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President Obama stands alone in pushing TPP agreement

Facing a backlash
Mon Dec 09 2013, 15:34
US President Barack Obama

UNITED STATES PRESIDENT Barack Obama apparently is alone in banging a drum for multi-national corporate interests in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations.

According to memos seen by the Huffington Post, the Obama administration has painted itself into a corner with its demands and now has few allies among the 12 countries involved in TPP talks.

The website has two memos in its grasp and it said that they both show a distinct lack of support for corporate plans to increase the cost of medicines, enforce copyright protection, impose censorship, restrict bank regulation and support international interventions against national trade policies.

"The United States, as in previous rounds, has shown no flexibility on its proposal, being one of the most significant barriers to closing the chapter, since under the concept of Investment Agreement nearly all significant contracts that can be made between a state and a foreign investor are included," said one memo about foreign nations challenging sovereign laws. "Only the US and Japan support the proposal."

The US government has distanced itself from the memos, saying that they are either made up, old, or just wrong.

"These are not US documents and we have no idea of their authorship or authenticity," a spokesman for the Office of the US Trade Representative told the website. "Some elements in them are outdated, others totally inaccurate."

A US proposal to restrict governments' rights to negotiate deals on medicines has also been roundly decried. A ban on such deals, says the website, would benefit US pharmaceutical companies, but presumably no one else. µ


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