Customs & International Trade Law Industry News

  • Webinar to explore perspectives on access to medical technologies

    A panel of leading experts from government, industry, civil society, academia and intergovernmental organizations will explore the different perspectives on access to medical technologies over the past 25 years at a webinar on 19 May 2021. The event forms part of a series of events to mark the 25th anniversary of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). View full story...

  • Fishing subsidies negotiations chair introduces new text in run-up to July ministerial

    The chair of the fisheries subsidies negotiations, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, introduced on 11 May a new draft text aimed at bringing members closer to agreement ahead of the 15 July meeting of ministers. The text is based on members’ collective work and proposes landing zones to curb harmful fisheries subsidies and ensure the sustainability of the world’s oceans. View full story...

  • Participants in services domestic regulation talks share national practices

    WTO members participating in the negotiations on services domestic regulation shared how they are implementing disciplines at the national level when they met virtually on 10 May. The objective of the talks is to increase transparency and predictability of authorization procedures to reduce the costs of doing business and facilitate international services trade. View full story...

  • Webinar to explore links between TRIPS and health technology dissemination

    A panel of leading experts will explore on 12 May the impact of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on health technology diffusion over the past 25 years and its role in the broader ecosystem that is required to support innovation and equitable access to medical technologies. The webinar “Trade and Public Health: Dissemination of Health Technologies” forms part of a series of events to mark the 25th anniversary of the TRIPS Agreement. View full story...

  • Statement of Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on USTR Tai’s statement on the TRIPS waiver

    “I read with interest the statement made yesterday by USTR Katherine Tai and I warmly welcome her willingness to engage with proponents of a temporary waiver of the TRIPS Agreement to help in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. As I told the General Council yesterday, we need to respond urgently to COVID-19 because the world is watching and people are dying. I am pleased that the proponents are preparing a revision to their proposal and I urge them to put this on the table as soon as possible so that text-based negotiations can commence. It is only by sitting down together that we will find a pragmatic way forward — acceptable to all members — which enhances developing countries’ access to vaccines while protecting and sustaining the research and innovation so vital to the production of these life-saving vaccines.” View full story...

  • Trade and public health, fish subsidies and LDC concerns in General Council spotlight

    Ensuring access to essential medical goods during a pandemic, securing a global deal on prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies and addressing the concerns of “graduating” least developed countries were among the topics discussed at the 5-6 May meeting of the WTO’s General Council. Members also exchanged views on the WTO’s continuing work on electronic commerce and the legal status of the ongoing “joint initiatives” talks. View full story...

  • DG Okonjo-Iweala underlines urgent need to address equitable access to vaccines

    WTO members must respond urgently to the need for a multilateral solution to ensure equitable access to vaccines worldwide, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala declared on 5 May, describing it as the “moral and economic issue of our time”. The WTO chief made her remarks at a meeting of the organization’s General Council, where the issue of intellectual property and access to essential COVID-19 medicines and medical equipment was addressed. View full story...