By Richard Chirgwin, 12th January 2014 .
An Australian government minister has said he expects the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to be finalised soon.
Talks on the treaty – which has been criticised for following a corporate America agenda on issues like patents, copyright law, and investor-state dispute settlement – stalled late last year.
At the time, the US negotiator noted that the Salt Lake City talks “were not progressing according to plan”.
Now, Australia's trade minister Andrew Robb has told The Australian that the treaty is “ready to be sealed. A few big things have to end up back on the table yet, but it is close.” The story is here, but paywalled.
It seems that Robb does not believe copyright criminalisation, the “evergreening” of pharmaceutical patents, or copyright extension – three issues over which America found itself more or less isolated in December in Salt Lake City – are still contentious. He told The Australian the TPP “requires some market access issues to be put on the table”.
Robb highlighted only agricultural issues as still to be resolved. ®