Top 10 Points on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

1.  The TPP is a controversial free trade agreement which is presently being negotiated between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam.

2.  The TPP is ostensibly about emerging trade issues, but the negotiations have been criticised for their secrecy and the expansive scope of the agreement.  Anti-globalisation advocates accuse the TPP of going far beyond tariff reduction and trade promotion, giving unprecedented power to corporations.

3. The present draft of the TPP was recently leaked.  It is clear that the TPP builds on many of the principles of the TRIPS agreement, and thus has provisions for creating and enforcing IP rights.

4.  There are concerns that the IP provisions of the TPP are particularly restrictive, particularly in regard to internet freedom and access to medicines.

5.  The US and Japan are opposing articles relating to preventing abuse of IP rights which leads to restraint of either trade or technology transfer.

6. The US and Japan also oppose proposals to take into account the different levels of economic development and capacity in different countries when considering enforcement of IP rights.

7.  Public health is also a controversial area with the US opposing measures that assist in promoting access to medicines.

8.  There are proposals for establishing international exhaustion of rights which are being opposed by Australia, Japan, Mexico and the US.

9. The TPP also proposes to establish a normative ground for the public domain, recognising the importance of a rich and accessible public domain.

10.  Many of the criticisms of the TPP have also been levelled at the Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA) which is a proposed agreement between the European Union and the US.

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