Kuanpoth, Jakkrit, 2007, TRIPS-Plus Rules under Free Trade Agreements: An Asian Perspective, in C. Heath & A. Kamperman Sanders (Eds.), Intellectual Property & Free Trade Agreements, Oxford, the United Kingdom: Hart Publishing, 27-45.
To date, the United States has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with many countries including Chile, Jordan, Morocco, Panama, Bahrain, countries in Central America, the Andes, Southern Africa, and Asia (Singapore, Jordan, Vietnam, and Laos). Bilateral trade negotiations with Thailand are ongoing. Negotiations for a bilateral agreement between the US and Thailand started in October 2003 when George W. Bush visited Bangkok for the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. While negotiations with Thailand are underway, the US is also looking at three other ASEAN countries (Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia) as its next targets for bilateral FT As. The US-Thailand deal will drive talks for similar agreements with other Southeast Asian nations. This paper highlights important IP issues under the FT As that the US has entered into or proposes to sign with other countries. It also assesses the impact of TRIPS-plus rules in various FT As by focusing on the experiences of Asian countries. It explores major TRIPS-plus issues and considers the broad implications of such rules under various headings, including effects of TRIPS-plus rules on access to medicines, agriculture, and access to knowledge.