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NEWS: Trew says CETA negotiations not transparent

Pharma Times reports, “The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (is) due to enter final negotiation rounds in September and October… One of the problems is the perceived lack of openness with which the CETA negotiations have been conducted, and no public consultation. …One ‘especially ridiculous’ claim by the government is that CETA has been ‘one of the most transparent trade negotiations in Canadian history,’ says Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians, the nation’s biggest citizens’ organisation. In fact, ‘the text of the agreement is secret. And even if Harper gets to the point of signing CETA, there are few options for making any changes to the deal once it is making its way through the parliamentary process,’ he says. If Canada’s federal and provincial governments move ahead with CETA, ‘they should give Canadians a chance to decide what parts should be changed or maybe pulled out entirely before it is signed,’ said Mr Trew, adding: ‘there should be no changes to Canada’s (prescription drug) patent regime’ (that would further increase drug and health care costs)…” The article is at http://www.pharmatimes.com/Article/12-08-31/EU_trade_deals_concerns_over_drug_access.aspx.