New Trans-Pacific Partnership Caucus In US CongressPublished on 30 October 2013 @ 5:28 pm
Intellectual Property Watch
A new caucus of supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement under negotiation was launched yesterday in the US Congress.
The Friends of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) caucus is headed by four co-chairman: Republican Reps. David Reichert of Washington and Charles Boustany of Louisiana, and Democratic Reps. Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Gregory Meeks of New York.
The four members issued a press announcement with statements on why they are supporting the agreement, which they say is important for US jobs, exports and economic growth.
“The Caucus will provide a forum to discuss the broader U.S. strategic goals and benefits of the TPP Agreement,” Meeks said.
According to Open Secrets, among the four co-chairs, Reichert’s top donor last year was Microsoft, and Kind has numerous healthcare and pharmaceutical donors.
The hyper-secret TPP negotiations have taken an upturn in intensity in recent weeks, though the goal of completion in 2013 seems to be ambitious, according to available information, in part due to the complexity of intellectual property negotiations.
The talks continue to come under fire for a lack of transparency and for suspected provisions that public health advocates say could harm medicines access for the public. See a recent report here.
Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Chris Dodd issued a statement today in support of the caucus, whose aim, he said, “is to ensure a meaningful TPP agreement.”
“[W]e place the highest priority on working with our trading partners and the US government to achieve a comprehensive, high-standard and commercially-meaningful agreement,” Dodd said. “Yesterday’s announcement is an important step toward achieving a TPP agreement that will increase market access while providing the tools necessary to protect intellectual property in the digital age.”
Countries negotiating the TPP include: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam.