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

Ambassador Carlos Pérez del Castillo (Uruguay)
United States of America
139. The representative of the United States firmly believed that the information provided in the Secretariat's paper should allay any fears that the expiration of the moratorium on non-violation cases in the context of the TRIPS Agreement would result in a flood of disputes claiming non-violation nullification and impairment. He thought that the Secretariat's paper made it plain that very few claims of non-violation nullification and impairment had ever been made and that in a number of disputes the use of the dispute settlement system in situations that were not per se violations had certainly been appropriate. He quoted the Secretariat paper where it said that "the protection of legitimate expectations is central to creating security and predictability in the multilateral trading system". He said that, as was the case with other WTO Agreements, when interpreting the text of the TRIPS Agreement, the legitimate expectations of WTO Members concerning the TRIPS Agreement had to be taken into account, as well as standards of interpretation developed in past Panel Reports in the GATT framework, in particular those laying down the principles of protection of conditions of competition flowing from multilateral trade agreements. He believed that the conditions established in Article 26 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding provided all necessary assurances and safeguards to handle any disputes that might arise alleging non-violation nullification and impairment under the TRIPS Agreement. He stated that the United States could not and would not agree to any proposal that would diminish the rights of WTO Members under the TRIPS Agreement and thereby weaken the Agreement itself. Welcoming the paper from Canada, he said that his delegation looked forward to discussing the issues raised so that, at the end of the day, one could say that the issues had been thoroughly examined.