On Monday at Round 8 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a white paper
outlining a new USTR strategic initiative, Trade Enhancing Access to Medicines (TEAM).
TEAM offers trade policy tools to promote trade and reduce obstacles to access to both new and generic medicines, while supporting innovation for developing new medicines, USTR said.
The white paper describes how, under the TEAM approach, the United States proposes to work with partners Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam to:
• Expedite access to new and generic medicines through a “TPP access window.”
• Enhance legal certainty for manufacturers of generic medicines.
• Eliminate tariffs on medicines.
• Reduce customs obstacles to medicines.
• Curb trade in counterfeit medicines.
• Reduce internal barriers to distribution of medicines.
• Promote transparency and procedural fairness.
• Minimize unnecessary regulatory barriers.
• Reaffirm TPP Parties’ commitment to the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.
“The truth is, trade policy by itself can’t address all the challenges of access to medicines, but we believe trade policy can be a meaningful component of the Obama Administration’s broad effort to promote that access,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, in statement.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago are expected to continue through Sept. 15.