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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE
United States of America
257.   The United States of America supports extending the deadline for making a decision on whether or not to extend the Ministerial Decision to cover COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics. On 16 December 2022 we asked the US International Trade Commission to lunch an investigation into COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics and to provide information and market dynamics to help inform the discussion around supply and demand, price-points and the relationship between testing and treating and production and access. The International Trade Commission issued a notice in our Federal Register on 6 February which contains all the relevant dates and deadlines for the hearing and submissions. For your information the key upcoming deadlines are as follows:  29-30 March 2023: Public hearing.  12 April 2023: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and statements.  5 May 2023: Deadline for filing all other written submissions. 258.   The International Trade Commission report is due to USTR on 17 October 2023. The report will be public. We encourage all interested parties to participate in this process. Foreign governments are also welcome to submit their views. As we continue this process, we look forward to continuing to engage with WTO Members.
60. The Council so agreed.
56. The Chair recalled that under paragraph 8 of the Ministerial Decision on the TRIPS Agreement, adopted on 17 June 2022, Members had agreed to make a decision within six months from adoption, on whether to extend this Decision to cover the production and supply of COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics. He also recalled that at the last formal meeting in October – and resumed in December – the Council had recommended to the General Council to extend the deadline for such a decision. The General Council, at its meeting on 19 December 2022, had agreed to this recommendation and resolved to return to the question of the duration of the extension at its next meeting. At its recent meeting on 6-7 March 2023, the General Council had agreed that it would keep the question of the duration of the extension on its agenda again for its next meeting – and that Members would provide updates on where they stand on their internal processes. In the meantime, substantive discussions would continue in the Council for TRIPS. It was against this background, that the item was on the Council's agenda.
57. The representatives of Tanzania, on behalf of the African Group; South Africa; Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group; Nepal; Egypt; Kenya, on behalf of the ACP Group; Indonesia; China; India; the United States of America; Brazil; Switzerland; Japan; the United Kingdom; Chinese Taipei; the European Union; Korea, Republic of; Singapore; and Norway took the floor.
58. With respect to next steps, the Chair said that in his experience, Council discussions were most constructive when they were well prepared and took place on the basis of submissions and proposals that Members had been able to study in advance. The 10-day rule for the closing of the Airgram was intended precisely for that purpose, namely, to allow Members to prepare for the items on the agenda, so that discussions at the Council meeting were constructive and focused. The next formal meeting of the Council was scheduled for 14-15 June – and the agenda for that meeting would close on 1 June.
59. Given that his term as Chair ended with the current meeting, he suggested that the new Chair be invited to consult with Members on how best to move forward with work under this agenda item.
60. The Council so agreed.
IP/C/M/107, IP/C/M/107/Add.1