US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines

By JAMEY KEATEN and ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is throwing its support behind efforts to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to speed the end of the pandemic.

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the government's position in a Wednesday statement, amid World Trade Organization talks over easing global trade rules to enable more countries to produce more of the life-saving vaccines.

Tai says, "The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines."

But she cautions that it will take time to reach the required global "consensus" to waive the protections under WTO rules.

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