WASHINGTON -- WikiLeaks on Wednesday published a critical chapter of an international trade deal the United States is currently negotiating with 11 Pacific nations.

The document confirms what some public health experts and Internet freedom advocates had long feared: The Obama administration is aggressively pursuing terms that would increase the cost of medicines and hamper an open Internet.

"The U.S. is refusing to back down from dangerous provisions that will impede timely access to affordable medicines," said Judit Rius Sanjuan, U.S. manager of the Access Campaign at Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian group that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000.

Most major provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership document, which is dated at Aug. 30, are nearly identical to previous leaks that drew criticism from tech activists and consumer groups. But the public disclosure of which countries support or object to which terms, is new. The U.S. government considers the draft text to be classified, a status which has stymied access for congressional aides, and prevented some lawmakers from airing their complaints.

"The Obama administration’s proposals are the worst –- the most damaging for health we have seen in a U.S. trade agreement to date,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s global access to medicines program.

Countries that violate the terms of trade agreements can be sued in international courts.

The TPP deal would explicitly empower corporations to directly challenge government laws and regulations, a political power that World Trade Organization treaties have reserved for other sovereign nations. The U.S. has endorsed such corporate political powers in previous trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement. Companies including Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemical and Eli Lilly have attempted to invoke NAFTA to overrule Canadian regulations on offshore oil drilling, fracking, pesticides, drug patents and other issues.

"With both copyright and patent, the really alarming thing is, there's talk about major systemic changes that could be made in the next couple of years," said Parker Higgins, spokesman for the internet freedom group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "The last thing we want to do is crystallize current U.S. law in a trade agreement that we would have to renegotiate."

The administration, however, rejected criticism that it is pursuing an unhealthy deal.

"We are working with Congress, stakeholders, and our TPP negotiating partners to reach an outcome that promotes high-paying jobs in innovative American industries and reflects our values, including by seeking strong and balanced copyright protections, as well as advancing access to medicines while incentivizing the development of new, lifesaving drugs," said Carol Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The leaked document shows U.S. negotiators pursuing a host of policies that could drive up medical costs by extending drug companies' and other corporations' monopolies on their products beyond the normal 20-year patent term. These provisions include standards to lengthen patent terms, expand the criteria for which countries must grant drug patents, require countries to issue new patents on minor alterations to a drug, and establish barriers on the use of pharmaceutical test data, all of which prevent market competition from generic drugs.

A coalition of five nations consistently offered alternatives to the U.S. language, including New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Chile and Malaysia. The only language mitigating this effort to drive up drug prices is a vague exemption for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria drugs.

"The obligations of this Chapter do not and should not prevent a Party from taking measures to protect public health by promoting access to medicines for all, in particular concerning cases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, [US oppose: chagas] and other epidemics as well as circumstances of extreme urgency or national emergency," the document reads.

Prior WTO agreements have included similar protections, but the U.S. has repeatedly brought political pressure against countries that attempted to grant access to generic AIDS drugs. The U.S. has had several recent disputes with India over the country's decision to issue a $157 generic cancer drug for which Bayer had charged more than $5,000 a month.

"People die from cancer, too," notes Sanjuan. "The public health challenges we see in the countries where we work are much broader than HIV, TB and malaria. Even if this is a sincere effort at a solution, it's a fake solution and won't really work."

The draft's copyright standards would require countries to adopt digital distribution rules similar to those the United States has had in place since the late 1990s. Those rules have come under fire for establishing a host of legal liabilities for normal internet functions. The rules have made tech start-ups targets of costs and legal threats from movie studios and record labels, and created conflicts over simple actions like linking to copyrighted content.

The U.S. has avoided some of the most damaging implications of its broad copyright definitions by relying on a robust set of exemptions, including fair use and other terms that permit using some copyrighted information without paying royalties. But the TPP draft would establish a narrow international standard for fair use, and thwart other types of exemptions. EFF and others have warned against exporting the U.S. copyright criteria without including U.S.-style exemptions.

WikiLeaks, the government transparency organization, released the document on the same day that 151 congressional Democrats sent a letter to President Barack Obama objecting to the "fast-track" process the president hopes to use to approve the TPP deal. Two separate letters from dozens of House Democrats and Republicans objecting to the same process were sent to Obama on Tuesday.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Obama Is Not An American Citizen

    One of the most popular Obama conspiracy theories (aka the Birther Movement), endorsed (or not denied) by the likes of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/_263532.html">Tom Delay</a>, <a href=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/_251393.html>Lou Dobbs</a>, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/_250891.html">Chuck Norris</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/_242555.html">Liz Cheney</a>, it claims that Obama is not an American citizen, thus rendering his presidency illegitimate, or something. The theory hinges on the false claim that his birth certificate is fake. Birther queen Orly Taitz (a lawyer and dentist from California) continues to lead the march, despite her lawsuit getting <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/29/orly-taitz-lawsuit-thrown_n_338870.html">thrown out</a> and a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/13/orly-taitz-slapped-with-2_n_318546.html">$20,000 fine</a>.

