Shop Talk

Some concerned about Trans-Pacific Partnership process

Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners whether they support giving President Barack Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which seeks to increase and support U.S. economic growth by increasing exports to some of the world’s most robust economies. This is what they said.

▪ “We are concerned about the process of ‘evergreening,’” said Nancy Ruffner, CEO of Navigate NC, a senior advocacy services company. “Everyone knows drug costs decrease when patents expire (and hence access to healthcare would increase). If allowed, Evergreening means Big Pharma could patent, change the formulation and get another patent, keeping high prices and profits ever-patented, and out of reach for many.”

▪ “I do not support giving President Obama authority to negotiate the (Trans-Pacific Partnership),” said Terry Walser, CEO of TriMetro Security Services. “There is not enough transparency surrounding this issue. The American people must be kept current with the latest strategies in this rapid changing economic environment.”

▪ “I do support TPP because I believe it will help to lower prices (keep inflation down) for consumers in the USA, pressure China to play more fairly when it sees many of its trading partners warming up to the U.S. with more trade, and hopefully open up more markets in areas where the U.S. can effectively compete,” said Freddy Cannady, president and founder of medical device company Vesocclude Medical. “It’s also my understanding that our service industries – finance, engineering, software, education, legal, information technology, etc – … will have an opportunity to shine.”

▪ “No I do not,” said Johnny Bass, owner of Bass Business Solutions in Elm City. “Since becoming President, Barack Obama has done more to harm small business than anyone I am aware of in my lifetime, including the largest tax increase in recent history, the Affordable Care Act. He has also allowed the EPA, OSHA, Department of Labor and other federal agencies to issue tens of thousands of regulations, which small businesses do not have the time, skill sets or resources to understand and comply with. I therefore am of the opinion anything he wishes to do is not good for small business.”