TPP is a major cause of concern among those in the tech community. Its expansion of copyright and forcing U.S. copyright law onto other countries is troubling to say the least. It seems that some countries involved in the TPP negotiations are beginning to come to their senses. Malaysia is the latest to say no to the treaty.
Malaysia Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai recently spoke out against TPP and its patent extensions on medicine. He feels that the U.S. is putting other countries' citizens at risk by making them adopt stricter patent laws. Here's his statement:
"We are against the patent extension. According to the agreement, if a medicine is launched in the US, and then three years later it is launched in Malaysia, the patent would start from when it is launched here and not when it was launched earlier in the US. This is not fair."
According to Bilaterals, the Malaysia's current patent on medicines last for 20 years. TPP would increase that to 10 more years. During that time, generic drug companies would not be able to make affordable drugs for those who need them most.
Liow also slammed TPP because it allows corporations to sue countries over perceived wrongs. In draft versions of the treaty that have been leaked, there are provisions that allow corporations to sue countries that don't prove to be good investments.
Regardless of the reasons, countries are beginning to see that TPP does nothing for them. It's all about empowering the U.S. in trade across the South Pacific.
We already spoke in length about how TPP is hoping to restrict fair use across all the countries involved in TPP. Not only would it hamper creativity in these countries, it would also hamper their economic growth. The same could be said for the medical patent rules.
Trade agreements should benefit all of the countries who are involved in the process. Everything we've seen about TPP so far indicates that it is only benefitting the U.S. The USTR has an obligation to make sure the U.S. is profitable in its trading, but restricting the economic development of other countries isn't the way to go.