India at WTO- Proposes for TRIPS Waiver
India has made a fresh proposal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for the establishing the mechanism of true vaccine internationalism. India has also warned developed nations who are blocking proposal of temporary waiver of the intellectual property obligations.
India warned them that even if they vaccinate all the citizens, they will be at the risk of sluggish recovery in case the infection continues to spread with same pace in the emerging markets. With that, India has called for the immediate start of text-based negotiations so as to work out on the modalities for TRIPS waiver.
The WTO General Council also received a status report from Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) council regarding the proposal that was put forward by India and South Africa. Both the countries had put the proposal for a temporary waiver from some provisions of the TRIPS agreement in October, 2020. This was done in a bid of the prevention, containment and treatment of the Covid-19 pandemic.
How the world is reacting?
The waiver proposal was co-sponsored by 57 members mainly comprising of the developing countries and Least Developed Countries. Many of the countries have supported it on the floor. However, developed nations & members like United States (US), European Union (EU), Switzerland and Japan are opposing the proposal.
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
TRIPS is an international legal agreement between the members of World Trade Organization (WTO). The agreement establishes a minimum standard regarding the regulation different forms of intellectual property (IP) by national governments. The agreement was negotiated in between 1989 & 1990 at the end of the Uruguay Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). TRIPS is administered by WTO.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
It is a legal agreement between those countries who wants to promote the international trade by reducing the trade barriers like tariffs.