April 11, 2022
To the Members of the United States Congress:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the “No Free TRIPS Act” and the “Protecting American Innovation Act,” which would prohibit the Administration from negotiating or concluding any modifications to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement, without the explicit authorization of Congress.
International negotiations on IP, focused on undermining the WTO TRIPS agreement, are fundamentally misguided. Any agreement that undermines IP would limit the ability of innovative companies to develop the cure for the next pandemic or global health threat and bargain away US competitiveness. Instead, governments should focus on the overwhelming problem of vaccine distribution and the last-mile delivery.
Intellectual property waiver proposals distract from the real issues preventing more shots in arms, such as logistical hurdles, supply chain bottlenecks, and vaccine hesitancy. Business is delivering on the promise to manufacture safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for the whole world. Vaccine production is estimated to reach over 20 billion doses this year, enough for everyone. As of March 2022, over 65% of the global population has received at least one dose, and this number is growing every day. The dismantling of IP rights threatens the licensing arrangements that are enabling rapid global production and technology transfer.
The Chamber applauds these Members of Congress for introducing this important legislation and strongly supports the No Free TRIPS Act and the Protecting American Innovation Act.
Neil L. Bradley
Executive Vice President, Chief Policy Officer,
and Head of Strategic Advocacy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce