Secret Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Takes Centre Stage In Asia

RCEP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), part of US President Barack Obama’s promised pivot to Asia, has stirred up a hornet’s nest on the ethics of trying to hammer out a trade deal in secrecy. But it is not the only one. A proposed trade agreement in Asia, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), is facing the same hiccups and flak.

LDC Pharma Extension Request At WTO Yields Support But Needs Further Discussion

WTO TRIPS Council meeting room

World Trade Organization members this week could not decide on a request from least-developed countries to extend a waiver allowing them to forego the enforcement of intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products until their economies are stronger. Discussions are expected to be conducted informally until the next meeting of the organisation’s council on IP rights in October.

US Shifts Stance On Drug Pricing In Pacific Trade Pact Talks, Document Reveals

tpp annex

From the New York Times: WASHINGTON — Facing resistance from its Pacific trading partners, the Obama administration is no longer demanding protection for pharmaceutical prices under the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, according to a newly leaked “transparency” annex of the proposed trade accord.

But American negotiators are still pressing participating governments to open up the process that sets reimbursement rates for drugs and medical devices. Public health professionals, generic drugmakers and activists opposed to the trade deal, which is still being negotiated, contend that it will empower big pharmaceutical firms to command higher reimbursement rates in the United States and abroad, at the expense of consumers.

IP Key For Financing Innovation, Speakers Say At WTO

WTO TRIPS Council meeting room

Intellectual property protection is vital to finance innovation and in particular for start-ups, according to speakers at an event co-organised this week by the European Union, Switzerland, and the United States at the World Trade Organization.

Climate Change Headlines G7; Merkel Commits To Conclude TTIP During Obama’s Term

G7 Germany logo

MUNICH — The agreement of the heads of states of the United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany to reduce global warning to less than two degrees made the biggest headlines of the G7 Summit on Elmau Castle, Germany, in the Bavarian Alps. Also agreed were commitments on trade and on public health, including research and development for neglected diseases.

Confidential USTR Emails Show Close Industry Involvement In TPP Negotiations

ustr logo

While a full range of stakeholders would be affected by the outcome of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement under secret negotiation by the United States and a dozen trading partners, corporate representatives have had a special seat at the negotiating table, as shown by hundreds of pages of confidential emails from the US Trade Representative’s office obtained by Intellectual Property Watch. The emails give a rare and fascinating perspective on how policy is developed in the trade office.

Alternative Summit Offers Ideas For Trade Agreements, G7, Amid 40,000 Protesters

Protest in Munich to Obama: Mr. President, hand your Peace Prize to Chelsa Manning and Edward Snowden

MUNICH — Just days before leaders of the Group of 7 (G7) industrialised countries gather in the well-guarded Bavarian Castle Elmau, a broad coalition of organisations invited free trade critics to an International Summit for Alternatives in Munich. Speaking there, Jean Ziegler, well-known former UN rapporteur for the right to food, shrugged off the possible effects of the G7 Summit.

Report: Patent Activity At A High But Decline In Scientific Research Could Show Innovation Slowing

innovation great minds

Patent activity is currently at an all-time high, with statistics showing large growth across industry sectors in the volume of patents being filed. However, the production of scientific literature is declining, according to a new report from Thomson Reuters.

European Parliament Trade Committee Tries To Defuse TTIP Controversy But Outcome Remains Uncertain

Paisley Abbey gargoyle 6

European Commission negotiators should back away from a controversial provision in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal that would allow companies to sue governments in arbitration courts over claimed unequal treatment, the European Parliament International Trade Committee (INTA) said on 28 May. MEPs called instead for publicly appointed, independent judges, public hearings and an appellate mechanism that respects the jurisdiction of EU and national courts, the committee said.

140+ NGOs Urge WTO Members To Grant Extension Of LDC Pharma Waiver

USAID fight fake drugs

Over 140 non-governmental organisations, most of them local from developing countries, have co-signed a letter to World Trade Organization members to ask they agree to a request by least-developed countries to extend a waiver on their obligation to enforce intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products.