AFTE STATEMENT ON PROPOSAL TO WAIVE IP TRADE OBLIGATIONS FOR COVID-19
WASHINGTON (December 1) — Today, the Alliance for Trade Enforcement released the following statement on the proposal before the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive certain intellectual property rules in response to the COVID-19 crisis:
“Since 1994, the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS, has provided a sound and balanced framework to protect intellectual property rights and address intellectual property violations around the world. It has helped foster the creation of new medicines and technologies, accelerated global economic growth, and incentivized investment into research and development.
“AFTE believes the proposal put before the TRIPS Council by India and South Africa is unnecessary and counterproductive. TRIPS is the embodiment of the worldwide understanding that reliable intellectual property protection serves the public good by incentivizing investment in the development of new innovations, including new medicines and new vaccines. Adopting this proposal would undermine the very innovators who are working so hard to develop the cures and treatments that we need not just for COVID-19, but for all manner of terrible diseases now and in the future.
“The TRIPS Council should not act in a way that gives credence to longstanding anti-intellectual property sentiment. The very fact that so many vaccines and treatments are in the development pipeline and nearing distribution to the public speaks to how the system made possible by TRIPS is working and serving the public good as intended.
“Everyone hopes for a swift end to the present crisis, and for the wide availability of a safe and effective vaccine. But this proposal will do nothing to serve either goal. The Alliance for Trade Enforcement calls on the U.S. government to continue opposing this unnecessary proposal.”
About the Alliance for Trade Enforcement: The Alliance for Trade Enforcement is a coalition of trade associations and business groups that advocates for foreign governments to end unfair trade practices that harm U.S. innovative industries and supports U.S. policymakers in their efforts to hold our trading partners accountable.