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US backs proposal to waive IP protection for COVID-19 vaccines

May 7, 2021


The Biden-Harris Administration is backing a proposal from the World Trade Organization (WTO), supported by South Africa and India, that would temporarily remove IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines.

The move itself is surprising, given that historically the US has been in favour of protecting IP. However, in a statement, US Trade Representative Katherine Toi said that although the administration “strongly believes in [IP] protections…in the service of ending this pandemic, [it] supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines”.

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