Don’t Accept India and South Africa’s Covid-19 Vaccine Proposal At WTO: Republicans After Biden
Four senior Republican senators urged US President Joe Biden not to accept a proposal from India and South Africa to the World Trade Organization to waive anti-Covid vaccine patents in order to increase the offer on Friday.
“India, South Africa and other countries submit a proposal to the World Trade Organization to waive all intellectual property rights for innovations related to Covid-19,” the group of four Republican senators wrote in a letter to Biden. “Proponents of this program argue that if we just destroy the intellectual property developed by American companies, we will suddenly have more manufacturers making Covid-19 vaccines,” they said.
“Seize America’s Intellectual Property”
In the letter, Senators Mike Lee, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst and Todd Young called on Biden to reject the impending proposal at the WTO. “But the opposite is true. By destroying the intellectual property of every American company that worked on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, we would end the progress that began under Operation Warp Speed, which resulted in the fastest development of life-saving vaccines in history. “The senators wrote.
They claimed that some countries believe they would benefit from the seizure of America’s intellectual property. “But that’s a mistake,” they said.
“Surrendering all intellectual property rights would end the innovation pipeline and stop the development of new vaccines or boosters to address variants of the virus. Given the enormous amount of time and resources it would take to build new production facilities and acquire the know-how to make these complex medicines, it would not increase the availability of vaccines either, ”they said.
“Even if the waiver could temporarily lead some copycats to try to produce what American companies have developed, it would create significant quality control problems,” the senators said.
“As a global leader and driving force, we can do a lot to help other countries overcome the virus. However, destroying our intellectual property rights would not advance our mission to fight the virus – it would make the problem worse for America and the world, ”they wrote.
“The end of this pandemic is in sight. More than 50 million Americans have been vaccinated, and cases are down more than 75 percent from their most recent high. We are ready to work with you to end this deadly crisis and we urge you to take a firm stand against this program that would stop our progress, ”said the Senators.
In a statement, Patrick Kilbride, senior vice president of the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the intellectual property rights waiver proposals were bogus and a distraction from the real work of strengthening supply chains and helping countries Deliver vaccines to billions of world citizens in the procurement, distribution and assistance.
“A reduction in intellectual property rights would make it more difficult to quickly develop and distribute vaccines or treatments for future pandemics the world will face,” he said.
“The spread of vaccines is important”
Earlier this week, hundreds of American civil society organizations and three senior congressmen urged Biden not to block the World Trade Organization’s Covid-19 vaccine waiver. This would improve the treatment of coronavirus patients worldwide.
Also Read: Biden urged India’s proposed blocking of WTO Covid-19 waiver to end
“The Covid-19 pandemic knows no borders, and the need to develop and deploy vaccines around the world is critical. The TRIPS waiver imposed by India and South Africa at the WTO would help the world community defeat the scourge of Covid-19 by making diagnoses, treatments and vaccines available in developing countries, ”said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Chair of House Appropriations Committee told reporters at a press conference.
The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) requires countries to grant protracted monopoly protection for drugs, tests and technologies with which they are manufactured.