade policy.
 
See statements below from CPATH, the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), and the American Medical Students Association (AMSA), and from U.S. Representatives on the Ways and Means Committee: John Lewis, Pete Stark, Charles Rangel, Earl Blumenauer, and Lloyd Doggett.
 
The USTR released goals for the sections on access to medicines on Sept. 12, 2011.  See link below:

Click here for USTR goals on IP/medicines

CPATH Presentation, TPP Stakeholders. 9-10-11

We presented specific evidence from our research that strengtened IP rules in CAFTA increased the prices of medicines by up to 856% in Guatemala, suppressed availability of generic alternatives and domestic technological capability, did not attract new medicines to the market.
 
Excerpts from comments: We're trying to patch economic and political systems that are increasingly incapable of righting themselves and advancing the interests of the many.  People near Austin, Texas are fleeing drought-induced raging fires, as Philadelphia is flooding. Climate change has already brought melting glaciers in the Andes, and threatens island and continental coasts in the Pacific.
 
Too many of us are jobless.  Income inequality in the U.S. is at its highest point since the Great Depression in 1929: the top 1% of earners own 24% of the wealth.
 
We must challenge the imperatives of unmitigated accumulation and unrelenting poverty, to save lives and to find the rewarding and fulfilling futures that we all want.
 
Corporate domination of our health care system is depleting our public coffers and our publicly financed health programs, and leaving too many Americans without affordable medicines, or bankrupt, or both.  On tobacco: Tobacco is profitable because it is addictive. Because it is profitable and addictive, it is still legal. Nevertheless, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control expresses the world's intention to take on the morbid machine that is the tobacco industry.  Surely the road to the 21st century economy cannot depend on destroying the policy space to continue implementing this visionary agreement by constructing arcane, convoluted new legal constraints designed specifically to thwart the will of our national legislatures and undermine the health of our youth.

AMA: EXCLUDE TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL FROM TPP

CLICK HERE FOR AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE LETTER ON TOBACCO, ALCOHOL AND THE TPP

CLICK HERE FOR LETTER FROM AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS

CLICK HERE FOR LETTER FROM AMERICAN MEDICAL STUDENTS ASSOCIATION

CPATH Statement By Public Health Advocates

Public health advocates have presented a statement to the U.S.T.R., President, health agency leaders, and members of Congress, regarding trade talks Chicago with 8 Pacific Rim countries:
 
The Administration promised a 21st Century agreement, but already the Trans Pacific Partnership is treading on democracy, public health, and labor rights. Of the 9 countries at the table, only the U.S. is pushing hard to undermine tobacco control laws, and to prop up high drug prices. It is no wonder that the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is conducting policy talks in secret, and did not even announce the 2-week meeting publicly. We need public health voices on trade advisory committees, and a trade policy for the 21st century that advances public health and jobs.

LETTER ON TPP BY U.S. REPS. JOHN LEWIS, PETE STARK, CHARLES RANGEL, EARL BLUMENAUER, LLOYD DOGGETT

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CPATH  on Huffington Post: TPP
We Need A 21st Century Trade Deal For Public Health and Jobs
by Ellen Shaffer 
 
You mean you haven't heard about the new 21st century trade agreement being negotiated this week in Chicago? Might be because the federal U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) didn't even announce the 2-week meeting on its website. Or anywhere else.
 
Trade agreements are increasingly vehicles for bestowing benefits to corporations that even the most beholden national legislatures could not get away with, and that furthermore trump national laws. CPATH's 2009 report of U.S. pressure on Guatemala to accept trade rules that are siphoning cash away from this desperately poor country and into the coffers of multinational drug companies was corroborated last week with a flood of new releases from wikileaks.
 
Tobacco giant Phillip Morris International (PMI) is perfecting the art of tucking arcane bombshells into trade accords between two countries, and then linking them to hop across borders via multi-country agreements. For example, Brazil and other countries have succeeded in encouraging smokers to quit by placing grimly graphic warning labels on cigarette packages. The U.S. is due to start in 2012. Although they save lives, PMI invokes trade provisions to claim that graphic warning labels violate trade agreements that protect the company's trademark rights and related intellectual property rights. (Australia is taking the campaign one step further, and on the verge of implementing plain packaging, without labels or color codes that misleadingly assert they are "light.")
 
