Robb: TPP trade deal unlikely

By Leith van Onselen

Australia’s trade minister, Andrew Robb, has appeared at the National Press Club in Canberra today, where he admitted that concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is looking increasingly unlikely.

According to AAP, Rob said that sugar and dairy access remained key sticking points, along with motor vehicle assess between Mexico, the US, Canada and Japan. He also noted that “the closer we get to a US presidential election, the more prospect (there is) of it falling over”.

I am surprised that Robb did not also mention the issue of enhanced protection for pharmaceuticals, in particular the fight over so-called “biologics,” which are an important new class of medicines produced from living organisms.

The US first pushed for 12 years of data exclusivity before reducing its bid to 8 years, whereas Australia (amongst others) wants to keep protections to 5 years, as applies currently.

As explained in The Conversation on 6 August:

Data exclusivity refers to the protection of clinical trial data submitted to regulatory agencies from use by competitors. It’s a different type of monopoly protection to patents. While a product is covered by data exclusivity, manufacturers of cheaper follow-on versions of the product can’t rely on the clinical trial data produced by the originator of the drug to support the marketing approval of their product.

Section 25a of Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Act provides for five years of data exclusivity for all medicines. It makes no distinction between biologics and other drugs. Data exclusivity provides an absolute monopoly that, unlike a patent, can’t be revoked or challenged in court.

The powerful biopharmaceutical industry lobby in the United States has been seeking 12 years of market exclusivity for biologics.

Facing intense opposition from all other countries, the US trade representative fell back this week to eight years. While this was heralded as a new level of “flexibility” in the US position, in reality it remains a significant extension of intellectual property rights in most of the TPP countries.

Regardless, the stalling of TPP negotiations is good news for Australians, since it means that we will not face rises in medicine costs nor increased litigation from multinational corporations taking action under investor-state dispute settlements clauses imbedded in the agreement.

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Unconventional Economist
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  1. Thank God, bastard trying to hide details from us, this is all thanks to the wiki leaks type of people, you will be remembered for helping us, thank you

  2. Best news I’ve heard all day. I would have said all week but the Adventures of Idiot Abbott last night were even better.

  3. Terror Australis

    National party members in sugar belt seats will be partying wildly tonight. The US was never going to give ground on sugar.

  4. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Right….. now let’s start fixing our illegal foreigen investment situation and our sovereignty will have a tick up for the better …..

    • The other thing we need to fix is blindly following the USA into their overseas adventures. It is making us a target for terrorists. I’d rather we sit it out. It is not in our national interests to be licking American arse the way we do.

      • They are our Liege Lords & own us Lock &Stock & have us over a Barrel.
        I agree with your sentiments , but that is the reality.
        Great news that it will not go ahead, thanks Wiki

      • ” It is not in our national interests to be licking American arse the way we do.”

        Spot on sentiments -fully agree. We deserve what we get with any backlash that happens because of our criminal acts in following the Yanks criminal acts. Was it last night I heard on “news” some calling for Australian pilots to get more involved in Bombings in Syria. It is NONE of our F%$$ing business !
        The horrible Yanks started that shit to further their own plans for the Planet & to check Russia & China.

  5. sydboy007MEMBER

    Lets hope this monster is truly dead and buried. Still theirs the China FTA to sell out local workers on, so I’m sure Abbott will double down on that one.

  6. Interesting take here – could it be Big Tobacco working to sabotage the deal rather than be excluded from suing via ISDS? Never thought I’d be thankful to them for anything but if this is true… Ever Robb and Abbott wouldn’t be stupid enough to compromise on this.

    Big Tobacco is pushing back against a strict anti-smoking provision in the massive Trans-Pacific trade deal — and it has enlisted the support of the most powerful Republican in the Senate.

    The ire of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other tobacco-state lawmakers throws a wrench into the delicate negotiations to close the agreement and secure congressional approval. President Barack Obama sees the deal as essential to securing his economic legacy.

  7. David E.H. Smith

    TPP versus CHINA; All China has to do to ‘Win” is Offer its Trade Partners Alternative to citizen Punishing Dispute Settlements (ISDS) & few other ‘Hearts & Minds’ things… Is a Kinder & Wiser CHINA too ‘Humbling’ for Corporate America & Assocs.?
    After New Zealand’s PM admitted that medicines will cost more, have the citizens of New Zealand, et al, PM Harper cuts funding for health care by $36 billion dollars’.
    TPP, TTIP, CETA; Roll-back NAFTA, et al, Tribunal Penalties (ISDS) paid by Canadian lil’ guy; $125 M & $25 M legal fees to Reneging Corporate America. U.S. Pays ‘0’. ‘You Should have Known’; President Bush. Prohibit Future TPP, et al, ISDSs.
    TPP & Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements Not about How Much Trade, but, Who to Trade with & Weaken China.
    ANTI-Globalists (GREENs) PROHIBITED from ‘Corp.Canada’s Election’ DEBATE…

    TPP other Global Treaties/”Arrangements’; How long have Global Corporate Associates been ‘Passing’ Legislation in Anticipation of Suing Once Ratified? ‘Trickle’ Up & Out Economics.

    TPP nations, et al, need ‘good corporate citizens’ that respect our legislation & need to ‘out’ bad corporate voters via shareholder meetings?
    Americans, Japanese, et al, look forward to working with Savvy Slave Trading Malaysians & Slick Cultural ‘Genociding’ Canadians. ‘But, we didn’t know’.

    Traditional Canadian Parties Demanding Supplicance to Corporate Canada & its Global Corporate Assocs. is an unholy sin?

    Will Pope Francis & other leaders Intercede with Prayer against PM Harper, Corporate Canada, The Canadian Establishment, et al, for Continuing to Blame & Punish those who are continuing to be Deprived of the Due Diligence Info and Continuing its Cultural Genocide?

    But, will the lil’ guy get 10 years to read, consider, discuss & improve upon (with lawyers paid by Global Corporate Assocs.)?
    FULL Article,