Thai civil society groups welcome your visit to Thailand. We are aware that over the last 3-4 years, the United States has faced one of the most serious economic crises in its history. You have promised the people that you will right the wrongs of Wall Street and to pay attention to Main Street, and the 99%. More than 50 million Americans are not able to access health care. The United States is the only developed country in the world which does not have a national public health care system. We learn that you have made a commitment to extend access to health care through ObamaCare.
However, the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement you are pushing for, and inviting Thailand to join, will push us in the opposite direction. The TPP will push the people in the different countries within this Agreement towards the same destiny as those American people excluded from health care.
From the substance of the negotiations which have leaked out to the public, we have learned that the TPP agreement will:
- help allow the pharmaceutical industry to push up the price of medicines both inside and outside the country, consolidate their monopolies, and gain profits for even longer periods. There is a pharmaceutical chapter, which restricts negotiation on the prices of medicines and dismantles efforts to regulate the appropriate use of medicines within the health care system;
- increase the power of the giant transnational corporations in attempts to abolish a variety of national laws and public policies, which are there to protect public health from harmful products such as tobacco and alcohol, and to protect the environment and the resource base, through petitions to the International Arbiter;
- undermine financial security through restricting the country’s right to use measures and policies on the movement of finance capital in order to maintain economic stability, as well as enforce laws related to consumer protection;
- destroy the freedom of the internet by monitoring content and restricting the rights of the people, in the name of preventing copyright violation;
- destroy the principles of transparency, through a veil of secrecy, failing to divulge the content and the impacts that will arise from the TPP Agreement, and authorizing business representatives to join in these negotiations.
We are fully aware that PhRMA and the giant pharmaceutical companies, including those who are able to find finance in Wall Street, were some of the major funders who helped support your electoral campaign. They gave more money to support you in your fight to be re-elected as president, than in the elections in 2008. This could mean you will have to break your promise to the American people by using their tax dollars to support these businesses and building an ObamaCare that will be a compromise with the pharmaceutical industry so that they can still make profits from it, while the American people get very little benefit.
But we will not let you use the lives of the people in our country as if we are life-jackets for the failed US economy, or as a reward for the financial power of these capital groups which allowed you to return to the White House for another 4 years, despite not being able to keep a single one of the promises which you gave to the people.
So we strongly urge you to keep your word to create employment for American people, without using the blood of people in other countries, regulate the many financial institutions and banks, put checks on their enormous power, control the pharmaceutical companies to behave ethically and only seek proportionate profits, build transparency, stop hiding information from the people, and most importantly, stop hitting your knees on the floor when corporations knock on your door.
Chair Person of FTA Watch
The Thai Network of People living with HIV/AIDS (TNP+)
Renal Failure Patient Group
Alternative Agricultural Network
Rural Pharmacists Foundation
Drug Study Group
Thai NGO Coalition on AIDS
Foundation for AIDS Rights
AIDS ACCESS Foundation
Foundation for Consumers
Health and Development Foundation
Thai Holistic Health Foundation
Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH)
Focus on the Global South
Coordinator: Mr.Jacques-chai Chomthongdi +66-84-805-0666
Mr.Chalermsak Kittitrakul +66-81-612-9551