World Trade Organization (WTO) members, including the US, are discussing a TRIPS waiver for intellectual property rights associated with COVID vaccines and treatments. The US has historically been opposed, but President Biden’s newly confirmed US Trade Representative Katherine Tai promised during confirmation to fully consider the issue.
I recognize the critical importance of ensuring widespread access to lifesaving vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics, treatments, and other key products worldwide in order to counter the pandemic and enable global economic recovery. If confirmed, I commit to examining the TRIPS waiver proposal thoroughly to determine its efficacy in enhancing our global health security and saving lives.
[Tai Testimony – Questions for the Record: KatherineTaiSenateFinanceCommitteeQFRs2.28.2021].
IPO recently provided its input on behalf of US patent owners — arguing that there is “no data to suggest that patents and other IP rights are hindering vaccine development or delivery.” [Joint-IP-Association-Letter-Regarding-TRIPS-Waiver-Proposal-March-30-2020]