Attached is a letter, dated October 14, 2015, from Senator Sherrod Brown to USTR’s Ambassador Michael Froman, urging USTR to support a permanent waiver of WTO drug patent rules, for Least Developed Countries. Negotiations on this issue begin formally on October 15, 2015, during a meeting of the WTO TRIPS Council.
Among the money quotes:
I urge you to support this request and to reject any effort to require those severely impoverished nations to implement the TRIPS intellectual property requirements for pharmaceutical products by a certain date.
Rejecting a permanent extension of the LDC waiver and setting a compliance date is impractical. . . .
Tying the requirements to the LDC classification is in and of itself easblishing a timetable by which a country must meet the pharmaceutical intellectual property standards.
. . .
The European Commission has already expressed support for a permanent waiver for the LDCs, and I urge USTR to take the same position.