International Trade Agreements
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement currently being negotiated between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, U.S. and Vietnam. Aside from World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, TPP would be unprecedented in size and scope. It covers 12 Pacific Rim nations with nearly 40% of global GDP, 35% of trade volume and 800 million inhabitants and is designed to expand beyond its original signatories. In addition to a tariff schedule with some 11,000 tariff lines, TPP sets rules on such issues as competition, services, customs, e-commerce, environment, government procurement, investment, labor, rules of origin, state-owned enterprises and intellectual property.
• International trade agreements should support consumer access and promote competition. In order to achieve this, trade agreements should maintain a reasonable balance between protecting intellectual property (IP) that incentivizes innovation of new medicines and enabling access to more affordable generics.
• The U.S. generic pharmaceutical industry supports trade agreements. In fact, its future depends on the possibility of selling safe and effective medicines in other nations. GPhA is deeply concerned that TPP will raise barriers to entry for generic medicines and biosimilars and hinder global access to more affordable medicines. Further, some of its provisions could result in changes to U.S. law, increasing healthcare expenses and the deficit.
• GPhA strongly supported the Peru, Colombia and Panama Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) because they reflected a balanced approach to promoting exports by both the originator and generic pharmaceutical industries. These agreements are based on the May 10th Agreement, also known as the New Trade Policy – a 2007 bipartisan agreement between the Bush Administration and Congress. This successful policy strikes a balance between protecting IP rights and promoting access to generic medicines. GPhA strongly supports the May 10th Agreement as the standard for IP provisions in the TPP.
• GPhA continues to advocate for the appropriate balance between innovation and competition with regard to TPP negotiations.
• GPhA stands with its global counterpart associations, the International Global Pharmaceutical Alliance (IGPA) and a vast network of health professionals and stakeholders interested in promoting access to more affordable medicines around the world.
• GPhA engages regularly with TPP negotiators and other government officials, strategic allies, Congress and the news media to explain the benefits of a TPP with balanced IP provisions. See below for further information on GPhA’s activities.