TPP takes another tiny step forward

Communiques don't mention deadlines, though

Intellectual property negotiations remain a key roadblock in the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, according to a statement released after the Beijing meeting of trade ministers and negotiators.

While the 12 nations' heads of government agreed to “make concluding this agreement a top priority”, the leaders' statement somehow neglects to mention a timeframe.

In a second "report to leaders" statement published by the US Trade Representative on behalf of the negotiating countries, the treaty's IP provisions are identified as remaining a challenge.

Aside from what's emerged through leaks, the report to leaders statement provides probably the most comprehensive summary of the thrust of the TPP published so far.

On IP issues, the statement says:

“This is one of the most complex and challenging areas of the agreement, but we have made substantial progress in developing common approaches that will promote creative and technological advances that will benefit all of us. We also have worked hard to strike an appropriate balance that ensures our citizens’ access to medicines and to fair use of on-line content, and that reflects the diversity of TPP economies.”

It's worth noting that controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions aren't mentioned at all in the report to leaders, perhaps indicating that these provisions have been signed off by the 12 countries involved in the TPP negotiations. ®

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