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Countries struggling to strike free trade agreement   
Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Produced by Melissa Lahoud

Story audio


Australia is one of nine countries heads down in talks over a proposed Trans-Pacific trade deal at a meeting in Melbourne this week. The countries involved include Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Vietnam and America.

The American government is pushing for tougher intellectual property laws as part of the deal, and there are concerns this could threaten the delivery of affordable medicine in developing countries. For the moment the talks have hit a stand still over another issue. The United States is also pushing to give businesses the right to take legal action against foreign governments – which is a clause the Australian government stands firmly against.

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Deborah Gleeson - lecturer in the school of public health at La Trobe University

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