While the TPP will take many years to actually implement, it is likely to mean a major change in trade relations between the USA and TPP members.
Nonetheless, the fact that Thailand is not presently set to join the TPP has caused concern and confusion among Thailand’s business leaders.
Thailand’s objections to the TPP
1) drug patents: the time taken to release generic drugs, as well as the potential for price increases due to ‘data exclusivity’;
2) patents on plants and animals: local communities may be negatively affected, and there’s increased risk of ‘bio-piracy’;
3) geographical identification: trademarks concerns about other countries registering Thai products as their own;
4) copyright law: increased copyright protection may hinder knowledge transfer. See the image below for more details.
Can Thailand still join the TPP?
It is still possible for Thailand to join the TPP; however, negotiations would need to take place with each country individually.
If the 12 existing countries agree to allow Thailand to join it would be a case of submitting the correct documents and committing to comply with the rules of the TPP.
Now that the TPP has been made public, it may be easier for Thailand to enter negotiations.
While previous governments had to consider the public reaction to secretive negotiations, the fact that the document can now be read in full means that arguments can be made both for and against with clear supporting evidence.