US to support intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines -Sriram Lakshman

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published Published on May 6, 2021   modified Modified on May 6, 2021

-The Hindu

The news will support the increased production of vaccines globally as countries, including India, continue to reel under the impact of the pandemic.

The United States will support an initiative at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to waive Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) protection for COVID-19 vaccines, the Biden administration said on Wednesday. The news will support the increased production of vaccines globally as countries, including India, continue to reel under the impact of the pandemic. The initiative was first floated by India and South Africa last October.

"The administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for Covid-19 vaccines," United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced, adding that the "extraordinary circumstances" called for "extraordinary measures."

Ms. Tai also said that the negotiations to effect the IP waiver would take time.

"We will actively participate in text-based negotiations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) needed to make that happen. Those negotiations will take time given the consensus-based nature of the institution and the complexity of the issues involved," she said.

Earlier on Wednesday, WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala held discussions in with ambassadors from developed and developing countries to discuss access to COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, based on an Indian and South African initiative first launched in October 2020.

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The Hindu, 6 May, 2021, https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-to-support-intellectual-property-waiver-for-covid-19-vaccines/article34494164.ece?homepage=true


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