Sean Flynn Quoted in Huffington Post

(by Zach Carter via Huff Post Politics)



WASHINGTON -- Two major United Nations organizations warned world leaders on Thursday to avoid restrictive free trade agreements that may threaten public health, amplifying international pressure against President Barack Obama's controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

A report issued by the U.N. Development Program and the anti-AIDS UNAIDS detailed a host of drug financing policies and intellectual property standards that inflate the price of medications, and urged governments to reject such terms in trade negotiations. By granting pharmaceutical companies long-term monopolies on lifesaving medications, the U.N. groups noted, poor citizens are denied lifesaving treatments.

The Obama administration, in trade talks with eight Pacific nations, is aggressively pursuing the price-protecting standards denounced by the U.N. groups. The new report carefully omits any explicit reference to trade pacts in the works. But the report's release follows a U.N.-hosted meeting between several Pacific nations, including Malaysia and Vietnam, both of which are involved in the Trans-Pacific talks. A UNAIDS press release accompanying the report mentions the Trans-Pacific deal, and trade experts said the report is a clear rebuff to the American position.

"The report gives added ammunition to the opponents of the U.S. approach, which appears to include all of the eight non-U.S. countries" in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation "as well as a broad global civil society coalition," American University School of Law Professor Sean Flynn told HuffPost..."

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