25 Nov 2013

Labour rubbishes claim of US bullying at trade talks

5:58 pm on 25 November 2013

Labour is rubbishing a claim that New Zealand trade negotiators are being bullied by their American counterparts to trade away the country's health.

Professor Jane Kelsey, from the University of Auckland said on Sunday the United States had adopted a strategy of exhaustion to force the other eleven countries taking part in Trans Pacific Partnership talk to submit to their demands.

She said America wants tougher copyright and patent rules on medicines and to stop access to cheaper generic ones bought by New Zealand's state drug agency, Pharmac.

Phil Goff expects negotiators to fight for  Pharmac.

Phil Goff expects negotiators to fight for Pharmac. Photo: LABOUR PARTY

But Labour's trade spokesperson Phil Goff said the United States has to get agreement from the other 11 countries trying to put together the deal.

And he said that while the US will be pushing hard for the interests of its pharmaceutical industry, he expects New Zealand negotiators will resist just as strongly.