TPP talks continue without the US, revisions being discussed

September 8, 2017 – Without US influence in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the 11 remaining countries are moving forward after a stall caused by the US’s withdrawal from the trade agreement in January. Representatives from the 11 participating countries met in Sydney, Australia last week to renew negotiations.

TPP map

Reuters is reporting that Vietnam has asked for changes to labor rights and intellectual property (IP) provisions – two issues pushed by the previous US administration.

Out of fear of another country dropping out, representatives of the 11 remaining countries are willing to make changes to the original agreement to keep everyone on board.

Vietnam would specifically like the IP provisions on pharmaceutical data sidelined. Japan and New Zealand support the change. Originally TPP delayed competitors’ access to pharmaceutical data (keeping cheaper generics off the market) for eight years, which many TPP critics find unnecessary now that the US is not part of negotiations.

A new draft of TPP is expected at the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vietnam in November.

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