United States - Thailand Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Potential Effects on Pharmaceutical Patent Protection in Thailand
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CitationUnited States - Thailand Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Potential Effects on Pharmaceutical Patent Protection in Thailand (2006 Third Year Paper)
AbstractBenefits and losses that a country would get from entering into a free trade agreement are often controversial and rise to national debate. This is especially apparent for negotiations between developed and developing countries, where there are large discrepancies between the bargaining power and the policies on national growth and development of each party. Numerous debates have dealt with the topics covered under the current U.S. â€“ Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. One such topic is the contentious negotiations on intellectual property rights regarding pharmaceutical patents. The negotiations will affect the level of pharmaceutical patent protection in Thailand, as the U.S. tends to negotiate for TRIPS-plus protection. This paper discusses the potential impact of FTA negotiations on law and policies involving pharmaceutical patents in Thailand, an issue which has a direct effect on the Thai public heath system. By focusing the discussion on Thailandâ€™s perspective, Part I of the paper provides background information on the current status of the FTA negotiations. Part II examines the international and Thai legal regime on pharmaceutical patent protection. Part III analyzes the major potential issues that the U.S. might propose through FTA negotiations regarding pharmaceutical patent protection and their impact on Thailand. Since the FTA is currently in the negotiation phase, I discuss the issue by analyzing the TRIPS Agreement position as well as the FTA that the U.S. has entered into with Singapore, as it is the model FTA that the U.S. will use for negotiations with other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The conclusion then develops proposals for Thailandâ€™s negotiating position.
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