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

Mr. S. Harbinson (Hong Kong)
United States of America
F Technical Cooperation
51. The representative of the United States said that his delegation acknowledged the obligations contained in Article 67 but believed that they should not be interpreted too extensively. In that context, he was not certain that he could support the proposal from Egypt for a uniform format, given the difficulties his delegation met in getting agreement for notifications under other provisions of the Agreement. On the basis of the experience gained over the past 10 or 15 years, during which the United States had been involved in seeking to encourage other countries to strengthen their intellectual property protection, his delegation believed very strongly in the importance of technical assistance. The United States had provided technical assistance programmes of one shape or another for a great number of countries and had diverted a fair amount of its foreign assistance programme from other areas to intellectual property, precisely because of the belief that this was a useful activity for the United States to be engaged in. The US Agency for International Development had recently established an intellectual property coordinator and was at present in the process of developing a long-term development assistance plan. There were, however, limits to the amount of assistance available, in particular financially. The amount of overall assistance was likely to decrease in the coming years, so that there was a need to find ways to get more out of available resources. In that context, the engagement and usefulness of various international organizations was becoming all the more important, in particular WIPO, which Organization had a long-standing experience and an excellent reputation in providing technical assistance in the area of intellectual property. Many US technical assistance programmes had been carried out in coordination with WIPO and his delegation would favour strengthening that. In that regard, he had a specific proposal to make at next week's Governing Bodies of WIPO which, if adopted, would result in an increased involvement of WIPO in these activities, in particular with regard to helping developing country Members with the implementation of their TRIPS obligations.