The new Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could strengthen PMI's hand, and unlike you they've had quite a few opportunities to make their case forcefully to U.S. trade officials. The tobacco and drug industries both have prominent seats on the influential and confidential trade advisory committees that give the USTR their marching orders, and they've also commented publicly on their concerns. You aren't invited to these committees, although after years of campaigning they now include one bona fide tobacco control advocate, an international health consultant, and a representative of the generic drug industry.

CPATH, HEALTH GAP AND PUBLIC HEALTH GROUPS URGE PRESIDENT TO LEAVE THAILAND OUT OF TPP

Nov. 16, 2012 - We write as you depart for Asia to ask that you drop any demands that Thailand or other countries facing major public health crises change their intellectual property rules at the cost of the health of their people. Reports have recently surfaced that your administration is  seeking  to  expand  the  Trans  Pacific  Partnership  Free  Trade  Agreement  (TPP)  to Thailand. Intellectual property provisions in this free trade agreement, already a source of substantial controversy, would put the price of life-­‐saving  medicines in Thailand out of reach of most Thais.  Mr. President, as public health and consumer groups, we know these policies could cost tens of thousands of lives and we ask that you change course. 

Health GAP (Global Access Project), Public Citizen, American Medical Student Association, Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH), Knowledge Ecology International, Universities Allies for Essential Medicines, Student Global AIDS Campaign

Click here to download entire letter

P Ranald, The experience of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement: lessons for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations

T Faunce - Impact of the Australia US Free Trade Agreement on Australian Medicines Regulation and Prices

NOTES FROM NEGOTIATIONS IN SAN FRANCISCO, 2010

Public health on the Trans Pacific Partnership: "It's time to put an end to trade agreements that make life-saving medicines too expensive, and deadly tobacco products too cheap.  We call for a change of course to a new high performance trade policy that improves and protects health."  
 
On June 17, 2010, Joe Brenner and Ellen Shaffer presented the case for pro-public health trade agreements to TPP country offocials.

Click here for CPATH Power Point to TPP 6-17-10

New Trade Deal Threatens to Reverse San Francisco’s Model Tobacco Control Efforts, Increase Prescription Drug Prices 

SF Officials and Advocates Call to Remove Tobacco From Trade Agreements
 

In June, 2010, San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar introduced Resolution 297-10, that  was enacted by the Board of Supervisors and signed by the Mayor:

"Calling on U.S. Trade Negotiators to Exclude lethal tobacco and tobacco products from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements negotiated by the United States, and urging the appointment of public health representatives to advise U.S. Trade Negotiators to protect public health."

 

Click here to download San Francisco Board of Supervisors resolution on TPP and tobacco

 

United States-Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement Threatens Public Health

A Call for New Direction in Trade Talks

June 14, 2010

 

Public health experts are calling for trade officials to reverse course and protect health.  Current trade agreements make life-saving prescription drugs more expensive, while deadly tobacco products become cheaper and easier to sell.  

 

The Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH) called on the U.S. Trade Representative to break with past trade policies immediately in at least three areas: 1. Support tobacco control measures. 2. Support affordable medicines. 3. Add public health experts to trade advisory committees.

Click here for CPATH on IP, Tobacco, Democracy and TPP

 
TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP: June 2010
 
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) negotiations "Round 2" will be held in San Francisco, California on June 14-18, 2010 at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco.  Initial TPP negotiating partners include U.S., Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, with the objective of including additional countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region.   There are supposed to be morning briefings each day from Monday through Friday, June 14-18, at 8:30 a.m. for interested stakeholders by a senior Administration staff person. 

At this "round" in San Francisco, negotiators will be discussing core concepts and areas which should or should not be included in these negotiations.  It is an important opportunity for us to weigh in.  See below for a link to CPATH’s Public Comments on the TPP and public health concerns.

Click here for CPATH on TPP

Bringing a Public Health Voice to Global Trade and Sustainable Development
CPATH
Ellen R. Shaffer and Joe Brenner, Co-Directors
P.O. Box 29586, San Francisco, CA 94129
phone 415-922-6204