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WTO Heeds Manufacturers’ Warnings

Members chose not to expand the TRIPS waiver to include diagnostics and therapeutics.


World Trade Organization (WTO) members chose not to expand the agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights waiver to include diagnostics and therapeutics at the 13th WTO ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi.

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Global leaders at the WTO heard manufacturers’ stark warnings that an expansion of the TRIPS waiver would have endangered manufacturers’ fundamental ability to fight global crises, including COVID-19. Granting this waiver also would have emboldened our global competitors, chipped away at American innovation and jeopardized our ability to fight future diseases. After years of NAM advocacy, this decision represents a major victory for manufacturers—particularly those hard at work developing lifesaving cures and treatments. We appreciate President Biden and Ambassador Tai’s leadership to secure this outcome.

“Another welcome action was WTO members’ decision to expand the moratorium on e-commerce tariffs. The e-commerce moratorium has enabled the digital economy to flourish, and the NAM urges U.S. trade officials to push for permanently instituting the moratorium at the WTO, so that this critical element of digital commerce doesn’t come with an expiration date.”

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