Traditional knowledge has come up in a dozen or so FTA drafting processes over the last couple of years. In half of those cases, specific provisions on traditional knowledge were signed.
Differences over pharmaceuticals could be overcome, but the countries are far from reaching a common understanding on biodiversity issues.
Opponents of a free trade area (FTA) agreement with the US have lashed out at the government’s proposed amendment of Thai patent law to facilitate the United States’ patenting of drugs and living organisms in Thailand. They fear it would lead to greater control of the country’s resources by American firms.
US proposal on ’patents’ and on ’measures related to certain regulated products’ for negotiation with Thailand under the IPR chapter of the current US-Thailand FTA talks.
Critics argue that the biodiversity provisions in the US-Peru FTA do not improve the status quo to effectively tackle concerns over misappropriation of biodiversity and TK.
Civil society sector is demanding that the Thai government not give in on reduction of tariffs for US agricultural product, not ratify the treaty on plant varieties protection, and not recognise patenting of biological resources. In addition, they said the Thai government must resist the US demand to extend protection of pharmaceutical patent to more than 20 years or to protect data exclusivity.
The three Andean countries currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the United States, in their double capacity as signatories to the CBD and members of the group of biologically “mega-diverse” countries, are demanding that the agreement establish regulations that clearly specify the terms of access to genetic resources and the population’s traditional knowledge, and in which proper economic consideration, conservation, and development act as guiding principles.
An agreement by Peru to accept US demands on protecting intellectual property rights, including protections for pharmaceutical test data found in other US free trade agreements, paved the way for a final deal on a US-Peru FTA.
Andean countries in late November narrowed differences with the United States over intellectual property protections in negotiations over a US-Andean bilateral free trade agreement, but divisions over market access for agriculture have likely delayed a final agreement until next year, at least for Colombia and Ecuador.
Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are turning the tables on U.S. trade negotiators accustomed to winning tough safeguards for drug patents by demanding similar protections for traditional therapies such as roots and leaves.
Attorney General Edgardo Maya admonished the government Tuesday that an ill-fated signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US would result in negative effects for Colombia.
Negotiations between Thailand and the United States on a planned bilateral free trade area (FTA) are on well progress in its fifth round, with Washington agreeing in principle to protect Thai intellectual property on the Internet and to use the Thai laws to take care of the environment.
Ambassador Nitya Pibulsonggram, the chief negotiator for the Thailand-US Free Trade Agreement, spoke to AMCHAM members on May 25, 2005 about the importance of the FTA to Thailand.
An Economist Intelligence Unit briefing paper
The free trade agreement with the United States threatens Thailand’s ecological biodiversity and cultural uniqueness, researchers warned yesterday. Visut Baimai, director of the Biodiversity Research and Training Programme, said he feared the FTA would accelerate deforestation to grow profitable single-crop plantations. This, he said, could undermine both the ecosystem and sustainable economic development.
This booklet by FTA Watch is aimed at disseminating information to international
civil society for the purpose of sharing the analyses and experience of the
FTA struggle in Thailand.
Negotiations on bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) are going on at a blazing speed worldwide. Not much is known on how these talks are going. But they have a lot of effects on local industries and farms, on medicine prices and on what can be included in future development strategies.
Letter from five US NGOs to the USTR advocating that patents on plants and animals be dropped from the FTA negotiations with Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, in favour of the current WTO TRIPS Agreement.
The National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC) has expressed its concern over ongoing negotiations on the Thai-US Free Trade Agreement, particularly on the issues of intellectual property rights.
While United States trade negotiators seek to strengthen intellectual property protection under the proposed Thai-US free trade area agreement, Thailand is raising the issue of genetic resources and ways to guard against biopiracy.