Council Says Ministerial Meetings Should Instead Focus on ‘Three Pillars’ of the Round
Washington, DC – In response to reports from Geneva that the European Union (EU) and several nations are pressing for inclusion of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement amendments as part of the Doha Round negotiations, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today sent letters to U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, warning against such action.
“Specifically, this group is advocating expanded coverage of geographical indications and mandatory disclosure of genetic resources in patent applications, along with provisions relating to access and benefit sharing,” wrote NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “In our view, both these issues are beyond the negotiating mandate of the Doha Round and have no place in the crucial discussions taking place in Geneva this week.”
“Negotiators should focus their attention on making substantive progress on the three pillars of the Doha Round – agriculture, NAMA and services – and not be diverted by the introduction of new and controversial topics. This could only undermine the chances for a successful ministerial gathering and progress toward completion of the Round this year,” he wrote.
For full copies of the letters, please click here.