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US reiterates support for waiver to IPR for corona vax

US Capitol building. Photo: Pixabay

Washington, May 15 (MNN) The US has reiterated its support for a waiver on intellectual property for coronavirus vaccines and commitment to text-based negotiations at the WTO.

This came up during a meeting US Trade Representative Katherine Tai virtually had with European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis on Wednesday (local time) to discuss opportunities to strengthen economic ties between the US and the European Union and to resolve the long-running dispute over large civil aircraft subsidies.

Ambassador Tai expressed her commitment to finding a permanent solution, before the tariff suspension expires in July, for a level playing field and to create a platform for future cooperation to address the shared challenges from non-market economies, such as China.

Tai and Dombrovskis also discussed the need to increase vaccine production, and the proposed waiver to certain provisions of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tai explained US efforts to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution around the world. She welcomed the European Union leader’s views on ways to work constructively at the WTO to help end the pandemic.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai also met virtually with WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to discuss increasing the vaccine production, and the proposed waiver to certain provisions of WTO agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tai asked the Director General for his views on the immediate steps to collectively increase access to vaccines.

She also asked how the WHO declares the existence, and the end, of a pandemic, and steps the WHO is taking to increase pandemic preparedness.

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