Protect Access to Medicines in Trade Policy
To read the latest on the TPP, check out our two-pager HERE.
Since 2008, the Trans Pacific Partnership has been in the works. It has been mostly negotiated in secret, and then unveiled in 2015. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade deal that is currently being negotiated between the United States and 11 other countries. The leaked drafts include strengthening of intellectual property (IP) rules that enhance patent and data protection for pharmaceutical companies. International treatment initiatives, such as PEPFAR and the Global Fund, depend on affordable, generic prescription drugs to scale up their treatment programs. By restricting access to generic medicines, less people will receive treatment and fewer lives will be saved.
Since congress voted to "fast-track" Congress can only vote on the bill in its entirety, without proposing amendments. Fast-tracking this trade agreement was an attempt to push through a damaging, widely opposed trade agreement through undemocratic means. But the TPP can still be stopped with pressure from us.
Now is the time. From now until December 16th, the access to medicines movement must focus on stopping the TPP, which could come up for a vote anywhere from Nov. 14th-December 16th. This vote may be sudden, and every single vote will count, as it could come down to just a few votes needed to win.
For the rest of October and November, we are pushing to make sure Congress will not ratify the biggest trade deal in history.
What can you do this month to be an effective advocate? (October-December)
October 27: SGAC national call, Why is the TPP so bad for access to medicines, anyway?
- We know the TPP is bad, but why is it so bad exactly? Brook Baker, senior policy analyst at Health GAP and Northeastern University law professor, will explain the language and policies reflected in the TPP that will spell public health disaster. Hilary McQuie, Director of US Policy at Health GAP will explain what anti-TPP advocacy looks like on Capitol Hill, and Emily Sanderson, SGAC National Organizer, will explain what our grassroots strategy is between now and the end of Obama's term as president.
- To join, call: 267-930-4000, passcode 189-415-768.
- RSVP for the call here
Nov. 15: Nation-wide call-in and Thunderclap
- In September, when SGAC participated in this nation wide call-in, there were over 35,000 calls placed to the White House opposing the TPP in one day. 1.6 million people were reached via social media!
- We will be participating in the next nation-wide call in on November 15th. Mark it on your calendars, plan to table at your school, and get 5 friends to make the call after you do. We will send a script to the list-serv when the day comes closer. (Not on the listserv but want to be? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added, or sign-up on the website).
- Sign-up here for the Thunderclap via social media.
November 17: Protest the TPP in Washington D.C.
- A mobilization of allies from the labor movement, environmental activists, and access to medicines activists will rise up with our collective voice and tell Congress: NO TPP!
- When: November 17th, 1PM.
- Where: Upper Senate Park, 200 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC
- Want to go but need transportation? Email Emily: email@example.com to see if anyone from your area is also going to share rides.
- Join the Facebook event, and share with your friends.
- Call the D.C. office of your Representative (not sure who they are? Check here!) and ask what the Representative's position is on the TPP, and if they will vote no when it comes up for a vote.
- Request an in-district meeting with your Rep (through Nov. 8th). Because of congressional recess they will be in their home state, not Washington D.C. Here is the useful citizen lobbying kit you can use to share information with your Members of Congress.
- Search for bird-dogging opportunities where your Rep. will be speaking publicly, and ask them if they will oppose the TPP when it comes for a vote.
- Organize one call-in per week to their district office so that Members of Congress are hearing their constituents' opposition to the TPP.
- Get as many people as possible to fill out this form, including yourself, and we will let you know via phone or email that the TPP has gone up for a vote.