Australia greedy in TPP talks: US senator

A recent article published on November 7th, 2o15 in THE AUSTRALIAN, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/australia-greedy-in-tpp-talks-us-senator/story-fn3dxiwe-1227599807448, states the US Senate Finance Committee chairmen Orrin Hatch, whose support is crucial to passing the TPP, is unhappy that intellectual property protections for biologic medicines have not been extended to 12 years. The US proposal would have made life-saving medicines more expensive for Australians, and Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb says that he is never going to accept it. According to Mr. Robb, “We have absolutely no intention of increasing the cost of medicines to the Australian public by seeing any increase in the period of data protection.” Australia currently has a 5 year data protection period rule, which protects the makers of biological drugs by blocking other manufacturers from using similar research to a produce a copy of their product, which is known as a biosimilar. Hatch believes that Australia has been greedy in resisting the longer monopoly period and that the US should have never agreed to it. His plan is study the text of the deal and might suggest that negotiations go back onto the table. But, according to Hatch, “at the end of the day, the alternative to renegotiation may very well be no TPP at all.” Mr. Robb believes that Australia’s resistance was “strongly supported” by the other countries in the deal, but it appears that this issue might bring negotiations for the TPP back to the table.

What would the impact be for the TPP if negotiations are brought back to the table? Do you think that Australia or the US is being greedy?

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