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Serious Concerns With New Trade Deal

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In reaction to the recently concluded negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the free trade deal between the United States and 11 other countries, Stephanie Burgos, Oxfam America’s Economic Justice Policy Manager, made the following statement:

"Oxfam has serious concerns about the contents of the TPP. As in all trade agreements, the devil is in the details. Yet the details of the TPP have remained secret during the five years of closed-door negotiations. From news reports about final negotiations, as well as previously leaked negotiating text, we know that the TPP would do more to undermine access to affordable medicines in developing countries than any previous US trade agreement.

"Now that negotiations have concluded, there is no excuse to keep the details secret, and US law requires that the text be made public within a month. But the TPP is not yet a ‘done deal’, as the US Congress will need to pass it into law and other governments will need to sign and approve it as well.

"We believe that trade can be an engine for poverty reduction and shared prosperity if the rules of trade enable working families and those living in poverty to benefit. But from what we know about the TPP, the rules on intellectual property and pharmaceutical pricing are written to benefit corporate interests over the public interest.

"Once the actual details see the light of day, final approval will likely face stiff resistance in US Congress. Governments and parliaments in other countries should think twice and consult broadly with their populations before signing or ratifying the TPP, given its damaging provisions affecting access to medicines. Citizens everywhere must hold their governments accountable for promoting access to affordable medicines for all, as enshrined in the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health."

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