3 Dec 2013

Australians may pay the price in Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement

A leaked draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal looks to have worrying intentions.

Australians could pay more for drugs and medicines, movies, computer games and software, and be placed under surveillance as part of a US-led crackdown on internet piracy, according to details of secret trade negotiations exposed by WikiLeaks.

A leaked draft of a controversial chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement reveals the negotiating positions of 12 countries including Australia on copyright, patents and other intellectual property issues, with a heavy focus on enforcement measures against internet piracy.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has indicated he is keen to see the trade talks pushed to a successful conclusion next month, saying that ''there's always horse-trading in these negotiations, but in the end … everyone is better off''.

Intellectual property law expert Matthew Rimmer said the draft was ''very prescriptive'' and strongly reflected US trade objectives and multinational corporate interests ''with little focus on the rights and interests of consumers, let alone broader community interests''.
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