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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
United States of America
165.   The United States attributes great importance to this review with respect to the obligations under TRIPS Article 66.2. Our submission in 2020 is an update to our 2018 and 2019 reports, detailing programmes aimed to support LDCs in fostering the necessary environment to encourage the effective, voluntary transfer of technology to LDCs. The US submission details programmes in areas ranging from intellectual property and trade capacity building, training, development assistance, educational, financing, and infrastructure-related programmes to health, labour, and environmental as well as entrepreneurship. Similar to the 2020 submission, this report includes comments from host countries regarding the value of several of the programmes listed in the report. 166.   The United States continues to believe that the effective functioning of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement requires a robust dialogue between developed countries and LDCs in order to target incentives in a way that is most responsive to the self-identified technology transfer interests and needs of LDCs. At the workshop on the implementation of Article 66.2 on 2, 4 and 5 March 2021, we were proud to highlight many programmes that are in our report. I would like to share a few with you in this forum as well: 167.   To facilitate agriculture technology transfer, US Department of Agriculture or USDA uses contractual instruments such as Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADAs), invention licenses and material transfer agreements, and supports public dissemination of research results. Our report also features several in-country Feed the Future (FTF) programmes and other US government agricultural programmes in Bangladesh, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Myanmar, Mozambique, Cambodia, Zambia, and Senegal amongst others. 168.   In Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), I would like to highlight a programme by the US Trade and Development's Agency (USTDA) that awarded a feasibility study grant to expand and improve access to telecommunications services in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The grantee is SEACOM Limited, the regional submarine communications cable operator, and USTDA's study will determine where to expand ICT infrastructure in East Africa, assess the market for fiber telecommunications services, and recommend potential investments in fiber optic cabling and network equipment. 169.   For the third focus area of the Workshop – health, our report highlights the multitude of technology transfer programmes covering issues ranging from epidemic diseases to maternal health. For example, the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Initiative has funded research and training in 13 LDCs. H3Africa has been funded for a period of ten years at a current commitment of USD 180 million, and is focused on capacity building, as well as specific scientific goals. Before discussing the fourth area, technology transfer in the area of environment, I would like to say a few words about the Biden Administration's increased focus on partnership and multilateral organizations. 170.   On 27 January 2021, only seven days after taking office, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. President Biden said: "It is the policy of my Administration that climate considerations shall be an essential element of United States foreign policy and national security. The United States will work with other countries and partners, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to put the world on a sustainable climate pathway. The United States will also move quickly to build resilience, both at home and abroad, against the impacts of climate change that are already manifest and will continue to intensify according to current trajectories … The United States will immediately begin the process of developing its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement." 171.   A great example of our green technology transfer programmes from our 2020 report is SilvaCarbon. SilvaCarbon is a technical cooperation programme under the Global Climate Change Initiative, and a US contribution to the Global Forest Observation Initiative of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations. SilvaCarbon works with 24 tropical forested countries to build capacity in measuring, monitoring, and reporting changes in forest and terrestrial carbon, and collaborates globally to identify, test, and disseminate good practices and cost-effective technologies. 172.   The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a US government corporation that forms partnerships with LDCs which are committed to good governance, economic freedom, and investments in their citizens. MCC has approved over USD 13 billion in compact and threshold programmes worldwide that support projects in energy, agriculture and irrigation, anticorruption, business environment improvements, education, health, enterprise development, finance, land rights, trade and transport, and water supply and sanitation initiatives. 173.   Our report also highlights wind projects such the eleQtra, implemented by the US Trade and Development Agency in Mozambique and hydroelectric projects such as the one in Zambia including two greenfield small hydropower projects for application under the Zambia GET FiT programme and the expansion of an existing small hydropower project. As always, we appreciate our many partnerships with LDCs successfully implementing Article 66.2.
42. The Chair recalled that, at the Council's meeting in October 2000, the Eighteenth Annual Review under Paragraph 2 of the Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement had been on the agenda. At that meeting, delegations had briefly presented the updated reports submitted by developed country Members under Article 66.2. Since that meeting, the Council had received a further submission of an updated report from the delegation of New Zealand. At that meeting, the Council agreed that it would revert to the item at this meeting to permit continued consideration of the submitted material.
43. In July 2020, the LDC Group had circulated a submission entitled "Proposed New Template for Annual Reporting under Article 66.2 of the Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights".
44. In order to give LDCs more time to absorb the information provided by developed countries in their reports, and to ensure that these reports were available in the official languages of the WTO, the Secretariat had organized a Workshop on the Implementation of the Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. Due to the sanitary situation, the Workshop had been held in virtual format on 2, 4 and 5 March 2021. Some of the capital-based delegates who participated in the Workshop would take part in the discussions under this agenda item. She invited the Secretariat to report on the Workshop.
45. A representative of the Secretariat took the floor.
46. The representatives of the United States of America; Australia, the United Kingdom; Switzerland; Canada; Japan; the European Union; Norway; China; Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group; and Mozambique took the floor.
47. The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/98, IP/C/M/98/Add.1