AMA urges government to protect Australia's public health interests in trade agreements

12 Dec 2013

The AMA has written to the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO, urging the Government to ensure that policies that support public health in Australia are not compromised in the terms of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), which will be discussed by Trade Ministers next week.

AMA Vice President, Professor Geoffrey Dobb, said this week that free trade agreements should not erode sovereign control over Australia’s national health policy, including the ability of governments to regulate industries that produce goods that contribute to the growing burden of non-communicable diseases, such as tobacco, alcohol, and highly processed foods. He added that the Government must insist that future trade agreements, including the TPPA, do not extend the intellectual property rights of patent holders, interfere with the operation of the PBS, or provide foreign corporations with investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) rights to challenge domestic public health policies.

Full media release.