- By Pooky and Tammy, this blog economics and humanity journalist
A group of 13 Thai AIDS/HIV activist have called for the Thai government to open-up Thai-US trade talks to public scrutiny-as leaked information points to a “Very Satisfied” US trade officials.
“The negotiation with the USTR is important and would benefit Thailand, however the talks must be open for public scrutiny,” said the AIDS/HIV activist coalition.
Thailand’s AIDS/HIV activist have successfully bridge US drug companies hold on AIDS/HIV medication, that resulted cheap production in Thailand-that dismissed US patents.
“We are concerned that the trade talk will only focus on trading that benefit the industries that are supporting the government,” said the activist coalition.
The reaction from the US on the patent-breaking was mixed, with senior US government official endorsing the Thai move, however, the US drug industry was outraged and placed great pressure at both the US Congress and the US administration.
“Why is the US suddenly greatly satisfied with trade relations? Why was that kept a secret? Have something been traded away?” said the activist coalition.
The activist coalition is concerned that the current government will trade away public health interest away for the US to lift Thailand from the “Priority Watch List.” The list serves as a notice that the USTR many take preferential import tariff away.
A few weeks ago, the USTR inspected Thailand’s jewelry industry for the possibility of taking preferential US import tax away. The Thai jewelry industry is one of many sectors under review by the US.