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December 21 2019


U.S. Lobbyists Prepare to Seize “Historic Opportunity” in Tory-Led Brexit to Shred Consumer Safeguards, Raise Drug Prices

«The original Brexit referendum that passed in June 2016 pitted populists against the establishment, with banks funneling huge amounts of money to oppose the referendum, which was cast as a measure to return taxes and power to local British citizens, while restoring the sovereignty of the U.K.’s borders against what was cast as unfair trade and uncontrolled migration.

But the politics of the deal have shifted over time, with hard-liners gaining power within Tory leadership and demanding a radical break from the EU. Corporate lobbyists now see an opportunity to use Johnson’s proposed swift exit from the EU as a way to forge bilateral trade deals, including one between the U.S. and the U.K, that would outsource local authority to rules set by an array of international business interests. A wide range of industries are primed to take advantage of the deal to evade EU consumer safeguards and drug pricing rules. Representatives from American pork to Silicon Valley and everything in between are trying to influence the negotiations.

Departing the EU could mean that British consumers would no longer be protected by broad EU-wide regulations on chemicals, food, and cosmetics, among other products. Several international corporate groups have pushed to ensure that in the event of Brexit, such safeguards are abandoned in exchange for a regulatory standard that conforms to the norms of the U.S.

Consultants working directly on the Brexit deal in London and in Washington, D.C., have asked to limit the ability of British regulators to set the price for pharmaceutical drugs, lift safety restrictions on pesticides and agricultural products, and constrain the ability for the U.K. to enact its own data privacy laws.

In January, a lengthy hearing hosted by trade officials from both countries provided a forum in D.C. for industry to lay out its agenda on what should happen after Brexit. Before the hearing, two major industry groups sent letters outlining their agendas for the Brexit negotiations in 2019.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the lobby group that represents the largest drugmakers in the world, insisted that any U.S.-U.K. deal “must recognize that prices of medicines should be based on a variety of value criteria.” PhRMA called for changes in the way the U.K.’s National Health Service sets price controls through comparative effectiveness research, an effort to control the costs of drugs using clinical research.

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a lobby group for the biopharmaceutical industry, made similar demands in a letter to trade officials for the U.K., calling to do more in “shouldering a fair share of the costs of innovation.” BIO suggests that in order to ensure fair treatment for drugmakers, companies should have the right to petition an “independent body” to overrule decisions made by the NHS.

At the hearing, Craig Thorn, a lobbyist representing the U.S.’s National Pork Producers Council, told the Trump administration that the proposed U.S.-U.K. deal present a “historic opportunity,” citing his client’s desire to continue trade with the U.K. by evading EU restrictions on certain feed additives and antibiotics used widely on American pork. Similarly, Floyd Gaibler, a representative of the U.S. Grains Council, said that the deal provides a window for American agriculture to avoid the EU restrictions on pesticides that have been or will soon be banned.

Silicon Valley, similarly, views Brexit as a chance to bypass EU-wide limits on data collection, or even new U.K.-based rules. Several technology lobbyists have pushed to provide trade provisions between the U.S. and U.K. that outlaw so-called data localization requirements. Some regulators have looked at the need for technology firms to store consumer data in local servers, to ensure that it is not resold or abused in any way.

Other corporate demands by U.S.-based groups are spelled out in a series of requests and testimony made by lobbyists before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the federal agency entrusted with negotiating trade deals. Federal lobbying disclosures show a number of interests, including Cargill, IBM, Koch Industries, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers AssociationFord Motor Company, the National Association of Manufacturers, and Salesforce, have lobbied on the potential U.K. deal in recent months.»

October 19 2017

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July 09 2017

— @magosaki_ukeru on Twitter

May 16 2017


アメリカの通商政策に対する世界の懸念 - Pars Today




October 27 2014


September 21 2014


May 14 2014


March 24 2014


March 20 2014


March 19 2014


June 28 2013

The government of leftist President Rafael Correa came up with an angry response on Thursday after an influential US senator said he would use his leverage over trade issues to cut preferential treatment of Ecuadoran goods at the US market, should Ecuador grant political asylum to Snowden. ‘Ecuador will not accept pressures or threats from anyone, and it does not traffic in its values or allow them to be subjugated to mercantile interests,’ government spokesman Fernando Alvarado said at a news conference. He added that Ecuador is willing to allocate $23 million annually, an equivalent of the sum that it gained from the benefits, to fund human rights training in the US. It will ‘avoid violations of privacy, torture and other actions that are denigrating to humanity,’ Alvarado said.
Ecuador snubs US trade ‘blackmail’ over Snowden, offers human rights training (RT News, Jun. 28 2013)

[Senator Robert] Menendez [who heads the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate] said he would lead the effort to prevent the renewal of Ecuador's duty-free access to US markets under the Generalized System of Preferences program. He also said he would block renewal of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). Both programs expire at the end of next month.

