Opposition to TPP

30 November -1

Rallies took place in Lima on 12 October in protest at the Peruvian government’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and further protests are scheduled to coincide with the presence of US President Barrack Obama in Lima for the APEC summit next month.

The Peruvian government, keen to deepen integration with North American and Asian markets, has been among the keenest supporters of the TPP. This was given official blessing by the Humala administration last February, and legislation was put before Congress by the Kuczynski government last month.

As well as government, TPP has received enthusiastic support from many in the business class who see it as a way to increase the market for their products.

Critical voices have come mainly from the left. José de Echave, the former environment vice-minister and prime-mover at the NGO Cooperacción, stresses how TPP is far more than just a trade agreement, affecting many spheres of economic and political life. “If one looks at the [30] chapters, they cover practically every issue cutting across discussion of the country’s economic, political and social life”. According to Pedro Francke, a key figure on the economic team of the left-wing Frente Amplio, changes are required on at least three points: the pricing of pharmaceuticals, restrictions on access to the Internet, and the rules allowing companies to take state authorities to international arbitration in the case of disputes.

The TPP threatens to raise the price of medical products in the Peruvian market by giving added guarantees for patents, restricting the circulation of (much cheaper) generic products in the local market.

However, the future of the TPP probably now lies in the hands of US voters. Neither Hillary Clinton not Donald Trump say they support TPP. Without the support of the United States, TPP will go nowhere.

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