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The TPP, Mexico, and the Health Sector


Economies around the world are becoming increasingly intertwined as time goes by, leading to collaborative efforts by leading countries to devise legal frameworks that will result in further globalization. Policy makers have been effortlessly tracing out mechanisms to promote an underlying global paradigm that has been nurtured by the neoliberal school of thought for over four decades. Correspondingly, today marks the historic agreement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which, after years of negotiations, is likely to shape the future of free trade in the Pacific region.

The 12 countries that comprise the deal are the US, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, each of which stand to gain considerable benefits from the deal, ranging from the eventual disappearance of up to 18,000 import-export tariffs to the standardization of trade rules, which could lead to improved labor and environmental laws. TPP is expected to affect up to 40% of the global economy if the public and the countries involved approve the agreement when it comes up for a vote in 2016.

Christine Legarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has emphasized the positive implication of TPP by stating that its implementation will significantly generate profitability and create opportunities for both global commerce and foreign investment. Furthermore, Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico’s Minister of Economy, has claimed that the Asia-Pacific region will see the highest economic growth rates in the world, and Mexico will inevitably reap the rewards. Guajardo ensures that the TPP will further strengthen the integration of North America’s production chain, helping to create the most competitive commercial region in the world.

Mexico’s strategic geographical position gives the country a distinct advantage for engaging with markets around the globe, including those not included in the agreement. With this in mind, Mexico will “receive direct productive investment,” as Alfonso Navarrete Prida, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, explained. An upsurge in labor will follow foreign investment, playing a key part in Mexico’s economic fortuity with an increase and improvement in jobs. “The treaty will enable [Mexico] to have further economic growth, a solid workforce, and the expansion of industries where Mexico excels,” Navarrete Prida continued.

At EyeforPharma’s event, Market Access and Value Propositions with the Mexican Government 2015, COFEPRIS’ Commissioner Mikel Arriola stated that the TPP will provide the best standards for data protection and will bring balance to the pharmaceutical industry. Arriola also praised Mexico’s current regulation on data protection and noted that it will be easy for the country to implement the TPP.

The TPP raises several controversial points as its regulations also influence local economic activities including government purchases and IP protection. The agreement is raising strong concerns on healthcare, as its application could potentially impact many health policies especially in developing countries. Another concern is that, by stimulating trade among its members, countries that currently trade with Mexico may shift their trade to other members of the TPP thus reducing Mexico’s exports.


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