Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health - CPATH

Key Trade Agreements - CPATH Analysis and Commentary
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This section presents CPATH’s analysis of selected trade agreements relevant to health and other timely documents:

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.

Organizations can register and send 1 representative.  The link to register is: https://events.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e2wncqfdc1714de3&oseq=

Click here for CPATH statement on TPP

TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY
The Trade Promotion Authority bill was due to be up for reauthorization by Congress by July, 2007, but was not renewed.  The TPA outlines the U.S. Congress' trade objectives, and includes the "fast-track" rule that prevents Congress from amending trade agreements (they can only vote yes or no).  CPATH will be consulting with the health community on the TPA in the coming months.  What do you think Congress' trade objectives should be? (You can read the TPA through the link below. See p. 62, Sec. 2102 for Congress' current objectives.)

Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2002

KENNEDY-WAXMAN GAO REQUEST ON TRADE AND HEALTH
Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Waxman have asked the Government Accountability Office to review the effects of trade negotiatons on developing countries' access to medicines. The GAO will investgate in 2007.  Read the letter of request here:

GAO Request

COMPLETED: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements:

U.S.-Dominican Republic - Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA)

CPATH TESTIMONY TO HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE, April 21, 2005. Hearing on Implementation of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA): The Intellectual Property (IP) provisions of the Dominican Republic - Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) would delay competition from generic medicines, helping to prop up high prices for brand name pharmaceuticals in the U.S., and effectively denying access to life-saving drugs in some of the poorest nations in the Americas.

click here for CAFTA Testimony

CPATH Briefing Paper On The US-Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) (April 2004).
Summary of CAFTA's major threats to public health and the right to protect health standards, including privatization of health-related services, high drug prices, interference with government contracting, and lack of public health representation in trade policy decisions.

click here for CAFTA Briefing Paper

CAFTA side letter does not protect access to medicines. On November 14, 2001, the World Trade Organization adopted the Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health (the Doha Declaration). However, the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) does not safeguard the Doha right to protect public health and promote access to medicines for all. A Side Letter, Understanding Regarding Certain Public Health Measures, does not adequately offset the intellectual property provisions of CAFTA, and fails to safeguard access to medicines.

click here for CAFTA Side Letter Analysis

CPATH documented significant health concerns regarding CAFTA.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren transmitted these concerns on July 15, 2005, to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The first document presents CPATH's concerns. The second presents the Department of Commerce's (DOC) responses, with rebuttal comments by CPATH.

CPATH stated:
1. Public health is unrepresented in trade negotiations.
2. CAFTA’s “Domestic Regulation” rule challenges state and  federal health protections.
3. CAFTA destabilizes professional licensing rules.
4. Government Procurement rules undermine public policy objectives and protections.
5. Private, foreign corporations can directly challenge domestic laws and regulations.
6. CAFTA prevents the production and humanitarian distribution of affordable lifesaving medications.

click here for CPATH Concerns on CAFTA

click here DOC Reaction/CPATH Response

Waxman, Rangel Oppose US Pressure on CAFTA IP Rules
 
On Jan. 26, 2005, Reps. Waxman, Rangel and other influential members of Congress wrote to the USTR to protest U.S. pressure on Guatemala to reinstate a law imposing data exclusivity for pharmaceuticals. The Members advocated removing data exclusivity provisions from CAFTA.

Click here for Congress CAFTA letter 1-05

 

U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement

The U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement Can Preempt Drug Reimportation Bills (Fact Sheet) July 12, 2004

click here for July 12, 2004 Fact Sheet

The U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement Can Preempt Drug Reimportation Bills, Challenge VA and Medicaid Drug Price Controls, July 9, 2004.

click here for full report

US-Australia Free Trade Agreement: Implications for Prescription Drug Prices in the US and Australia, Testimony to the Ways and Means Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, June 24, 2004.

click here for CPATH Ways & Means Testimony

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