In trumpeting the success of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb assured us there would still be five years of data protection on biologic medicines, but what are they, what are biosimilars and why do they matter?
“By carving out tobacco from the TPP, the Obama administration is discriminating against an entire agricultural commodity, setting a unsafe precedent for future trade agreements”, said Sen.
Initial reaction from US Congress members, including Democrats and Republicans, ranged from cautious to skeptical. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a US Democratic presidential candidate, said he was disappointed and warned the pact would cost U.S. jobs and hurt consumers.
Though the agreement has been reached among negotiators, it still has to pass Congressional muster.
Senator Orrin Hatch, a powerful Republican who heads the Senate Finance Committee, was also wary.
“Other potentially far-reaching or costly proposals raised earlier in the negotiations were not included in the final agreement”, Mr Groser said. This takes into account, in part, concerns among U.S. manufacturers and critics who suggest Japan has driven the yen lower to benefit its auto exporters and other companies. “We’ve defended all our country’s most sensitive issues”, said Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz. “Our producers would fall behind other countries that are negotiating their own preferential arrangements in TPP countries”.
Osamu Nagayama, chairman and chief executive of Japan’s Chugai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, which sells such drugs in the United States through Switzerland’s Roche, was grateful that the settlement didn’t drop below eight years as the protection period.
So far, China has been kept out of the discussions, but Beijing has long played a key role in efforts to promote the deal. TPP would also open new Asia-Pacific markets to American businesses.
“You would have to say from a New Zealand point of view, it just reflects the view that finally, against the combined might of Canada, Japan and the United States, they just couldn’t bring themselves to more fully liberalise their dairy sectors”. “We’re disappointed there wasn’t agreement to eliminate all dairy tariffs but overall it’s a very good deal for New Zealand“, Key said.
Already other Asia-Pacific nations such as South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines (which will host the 2015 Apec Leaders meeting) and even Colombia (which sits outside of Apec) have expressed an interest in joining the TPP. Under the deal, Canada agreed to phase out its 6.1% tariff on imports of Japanese-made cars and parts over five years.
“Essentially, the outcome will provide Malaysian companies with greater market-access opportunities, particularly in markets such as the USA, Canada, Mexico and Peru with which Malaysia does not have FTAs (free trade agreements) with”, said Mustapa.
The TPP is also created to simplify worldwide trade by standardising rules and procedures.
One even quoted a popular phrase from the U.S.-television show “Game of Thrones” warning “winter is coming” for the world’s second-largest economy.