The major commodities of Ecuador’s export to the US are crude oil, cut flowers, fruits and vegetables, shrimp and prawns. Duty-free access to US markets is supporting roughly 400,000 jobs in the country of 14 million people.

Ecuador is the last remaining recipient of the ATPDEA, which used to include Bolivia, Colombia and Peru in the past and was not expected to be renewed for Ecuador even before Snowden came up with his revelations of the US phone and internet surveillance programs.

The country has been lobbying the Obama administration to include additional goods under the Generalized System of Preferences program to soften the blow from the cancellation.”

'World order unjust and immoral!' Ecuador’s Correa rips into Snowden coverage (RT News, Jun. 27 2013)

“The US announced on Thursday [Jun. 27] that it is reviewing whether to suspend favorable trade benefits with Ecuador, only a few hours after that country’s foreign minister preemptively renounced them. The Ecuadorian government pulled out of its trade pact, which involves preferential customs tariff rights, claiming it had become an instrument of ‘blackmail’ as relations with the US have been strained over reports the country is considering a political asylum bid from Edward Snowden.”

NSA leak fallout: LIVE UPDATES (RT USA)

June 27 2013


21:14 GMT: Senator Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on Wednesday that if Ecuador grants Snowden asylum he will ‘make sure there is no chance for renewal’ of trade pacts with the South American nation. Menendez pledged to end Ecuador’s preferential trade access with the US, while reiterating a call on Moscow to turn Snowden over.”NSA leak fallout: LIVE UPDATES

“‘Ecuador Risks Trade Problems With U.S. if It Grants Asylum to Snowden’ - but it would be a UN violation to act so” — @wikileaks

May 21 2012


【Twitter】 野田総理@G8

  • @kawauchihiroshi: キャンプデービットのG8。野田内閣の昨年9月の基本方針では「経済成長と財政再建の両立」と、経済成長が先になっていたが、G8で総理は「財政再建と経済成長の両立」と、財政再建を先にしている。どちらが先か、非常に重要。基本方針(閣議決定)違反の発言である。

  • @kawauchihiroshi: G8で野田総理は、「成長の原動力たる自由貿易」と言う言葉も使っている。彼は「自由貿易」という言葉の定義を知っているのだろうか?GATT24条に「実質的に全ての物品の関税撤廃」とあるが「実質的に全ての物品」とは「9割の物品」という解釈。TPPは10割の物品であり、自由貿易ではない。

May 01 2012


【IRIB】 イランのサフラン

February 16 2012


About the Novartis Drop the Case Campaign (msfaccess.org)

Why India is the ‘pharmacy of the developing world’

India is often called the ‘pharmacy of the developing world’ because it produces affordable generic versions of medicines that are used the world over. More than 80% of the antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) used by MSF in its HIV/AIDS programmes come from producers of generics based in India, just as 80% of the ARVs purchased with donor funds globally come from India. MSF also relies on Indian generics for malaria and tuberculosis treatments.

India became the key producer of affordable medicines because until 2005, the country did not grant patents on medicines, allowing generic manufacturers to freely produce more affordable versions of medicines patented elsewhere. Fierce competition among producers drove prices down dramatically – whereas ARVs for one person per year cost US$10,000 in 2000, today, they cost just less than one percent of that figure.

India starts granting – and rejecting – patents

India had to start granting patents for medicines in 2005 because of its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization. This means that price-busting competition between generic and originator drug producers will be blocked for drugs that receive patents – for example for several newer medicines to treat HIV/AIDS.

When designing its patent law, however, India decided that only drugs that show an improved therapeutic effect over existing ones deserve patents. This part of the law – ‘Section 3d’ – intends to prevent companies from continually extending their 20-year drug patents by making minor changes or improvements – a process called ‘evergreening.’ Along these lines, the Indian patent examiner in 2006 rejected the patent that Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis sought for the leukemia drug imatinib mesylate (marketed as Glivec), because it was based on a compound that already existed.

Novartis takes the Indian government to court

In response to its drug patent being rejected, Novartis took the Indian government to court in 2006, not only challenging the rejection of its patent, but also the part of India’s law, Section 3d, that formed the basis of the decision. If Section 3d were overturned, it would mean patenting would become much more widespread in India, severely limiting the production of more affordable generics.
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