EU’s Trade Response to Pandemic Stops Short of Vaccine IP Waiver



Bryce Baschuk | Bloomberg

The European Union will encourage World Trade Organization members to phase out export restrictions for vaccines, but will stop short of supporting an American-backed proposal to suspend intellectual property rights meant to boost the supply of Covid shots.

The EU will propose to the WTO at a June 8-9 meeting that all 164 members decrease restrictive measures related to health products, expand the production of vaccine facilities and support an easing of regulatory hurdles, according to a draft proposal seen by Bloomberg.

EU leaders have argued that a patent waiver would only increase supply of the Covid vaccine in the longer term and that faster solutions — such as exporting shots to countries in need — is a more viable solution to the global crisis. Last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the U.S. to follow the lead of Europe, which “has always exported a big part of its production to the world.”

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