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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Monday, August 09, 2004  

Bilateral Trade Agreements = Blackmail?

Those pesky French people are always trying to make us look bad:
In a move reminiscent of the exclusion bilateral agreements that the US signed with regard to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court; the US is now entering bilateral agreements with developing countries that produce generic drugs to opt out of the August 2003 waiver agreement.

This bribery and blackmail was the focus of a statement made by France's President Jacques Chirac at the recent Aids conference in Bangkok. The Guardian of U.K. reported that Chirac accused America of blackmailing developing countries into giving up their right to produce cheap drugs for Aids victims.

Chirac said there existed a real problem of favourable trade deals being dangled before poor nations in return for those countries halting production of life-saving generic drugs. These cheap drugs compete with identical but more expensive patented varieties made by the world's largest pharmaceutical companies.

"Making certain countries drop these measures in the framework of bilateral trade negotiations would be tantamount to blackmail, since what is the point of starting treatment without any guarantee of having quality and affordable drugs in the long term?" Mireille Guigaz, France's global ambassador on Aids, said: "It is a question
between the United States and developing countries, and the way the US wants to put pressure on developing countries who try to stand up for their own industries. We do not wish countries' hands [to be] tied by bilateral agreements."
And elsewhere in the article, those Mozambicans want to develop their OWN health sector instead of depending on us... why would they want to do that?
The Mozambicans wanted to move gradually and to strengthen their health sector at the same time. They did not want to use nongovernmental organisations where the Americans would pay the salaries, buy the drugs and purchase the vehicles that would travel to the villages to distribute the drugs.

posted by Anjali Taneja | 8/09/2004 07:39:00 PM | |


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