Sunday, May 17, 2015

We Must Protect Progress Made in Combatting TB/HIV

Tell Congress: Don’t Fast Track Bad Trade Deal!

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) might be the worst trade deal ever for global health.

We say “might” because we’ve never actually seen the deal. The pact is being negotiated in secret. Even your elected representatives in Congress are only allowed to see the text is a special room after leaving their cell phones and staff outside, and forking over any notes they take before leaving - and agreeing not to discuss the details with anyone. [1]

We do know from leaked documents that the protections for intellectual property for medicines are far more aggressive than previous trade agreements. [2]

The availability of affordable, generic drugs has been critical in progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. The TPP threatens access to affordable medicines by expanding pharmaceutical companies' monopoly power and limiting competition from generic drugs. We need to strike a balance between protecting intellectual property rights to incentivize new drug development and protecting access to life-saving medicine. The TPP simply gets this balance wrong.

The President has asked Congress to grant him Fast Track Authority (or Trade Promotion Authority) to accelerate the TPP. This means that Congress would give up its authority to amend a trade deal and just hold an up or down vote on the final package. With so much at stake in the fight against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis - and the text still behind locked doors - this is too much to ask.
Trade is an important part of economic growth and development, but not at the expense of public health. The Senate is expected to vote as early as this week, and they need to hear from you. So call Congress today, and ask them to slow down the TPP.

Will you call all of your members of Congress today and ask them to vote against the Fast Track Authority for the TPP? 

Follow this link for contact information for your members of Congress.