Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

EU’S trade response to pandemic stops short of vaccine IP waiver

- Bloomberg

The EU will encourage World Trade Organizati­on (WTO) members to phase out export restrictio­ns for Covid-19 vaccines, but will stop short of supporting a Us-backed proposal to suspend intellectu­al property rights meant to boost the supply of Covid-19 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 US to follow the lead of Europe, which “has always exported a big part of its production to the world”.

The EU has exported or signed off on the shipment of over 300 million vaccine doses to more than 100 countries since the start of the pandemic, whereas nearly all the vaccines produced in the US are kept for domestic use.

 ?? REUTERS ?? A man registers for a jab at a cinema turned into a vaccinatio­n site in San Juan City, Philippine­s.
REUTERS A man registers for a jab at a cinema turned into a vaccinatio­n site in San Juan City, Philippine­s.

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