RCEP: A disaster for India and its People

Given India’s burgeoning trade deficit, it is time for a complete overhaul of India’s trade policy.

Professor Biswajit Dhar, amongst India’s foremost trade economists, speaks to Newsclick on the dangers of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a mega regional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that is being negotiated amongst 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific. Dhar argues that India has much to lose in the area of manufacturing and agriculture given that it has the highest average tariffs and little export potential. The supposed gains in Information Technology (IT) services are unlikely to be met as well. Given India’s burgeoning trade deficit, he argues that it is time for a complete overhaul of India’s trade policy.



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RCEP is Worse Than WTO

Source: newsclick

RCEP is worse than WTO. Free Trade Agreement will impact Livelihoods of Farmers and Workers, and Access to Affordable Medicine.

On June 14th a coalition, of various unions of farmers, trade unions, and civil society groups, met at Hyderabad to discuss about resisting RCEP agreement. The coalition plans to oppose the agreement because according to them the RCEP agreement will have adverse effect on lives of farmers and workers. They have issued a press statement explaining how the agreement is not in the favour of common people. The full statement can be read below:

Hyderabad will be the centre of activity on Free Trade agreements in July 2017, when government Trade Representatives from 16 countries including India will meet for another round of negotiation in the RCEP free trade agreement (FTA). Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is one of the three largest ‘mega regional’ FTAs being negotiated in the world. Apart from India, RCEP includes economic powerhouses China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, along with the 10 ASEAN countries of South-East Asia – Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar and Philippines. The RCEP meet is scheduled for 17-28 July 2017 at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre. Continue reading

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FOIFOIA documents. In 2015 Novartis asked U.S. Dept of Commerce to Pressure Colombia Against Compulsory License on Glivec

In February 2016, KEI submitted a FOIA to USTR requesting “all correspondence and notes sent internally by the Office of the US Trade Representative as well as with Colombian government officials, other foreign government officials, and non-governmental persons or entities regarding efforts in the government of Colombia to issue compulsory licenses on medical technologies. Of particular interest is any correspondence, documents, memoranda, presentations, or talking points regarding the request for a compulsory licenses on the drug imatinib (marketed by Novartis as Gleevec or Glivec), a chemotherapy drug used to treat leukemia.” Continue reading

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India must be wary of harsh terms under Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership


Source: The HansIndia | June 17, 2017

As India gets ready to host the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meeting among ASEAN members in July 2017, a group of farmers, trade unions, intellectuals and non-governmental organizations recently have gathered at Hyderabad to discuss about resisting RCEP agreement.

They alleged that the provisions of the free trade agreements could severely hurt the Indian economy and could have adverse effect on incomes of farmers, workers, the dairy industry, agri-based industries and some other sectors. Continue reading

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TRIPS Council Members: Defining IP Rights And The Public Interest

Source: IP Watch


“Political and economic pressure placed on governments to forgo the use of TRIPS flexibilities violates the integrity and legitimacy of the system of legal duties and rights created by the TRIPS agreement and as reaffirmed by the Doha Declaration,” India told a World Trade Organization committee this week, referring to the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Intellectual property rights are often seen as a promoter of innovation through the lens of most developed countries, and as a potential barrier for developing countries, struggling to address public interest needs, in particular meeting their public health obligations. This week the intellectual property committee of the World Trade Organization discussed a new topic brought on by some developing countries, underlining the difficulties met by some in seeking to use the flexibilities provided by the WTO IP rules, in particular compulsory licences.

Continue reading

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This Pharma Company Won’t Commit To Fairly Pricing A Zika Vaccine You Helped Pay For

After the “pharma bro” and EpiPen, this could be the next big battle in drug pricing.

By Alexander C. Kaufman
Last year, as worries grew that Zika ― a mosquito-borne illness that can lead to devastating birth defects ― might spread north from Latin America, scientists working for the U.S. government got to work on a vaccine.

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, which is part of the U.S. Department of Defense, began developing the vaccine in March 2016. In September, the Army announced that it had enlisted Sanofi Pasteur, a division of the Paris-based pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, as its research partner. Sanofi was awarded a $43 million grant to conduct a second phase of trials, set to begin in early 2018. If those prove successful, the government has promised Sanofi another $130 million to conduct the third phase of trials. Continue reading

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US Supreme Court Adopts International Exhaustion For Patents: Paving the way for parallel imports to exert downward pressure on domestic pharmaceutical (and other) prices

By Frederick M Abbott*, IP Watch | 31/05/2017

The Supreme Court of the United States on May 30, 2017 adopted a rule of international exhaustion of patent rights for the United States in Impression Products v. Lexmark International, No. 15-1189. The near-unanimous decision authored by Chief Justice Roberts is unambiguous and unequivocal.[1] The Court paid short shrift to contrary decisions of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Jazz Photo Corp. v. International Trade Commission, 264 F. 3d 1094 (Fed. Cir. 2001) and in this case on certiorari, Lexmark International v. Impression Products, 816 F.3d 721 (Fed. Cir. 2016). Continue reading

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