Alliance for Biosecurity Opposes Efforts to Expand Intellectual Property Waivers

Urges U.S. Trade Leaders to Prioritize America’s National Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On May 5, 2023, the Alliance for Biosecurity (Alliance) submitted comments in conjunction with an ongoing U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) investigation, opposing the proposed expansion of the intellectual property (IP) waiver under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.

WTO members have proposed a substantial expansion of the TRIPS Agreement’s IP waiver for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. “Granting this expansion would weaken our response not just to COVID-19, but also to the next pandemic,” said Alliance Secretariat and former Congressman Jack Kingston. “Rather than undermining IP protections, policymakers should be focused on removing trade barriers and shoring up global supply chains to safely and efficiently speed up the manufacturing and distribution
of these treatments.”

The Alliance supports global access to COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics, while also ensuring international IP protections continue to incentivize new therapies and medicines. The Alliance’s comments emphasize the proposed expansion’s risks to national security, including the risk of foreign adversaries gaining access to sensitive biological research and technology. The Alliance also highlighted the proposed expansion’s potential impact on long-term preparedness for natural or manmade disasters.

View the Alliance’s written comments here.