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