WASHINGTON— The Biden administration is throwing its support behind efforts to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to speed the end of the pandemic.
United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the government’s position in a Wednesday statement, amid World Trade Organization talks over easing global trade rules to enable more countries to produce more of the life-saving vaccines.
Tai says, “The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines.”
These extraordinary times and circumstances of call for extraordinary measures.— Ambassador Katherine Tai (@AmbassadorTai) May 5, 2021
The US supports the waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines to help end the pandemic and we’ll actively participate in @WTO negotiations to make that happen. pic.twitter.com/96ERlboZS8
But she cautions that it will take time to reach the required global “consensus” to waive the protections under WTO rules.