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Time to stock up on drugs

November 18th, 2004

The Free trade deal with the US has been settled.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, in Santiago, Chile for the APEC meeting, said Australia had agreed to what he said were some minor changes at the request of the US.

But that won’t affect the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, he said.

And if you believe that, I have a very profitable and mutually advantageous deal with a Nigerian bank manager in which you might be interested/

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  1. John Quiggin
    November 18th, 2004 at 11:41 | #1

    In the interest of civil discussion, and without making any judgements as to rights and wrongs, I’ve deleted all the comments on this post so far.

    I’ll restart by asking if anyone knows whether the letters that are supposed to be exchanged at this point are public documents, and if so, where they can be found.

  2. Katz
    November 18th, 2004 at 11:46 | #2

    Have I missed something?

  3. Tom DC/VA
    November 18th, 2004 at 12:06 | #3

    Not really, Katz.

    I still don’t understand how this treaty is a net plus for Australia, and if it is not, why it was signed by Howard. Any pointers?

  4. November 18th, 2004 at 13:33 | #4

    I believe it (that there will be no effect on PBS, not the Nigerian letters).

    The debate about the benefits is on the public record. If you disagree with the analysis, state your reasons (as JQ has). If you haven’t read the analysis… then… well… just jump to whatever conclusion is the most convenient.

  5. November 18th, 2004 at 13:36 | #5


    But because I posted that link… you probably shouldn’t trust it.

  6. John Quiggin
    November 18th, 2004 at 13:49 | #6

    The link is to the final text of the agreement (from June) rather than to the exchange of letters.

    Those interested in my views can search the site for “FTA”.

  7. Factory
    November 18th, 2004 at 18:39 | #7

    Hmm on the radio Costello said that the changes were about copyright matters.

  8. November 18th, 2004 at 20:51 | #8

    A mate suggested that the best part of the FTA for howard was his personal opportunities apres retirement for making deals in the US.
    I tend to agree.

  9. November 18th, 2004 at 20:57 | #9

    Thanks for the link to the text of the agreement – I hadn’t seen it before. Flipping through Chapter 17 (Intellectual Property), it seems that we agreed to implementing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act here in Australia. Oh joy.

  10. November 18th, 2004 at 22:56 | #10

    Some people just never get it…
    Property rights, investments flows, property bubbles and speculation are all the epitome of business’ justifications for this FTA: mo’business’ mo’business, The more, the betta. The sooner, the betta!

    Issues of Sovereignty, Intellectual Property and Copyrights, Sustainability, New Technology, GMO’s and other abstracts, are just beyond their intellect… They don’t even try to understand them.

    Moral and Intellectual Propriety are well beyond their grasp!

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