A State department official told that TPP will greatly aid the efforts to advance human rights in the Asia-Pacific region. The TPP will contain new labor and environmental standards, protects the IP of multinational companies and prioritizes “transparency and anticorruption” and also contains “enforceable standards” with regards to human rights.
Brunei, a part of TPP, last year began to implement a new legal code based on Sharia law that punishes those convicted of homosexuality by stoning to death. Malaysia also has history of conviction based on freedom of people like former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction under country’s anti sodomy law.
Jerame Davis, executive director of Pride at Work, said that it is inexcusable giving countries access to the markets without ensuring most basic human right protections for the citizens. Davis also argued against TPP because it would increase cost of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV and make less available to these countries. Neela Ghoshal, senior LGBT researcher for Human Rights Watch told that there is no evidence that TPP includes any mechanism for promoting LGBTI rights in countries like Malaysia and Brunei. Also, the impacts of increasing the drug prices would affect these people who are poor and HIV-positive.
The Human Rights Campaign and the National Centre for Transgender Equality earlier in 2015 urged the White House to require Brunei to address their Human Rights violations ahead of the TPP negotiations. The State Department has criticised Brunei over its new penal code. Former Deputy Defence Secretary told during his speech that they will continue to take global leadership in defending and promoting human rights of LGBTI persons in TPP partner countries and around the world.