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You are here: Home News #TalkAboutIt: Five ways the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could affect you

#TalkAboutIt: Five ways the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could affect you

ABC News (Australia); Clara Tran; 7/23/15

ABC News

Consumer group Choice has warned that Australians could be worse off under the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, as trade ministers meet next week in Hawaii to try to finalise the agreement.

The controversial deal covers 40 per cent of the global economy and involves 12 countries around the Pacific rim, including Australia and the United States.

Advocates say the pact, which has been negotiated in secret since 2010, will boost investment opportunities and lower trade barriers.

But critics have concerns.

"This is going across every sector you could imagine of the economy, from the way we use the internet to the price of medicines," Matt Levey, spokesman for consumer group Choice, told the ABC.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stated the TPP could mean "everyone is better off".

So, here are five ways the TPP could affect you.

Tighter copyright laws

Under the TPP, Australia and other countries may impose criminal penalties for those found guilty of copyright infringement.

Mr Levey said the deal would likely see the criminalisation of copyright provisions that up until now have been civil penalties.

"So it might be taking a selfie inside a movie theatre and having some of the film visible in the background," he said.

You're talking about taking that into an offence which wouldn't previously existed. Once you bring in a harsher copyright regime, it's very hard to reform."

Mr Levey said there was a possibility the TPP could also harm Australian innovation in a digital world.

"Our big concern is that by signing up to the provisions in the TPP, we're potentially going to lock Australia into the last century, when we actually need a copyright system that's reformed for the future."

Supporters argue that copyright protections in the TPP promote the creation of new works.

"Companies won't do this work unless the original is protected by copyright," Annissa Brennan, from the the Motion Picture Association of America, was quoted as saying by news service Intellectual Property Watch.

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