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Three Reasons Why the TPP Should Trouble the LGBT Community: Brunei, Malaysia, and Increased Costs for HIV/AIDS Medicine

For Immediate Release: October 5, 2015

Contact: Jerame Davis, jdavis@prideatwork.org, 202-637-5014

Three Reasons Why the TPP Should Trouble the LGBT Community: Brunei, Malaysia, and Increased Costs for HIV/AIDS Medicine

Washington – The following is a statement from Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis reacting to the news that the 12 nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have reached an agreement:

“The LGBT community and our allies should be deeply troubled by the details of the TPP agreement.

“The inclusion of Brunei and Malaysia in the TPP greatly undermines the Administration’s commitment to LGBT equality worldwide. Despite nearly two years of effort on our part, the Administration has not offered a rational explanation how the inclusion of Brunei and Malaysia, with their terrible human rights records with regard to women and LGBT people, will be held accountable for the abuse and mistreatment of these two groups. Just recently, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that “his country’s government will not defend LGBT rights and other issues that are not within the ‘context of Islam.’”

“Meanwhile, the TPP will increase the cost of HIV/AIDS and other medications by extending patents on certain biologically derived drugs. This will reduce access to these life-saving medications. In some poorer countries, like Vietnam, studies have shown that nearly 70% of those receiving HIV/AIDS medications could lose access if the TPP goes into effect. We cannot let the race to the bottom for global profit halt our progress in containing and fighting back against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

“Our trade deals should put people before profits, but TPP does just the opposite.”

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Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization and an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations.) We organize mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community for social and economic justice. In addition to national Pride at Work, more than 20 Chapters organize at the state and local level around the country.

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