Resolution calling for a Temporary Waiver of TRIPS Restrictions on COVID-19 Vaccines, Tests and Treatments
WHEREAS many people in the US and abroad need a higher pace of production for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments; and,
WHEREAS lower GDP countries cannot afford to pay monopoly rates for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments; and,
WHEREAS 100 countries have called for a temporary waiver at the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) of “Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights” (“TRIPS”) on technology needed to produce more COVID-19 vaccines, tests and medications; and,
WHEREAS under the prior presidential administration the US blocked the TRIPS waiver insisting that pharmaceutical industry profits come before ending the COVID crisis; and,
WHEREAS the internationally respected humanitarian medical non-governmental organization Médecins Sans Frontières (“MSF” aka Doctors Without Borders), has published a position paper on the Scope and Duration of the TRIPS Waiver for COVID-19; and,
WHEREAS the MSF position paper calls for a TRIPS waiver that covers all essential medical technologies beyond vaccines, including tests and treatments; and,
WHEREAS the MSF position paper calls for a TRIPS waiver that removes intellectual property barriers beyond patents such as data exclusivity, trade secrets or any other protection of undisclosed information; and,
WHEREAS the MSF position paper calls for a TRIPS waiver that is of sufficient duration for global production and supply to overcome the challenges of access to COVID-19 medical tools;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members of the 31st Legislative District Democrats of Washington State, call on the Biden administration to reverse course on the US blocking the TRIPS waiver for COVID-19 medical tools; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on the Biden administration to ensure that any TRIPS waiver adopted by the WTO fully addresses all of the concerns raised in the MSF position paper; and,
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to sent to each WA State member of Congress and the U.S. Senate, President Joseph Biden, and the U.S. Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization.
This resolution was adopted by the 31st Legislative District Democrats at our general meeting on June 22, 2022.