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Wed Feb 26, 2014, 05:12 PM

How TPP Would Harm You at the Drug Store and on the Internet

I don't care how much Obama and either Clinton have benefited or expect to benefit from past or future campaign contributions and/or board appointments from Big Pharma or other giant, monopolistic corporations. We know, thanks to Wikileaks that this secretly negotiated trade agreement and the fast track approval process Obama is pushing for are the antithesis of our government's balance of powers and what we progressive Democrats are all about, and it can prove lethal for the citizens of the USA or any other country affected by the TPP. When it comes to drug patents and prices, we're talking life and death.

One example of the way the intellectual property provisions favor giant, multinational corporations over smaller, innovative corporations and regular people around the world is in pharmaceutical prices. A company with a drug patent is granted a monopoly to sell the drug at any price they choose with no competition. Currently a drug might be patented for a limited number of years in different countries. When the patent runs out other companies are able to manufacture the drug and the competition means the drug will sell at a lower cost.

Leaked documents appear to show that TPP will extend patent terms for drugs. Countries signing the agreement will scrap their own IP rules and instead follow those in TPP. So giant drug companies will have the same patent in all countries, for a longer period, and the patent will prevent competition that lowers drug prices.

Currently smaller, innovative companies can produce “generic” drugs after patents run out. Because of competition these drugs can be very inexpensive. Walmart, for example, sells a month’s supply of many generic drugs for $4, while drugs still under patent protection can cost hundreds or even thousands. This is of particular concern to poor countries that will be under TPP rules
This would provide large pharmaceutical firms with new rights and powers to increase medicine prices and limit consumers’ access to cheaper generic drugs. This would include extensions of monopoly drug patents that would allow drug companies to raise prices for more medicines and even allow monopoly rights over surgical procedures. For people in the developing countries involved in TPP, these rules could be deadly – denying consumers access to HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and cancer drugs

As to the Internet, the IP section of TPP gives corporations power in deciding what regular people can see, do or say on the Internet. It would override our current rules and regulations, even imposing laws like SOPA and PIPA, which Congress has specifically rejected. More detailed information is provided at the above link.

If Obama and the global corporations gain fast track approval, it will be one-bribe(oh, excuse me/campaign "contribution"-fits-all on this straight up or down vote, and it appears Obama/Corporate interests wouldn't be pushing so hard for this unless they were confident they can buy enough Congressional votes to win this vote, no matter how horrific the provisions of the TPP.

Fast Track
An Undemocratic Path to Unfair “Trade”

Fast Track was an extreme and rarely-used procedure that empowered executive branch negotiators advised by large corporations to skirt Congress and the public and use “trade” agreements to rewrite policies that affect our daily lives – from the stability of our jobs to the safety of our food. Past “trade” deals rammed through Congress under Fast Track have empowered foreign corporations to attack domestic health and environmental policies, enabled pharmaceutical firms to raise medicine prices, and equipped banks with a tool to roll back financial regulation.

Because Fast Track’s dramatic shift in the balance of powers between branches of the U.S. government occurred via an arcane procedural mechanism, it obtained little scrutiny – until recently. Its use by Democratic and Republican presidents alike to seize Congress’ constitutional prerogatives, “diplomatically legislate” non-trade policy, and preempt state policy, has made it increasingly controversial.

A president cannot obtain Fast Track empowerment without a vote of Congress. President Clinton, renowned for trade expansion, only had Fast Track authority for two of his eight years in office due to congressional opposition. The last time Congress authorized Fast Track was in 2002, with a 3:30 am vote before a congressional recess in which the antiquated mechanism was approved by just three votes. Since 2007, Congress has refused to authorize this extreme procedure, even after its proponents tried to escape Fast Track’s bad reputation by renaming it “Trade Promotion Authority.”

As a candidate, President Obama said he would replace this anti-democratic process. But now he is asking Congress to grant him Fast Track’s extraordinary authority – in part to try to overcome growing public and congressional opposition to his controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) deals. To prevent an expansion of this unfair “trade” model, Congress must not allow the executive branch to once again gain Fast Track’s undemocratic powers.


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Reply How TPP Would Harm You at the Drug Store and on the Internet (Original post)
Divernan Feb 2014 OP
Enthusiast Feb 2014 #1
WinkyDink Feb 2014 #2

Response to Divernan (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 06:24 AM

1. Kicked and recommended a whole bunch.....nt

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 07:19 AM

2. OMG. I despair. I truly do.


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