13th June 2016

Q: What do Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have in common, apart from being US presidential contenders? A: Both are highly critically of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Pacific Rim regional trade agreement.

“Yet President Obama is racing to get the agreement through the United States Congress, before the end of his term,” says QUT Professor Matthew Rimmer  who has convened the free Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program’s symposium on the TPP this Thursday, 16 June at the State Library of Queensland.

 “The future and the fate of the TPP are hanging in the balance.

“Opposition to the TPP has been running hot in the other countries involved in the agreement including Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

“This conference will provide an invaluable evaluation of the trade agreement, which promises to transform our region, for good or ill.”

Professor Rimmer said Australia was embroiled in election debate between the major and the minor parties over the process and substance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“Prime Minister Turnbull has said trade agreements will boost jobs and growth while Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has expressed reservations about the impact of trade agreements,” he said.

“The Greens and Nick Xenophon have promised to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“Other major partners have their doubts about the benefits of the TPP.

“In New Zealand, Maori communities have challenged the Trans-Pacific Partnership under the Treaty of Waitangi and the New Zealand Parliament has had much debate over it.

“In Canada, the new Trudeau Government has been engaged in consultations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

The symposium will consider the geopolitics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It will also focus upon the Intellectual Property Chapter of the agreement, and its ramifications for:

  • copyright law
  • trade mark law
  • patent law
  • biologics
  • trade secrets
  • Indigenous Intellectual Property

“The impact of Investor-State Dispute Settlement upon the public’s access to medicines, tobacco control, environmental regulation, and climate action are also on the agenda.

The symposium features leading experts from around the world – such as Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland, Professor Andrew Mitchell from the Melbourne Law School, Dr Abbe Brown from the University of Aberdeen, Dr Elizabeth Thurbon from the University of New South Wales, Dr Kyla Tienhaara from the ANU, and Dr Deborah Gleeson From La Trobe University.

QUT experts – Professor Matthew Rimmer, Dr Angela Daly, Hope Johnson, Jessica Stevens and Darshana Sumanadasa will also attend.

“This event highlights QUT’s deep research interest and commitment to law, innovation, business and the creative industries. The symposium also shows our sustained interest in international trade and the Pacific Rim.”

The event is free and open to the public. Registration here.

Media contact: Niki Widdowson, QUT Media, 07 3138 2999 or n.widdowson@qut.edu.au

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901 or media@qut.edu.au

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