Government not Wikileaks should reveal TPP facts

The debate over the TPP negotiations should have been revealed by the Government and not left to be exposed by Wikileaks says Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff.

“The issues under debate are of critical importance to New Zealanders. Kiwis should have a right to know what is being negotiated and have an input into this debate. The documents released today show that Labour was right to be concerned.

“This leak shows there are real issues with intellectual property and the role of Pharmac. These are big issues and the Government has kept quiet on it.

“The Government needs to stand up to the excessive and self-interested demands by US drug and entertainment multinationals in the TPP negotiations.

“The chapter on intellectual property shows that our negotiators are doing their best in opposing the demands of drug and entertainment moguls.

“We are supported by most other countries in doing that. The US appears isolated in its demands and will need to back down from them.

“Labour supports the protection of intellectual property and those who invest in research and development getting a fair return on that investment.  But we do not support big corporations being able to lock in excess profits at the expense of the consumer or to disadvantage small New Zealand companies. Patents and copyright should not be so excessive that they stymie innovation. They should not prevent the emergence of generic drugs to allow health care to be provided affordably to those in need.

“In all trade negotiations parties make demands that they don’t expect to be accepted. All negotiations inevitably involve compromises. But New Zealand negotiators should remain staunch in their opposition to demands in the intellectual property area which appear to favour vested interest groups in one country to the disadvantage of others,” Phil Goff said.