Long knives emerging in fight for TPP

The ink's not even dry yet on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) announced this past Monday in Atlanta (and the specific details on many sections remain undisclosed), but the fight to get the 12-nation pact approved by the countries' respective legislatures and parliaments is already heating up.

U.S. President Barack Obama

In the United States, the pact faces a mind-numbing cast of enemies and backers who at one time were either against the deal and are now for it or were for it but are now against it. The deal faces a hostile Republican-led Congress that normally would rather slit its collective wrists than hand President Barack Obama any kind of victory but finds itself faced with the fact that many Republicans favor "free trade" and backed Obama on fast-track approval for TPP. Ironically, Obama may face more opposition from his fellow Democrats.

For example, Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton came out this week as against the pact and said the section dealing with biologic drug protection was only one reason why she was now against the deal after voicing her support for it in 2012 while she was secretary of state.

In a statement released to reporters traveling with her in Iowa, Clinton said she could not support the agreement and said specifically one reason was that she wanted to "make sure we're not putting the interests of drug companies ahead of patients and consumers," according to a report in the Washington Post.

Officials in New Zealand, meanwhile, are worried that the TPP will threaten access to generics because the pact will force governments to allow drug companies sufficient time to file court actions when applications are filed for approval of generics, according to a report on the website stuff.co.nz.

And in Malaysia, critics of TPP say the country will lose "affordable access" to lifesaving drugs because that country currently has no data protection for biologics and will now face a block on generics for at least 8 years. Malaysian MP Charles Santiago told the Malaysian Insider newspaper that the TPP pact is going "against what the government committed to the people," the Insider reported.

- here's a story from the Washington Post
- and a report from stuff.co.nz
- more from the Malaysian Insider