The Congressional Research Service has released a report for the U.S. Congress concerning the COVID-19 Patent Waiver agreement between the U.S., India, South Africa and the EU. The report discusses the leaked agreement and outlines specific issues for the U.S. Congress to consider:
Key issues include · Should more congressional input or approval be required before the Administration could agree to modifying TRIPS obligations (as proposed in some pending bills)? · How would the proposed agreement affect innovation incentives for COVID-19 vaccines and other treatments? What would it mean for U.S. competitiveness vìs-a-vìs China, which poses major IPR theft challenges? · How would the proposed agreement affect global COVID-19 vaccine production and access? Would any boost occur quickly enough to respond to the pandemic’s current stage, or be more relevant to respond to potential future variants? What does the proposed agreement mean for future pandemic responses? · Is the U.S. position on this waiver particular to COVID-19 or a general policy shift as it relates to historical U.S. positions in advancing IPR in trade agreements? How may these issues shape potential debate on Trade Promotion Authority renewal and U.S. IPR trade negotiating objectives? · What would a timely COVID-19 IPR outcome—or its absence—mean for debates about the WTO’s relevance in the changing global economy?
The report is available, here.