The United States will continue to push for the waiver of intellectual property rights for vaccines and treatments COVID-19, although it and other groups in the seven rich countries are sharply expanding vaccine donations to poorer countries.
U.S. Trade Representative Catherine Ty said on Thursday that the Biden administration was working on multiple fronts to end the pandemic.
These efforts include donations of 80 million doses of vaccine by the end of June, additional donations of 500 million doses announced Thursday by President Joe Biden, and negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to secure a limited waiver of intellectual property (IP) rights. for vaccines, she said.
“And that may take time, given the complexity of the issues involved, but our goal remains to provide vaccines to as many people as possible,” Ty said, adding that the pandemic will not end until contains everywhere.
Biden’s plan to donate another 500 million doses – a key element in the G7’s 1 billion donation plan – has raised several questions about whether Washington can refuse to support WTO IP exemption.
The refusal was opposed by Germany, Britain and some other US allies, as well as the American business community.
But Biden administration officials say the refusal will help increase global production of coronavirus vaccines.
Biden said on Thursday that the crisis, like the earlier AIDS epidemic, required a global response, and that if the pandemic did not stop, it would limit global growth and could increase instability in some countries.
“We will keep the production doses, we will donate doses, we will get ‘stings’ – as they say here in the UK – of weapons, until the world defeats this virus,” he said.
Sean Flynn, an intellectual property expert at the American University in Washington, said he expects the WTO to reach a waiver agreement during a ministerial meeting later this year.
He welcomed the “ideological flexibility” of the United States to pursue both denial and steps to increase vaccine donations, and said the new viral mutations underscore the need to produce vaccines from more than a few players in rich countries.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that about two dozen low-income countries have vaccinated only 1 percent of their population. “America is better off in a richer, vaccinated world than in a poorer, unvaccinated one,” she said.
The pharmaceutical industry claims that the companies have invested their own funds in the development of vaccines and the waiver of their intellectual property rights will undermine similar work in the future.
Robert Grant, senior director of international relations at the US Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Global Innovation Policy, said there was “no evidence” that waiving intellectual property rights would boost vaccine production.
The concern is that countries around the world will simply start saying, “Well, we will not enforce or enforce intellectual property laws,” he said, adding that the result will be a chaotic set of laws that “will undermine the rationale for investment.” in these places for years. “
Our standards: Thomson Reuters’ principles of trust.