Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Eduardo Pérez Motta (Mexico)
European Union
C.i Scope and coverage
15. The representative of the European Communities said that based on the interventions by Members so far a consensus solution could be found to the exception under Article 31(f) only if a literal interpretation of the language of the Declaration, especially in paragraph 1 and paragraph 6, was to be adopted. He felt that since this was the compromise reached last year, it would not be wise to reopen the same debate. As far as extending the scope of products covered, he welcomed the use of the term "constructive ambiguity" by the Brazilian delegate in order to find a desirable solution for this particular problem. With respect to the intervention of the Hungarian representative about the inclusion or exclusion of certain countries, he stressed that the debate concerned developing and least-developed countries as mentioned in paragraph 1. In terms of definition of importing countries, he said that his delegation did not think that there was scope to extend the eligibility beyond low-income developing countries. He was aware of the problem that certain developing countries had higher income than some of the current and potential member States of the European Communities and that a solution would have to be found to this problem. 16. In terms of eligible producing countries a decision had not yet been taken by the European Communities. He recognized some value in the argument that when developing countries did not have manufacturing capacity for a certain product then developed countries might function as suppliers. He felt that the proposal put forth by some developing countries, that they should be allowed to choose from products being produced in developed countries when the product there was of better quality or available at a competitive price, merited consideration. But a good way for a developing country that had long-term goals to improve production capacity to do so would be to negotiate technology transfer and engage in local manufacture of products. Such technology transfer would apply only to those countries without significant production capacities, and not to those developing countries that currently had manufacturing capabilities. In his view predictability was very important when deciding on eligibility based on manufacturing capacity and specific criteria towards this end would be a valuable tool in the debate.