On Wednesday June 10th, 2015, WikiLeaks published the Healthcare Annex to the secret draft “Transparency” Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), along with each country’s negotiating position.
The TPP trade agreement has not been released to the public, and much of what we know about it comes through leaks.
The TPP is the world’s largest economic trade agreement that would cover more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. Despite the wide-ranging impacts on the global population, the TPP and the two other mega-agreements that make up the “Great Treaty” – (the TiSA and the TTIP) – are being negotiated in secrecy. Together, those three trade agreements would cover two-thirds of global GDP, states WikiLeaks.
The Obama administration is trying to gain “Fast-Track” approval for all three from the US House of Representatives on Friday, according to The Bangor Daily news. The House of Representatives is the second (and “lower”) chamber that must approve of it. It has already obtained approval from the Senate. It is something like the U.S. “House of Commons.”
According to WikiLeaks, the Healthcare Annex seeks to regulate state plans for medicine and medical devices. It forces healthcare authorities to give large pharmaceutical companies more information about national decisions on public access to medicine, and it grants corporations greater powers to challenge decisions they believe are harmful to their interests.
Expert policy analysis, published by WikiLeaks today, shows that the Annex appears to be designed to cripple New Zealand’s strong public healthcare programme and to inhibit the adoption of similar programmes in developing countries. The Annex will also tie the hands of the US Congress in its ability to pursue reforms of the Medicare programme.
The TPP Healthcare Annex can be found here:
The free trade agreement is supported by an unusual coalition of President Obama and mostly right-wing Republican Congresspersons (and a few center-right Democrats). Oddly, the right-wing website Breitbart recently wrote an article against the agreement, calling the TPP “ObamaTrade.”