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See Also: Jane Kelsey on TPPA leak: sweeping restrictions on SOEs, more worries for Labour
Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey’s Across The Ditch on FiveAA Australia – New Zealand Prime Minister Cited Over TPP Slip + Musicians Getting Poor Returns From Streaming – Recorded LIVE on 30/07/15.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key has been cited by the Australian Green Party after revealing that the costs of medicines and pharmaceuticals will likely increase if the Trans Pacific Partnership is agreed to.
The TPP is entering the last stages of negotiations between 12 nations including the USA, Australia, New Zealand,,Canada, nations of South East Asia including Japan, but excluding China.
The negotiations are taking place in secret, however some chapters of the negotiations have in part been leaked.
In New Zealand there is much skepticism surrounding the said benefits of the TPP, particularly due to an understanding that countries will lose in part their sovereign right to legislate and regulate in their own interests.
Also, it is understood that the public health budget will suffer should negotiators agree to pharmaceutical corporations being able to claim intellectual property rights, and patent rights, for longer. That move will prevent Pharmac, New Zealand’s public pharmaceutical procurement entity, from being able to purchase more affordable generic medicines.
This is what the Prime Minister John Key was referring to this week. In short, Key said the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will result in longer patent lengths meaning that medicines will be more expensive for longer.
And that, is what the Australian Green Party referred to yesterday afternoon and added “It shouldn’t require a comment from the New Zealand PM for Australians to learn that the overall cost to taxpayers for medicines is going to rise due to the TPP.”
However, John Key, who wants his Government to sign up to the TPP, argues that the benefits to the country will outweigh the costs.
The medical fraternity is not pleased with the TPP. The chair of the New Zealand Medical Association, Dr Stephen Child, sought and was refused an independent assessment of what the Government’s negotiators are agreeing to in our name.
This week, Dr Child said: “We need to have a clear understanding of the possible effects of the TPPA on current and future policy settings and directions—before we are committed to such a deal.”
He added that before New Zealand commits to an agreement, we must be assured of the right to be able to protect public health, safety and the environment, through regulation or legislation should it be necessary.
“To do this we must have an independent assessment focused on these aspects,” Dr Childs said.
And globally, the United Nations Human Rights Commission has voiced its concern about the possible ‘chilling effects’ of the Investor-state-dispute settlement (ISDS) chapter in the TPPA.
The UNHRC said the regulatory functions of states—and their ability to legislate in the public interest—may have been put at risk by provisions in the TPPA chapters.
A New Zealand Herald report shows how musicians are missing out on their fair share of returns, especially from music streaming.
The Herald reported last night:
• Local band She’s So Rad earned multiple 5-star reviews for their album Tango and have two songs on A-rotate on Hauraki.
• Yet they’ve only sold a total of 20 physical CDs and 50 digital albums.
• They have had 90,000 songs streamed on Spotify, earning them $130
• Toy says: “It’s just much worse than we expected. I expected it to be bad, but this far surpasses it.”