  • Obama Wants "Re-Education Camps For Young People

    Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a proponent of many bizarre and outlandish critiques of President Obama, declared in April that the White House was trying to install <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/06/bachmann-obama-wants-re-e_n_183552.html">youth re-education camps</a>. "It's under the guise of -- quote -- volunteerism. But it's not volunteers at all. It's paying people to do work on behalf of government," said the Minnesota Republican. "I believe that there is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concerns is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums."

  • Larry Sinclair's Rabbit Hole Of Insanity

    This one is a doozy. Larry Sinclair, <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0608/11164.html">a petty criminal specializing in forgery</a>, spread wild accusations via YouTube involving <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/18/obama-accuser-larry-sincl_n_107900.html">gay sex, drugs and possible murder committed by Barack Obama</a>. At one point reporters apparently took Sinclair seriously enough to attend a press conference he gave, most remarkable for his lawyer's appearance in a kilt, which he explained was intended to secure comfort for his unusually large sexual organs: "Those at the other end of the spectrum find [pants] quite confining."

  • The Case Of The Fake Thesis

    In which a group of right-wingers get taken in by a satiric blog post on Barack Obama's college thesis, written ages ago, and frantically presented as real. The post, which was tagged as SATIRE, described how <em>Time</em> Magazine's Joe Klein had obtained ten pages of a thesis written by Barack Obama, in which he wrote about how the Constitution was "inherently flawed." Then Rush Limbaugh and Michael Ledeen presented this story as <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/23/fake-obama-thesis-story-g_n_332255.html">fact</a>.

  • Bill Ayers Wrote 'Dreams From My Father"

    A popular theory on right-wing websites like <a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2101151/posts">The Free Republic</a>, <a href="http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/who_wrote_dreams_from_my_fathe_1.html">American Thinker</a> and <a href="http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=110784">WorldNetDaily</a>, claiming that educator (and former radical) Bill Ayers helped Obama write "Dreams Of My Father." There is <a href="http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/category/books/">no evidence</a> supporting this claim.

  • Obama As Antichrist

    Is Obama the Antichrist? <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDB5BFoSQLs&feature=player_embedded">These</a> <a href="http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/antichrist.asp">folks</a> think maybe so. McCain also verged on endorsing this theory during the campaign season with an attack ad called "<a href="http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1830590,00.html">The One.</a>"

  • Obama As Muslim

    A theory that began circulating during the campaign season and has been kept alive by Tea Partiers, and other ultra-conservatives. It's taken different forms over the year (<a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/6516016/Will-Obama-Swearin-on-the-Holy-Koran-or-the-Holy-Bible-After-Attacking-Jesus-Sermon-on-the-Mount">Will Obama be sworn into office on Qur'an??</a>, asks one website.) Most recently Tea Party leader Mark Williams had a meltdown on CNN, and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/15/tea-party-leader-melts-do_n_286933.html">claimed</a> that Obama was an "Indonesian Muslim" and a "welfare thug." According to Obama and those who know him, this is not so.

  • Tells America In His Acceptance Speech To "Serve Satan"

    Ever listened to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" backwards? How about Obama's presidential acceptance speech? This video suggests that the speech, like the Zeppelin song, contains a Satanic message when played in reverse. Go ahead - take a bong hit, try it and tell us what you hear.

  • Hugo Chavez Funded The Obama Campaign

    Did Hugo Chavez fund the Obama campaign? No. But some people thought so after a Fox News affiliate issued a false report claiming that <a href="http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/chavez.asp">he did</a>.

  • Michelle Banished Barack's Girlfriend To The Caribbean

    One of the few conspiracy theories to go after the Obamas' marriage. The claim is that Michelle banished Barack's female aide (and suspected lover) to the Caribbean. Every person involved, including the woman, says this is <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1076695/Obama-hit-affair-smears-following-claims-attractive-aide-banned-wife.html">false</a>.

  • Obama Is Malcolm X's Son

    Initiated by the author of the <a href="http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/10/how-could-stanl.html">Atlas Shrugged</a> blog and claiming that Obama is actually Malcolm X's son. As Ezra Klein <a href="http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?month=10&year=2008&base_name=obama_x">pointed out</a> at the time: "Honestly, who wouldn't give Malcolm props for that one?" Klein continued: "And think there's anyway we can fit Tupac into the bloodline? Or maybe Obama actually is Tupac? You know that whole shooting was some bullshit, right? Incidentally, I see no reason to stop with Malcolm. History is full of great Xs for Barack Obama to be related to. Professor X, which would explain why millions of white people lose their minds in his presence. Weapon X, which would explain the adamantium grafted onto his skeleton. XML, which would explain why it's so easy to structure his data. I'm sure there are others."