Nation of Beancounters

HIV activists oppose the EU-India Free Trade Agreement

Posted in Uncategorized by Navin Kumar on February 12, 2012

Via India Real Time:

Activists say that the draft agreement, parts of which have been leaked, includes provisions that would tighten intellectual property rights and make it a lot harder for Indian pharmaceutical companies to produce and export cheap generic drugs.

Piero Gandini, the head of the humanitarian aid organization Médicins Sans Frontières in India, described the potential fallout of the deal as a “disaster.”

Note that what the activists are opposed to is not free trade: it’s the tightening of Intellectual Property laws. I keep seeing this repeatedly: the conflation of free trade (no restrictions on the movement of goods and services between countries) and neo-liberalism (a wide ranging set of policy recommendations, from broad-based taxes to floating exchange rates , one of which is trade liberalization). It’s happened on this blog.

This is not an argument against free trade. This is an argument against tight IP.

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