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As secret talks continue apace to put in place the so-called Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, an awareness is slowly building that the trade deal will benefit only one party - the US - to the detriment of the eight other countries involved.

One person who has done much to make others aware of the one-sided nature of the proposed pact, despite the secrecy that surrounds the negotiations, is Krista Cox (pictured), staff attorney for Knowledge Ecology International (KEI).

KEI, says Cox, is "a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that searches for better outcomes, including new solutions to the management of knowledge resources with a focus on the social justice and human rights context".

Earlier this year, KEI leaked the IP draft of the TPPA, leaving people in no doubt as to the extent to which the Americans are willing to go in order to subjugate the rights of others to their desire for increased profits.

iTWire recently highlighted the efforts being made by the New Zealand group NZRise during the round of talks in Vietnam in June to inform delegates about the nature of the talks; Cox was able to organise presentations to delegates during the most recent round of TPPA talks in Chicago. She has also written a detailed account of the talks in Chicago.

A framework agreement for the TPPA is expected to be announced by US President Barack Obama at the APEC summit in November.

iTWire spoke to Cox about the TPPA and the implications it has for the eight countries - Peru, Malaysia, Australia, Chile, Vietnam, New Zealand, Brunei, and Singapore - that are involved in the negotiations with the US.

iTWire: First, can you tell us a little bit about what you do.
Don Christie
Krista Cox: I'm the staff attorney for Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that searches for better outcomes, including new solutions to the management of knowledge resources with a focus on the social justice and human rights context. We believe that knowledge resources need to be managed in ways that are more efficient, fair and responsive to human needs.

KEI undertakes and publishes research and new ideas, engages in global public interest advocacy, provides technical advice to governments and other groups, enhances transparency of policy making, monitors the actions of key actions, among other activities. My work at KEI, and my previous employment at Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), has focused on intellectual property issues and its interplay with human rights and social justice.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.