February 2, 1998

Ms. Charlene Barshefsky
United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street
Washington, D.C.  20508

Dear Ms. Barshefsky:

We are writing to urge that the Administration respond to a law
recently enacted by the Government of South Africa which
effectively abrogates the intellectual property rights of foreign
pharmaceutical companies operating in South Africa. These rights
are guaranteed by the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), to which South Africa is a

The new law contains at least two egregious provisions. First, it
permits the parallel importation of patented products and second,
it allows for the administrative expropriation of patented

Both provisions are violations of the TRIPS Agreement. Article 28
of the Agreement obligates member countries to prohibit parallel
imports of patented products and Article 27 prohibits
discrimination on the enjoyment of patent rights based on the
field of technology.

As South Africa seeks to establish itself in the world market, it
needs the assistance of the international community to create
jobs and economics opportunity. Weakening intellectual property
protection in any field is certain to lessen, rather than enhance
South Africa's ability to attract vitally needed foreign direct

We hope to work with the South African government in its pursuit
of equitable social reforms, including those within the health
sector. However, the implications of this law are so great that
in the absence of its repeal, we must urge you to pursue all
appropriate actions, including if necessary with the WTO.


Congressman Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Ranking Member 
House Subcommittee on Africa

Congressman Edward Royce (R-CA)
House Subcommittee on Africa

Senator Bob Toricelli (D-NJ)

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Congressman Howard Coble (R-NC)

Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA)

Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)

Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ)

Congressman Bob Franks (R-NJ)

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA)

Congressman Scott Klug

Congressman Rob Andrews (R-NJ)

Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ)

Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA)

Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH)

Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC)

Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)

Congressman Carrie Meek (D-FL)

Congressman Sam Gejdenson (D-CT)

Congressman James Traficant (D-OH)

Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN)

Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY)

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA)

Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS)

Congressman Gerald Solomon (R-NY)

Congressman Martin Frost (D-TX)

Congressman Elton Gallegly (R-CA)

Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)

Congressman John Hostettler (R-IN)

Congressman John Peterson (R-PA)

Congressman Merill Cook (R-UT)

Congressman Jim Davis (D-FL)

Congressman John Porter (R-IL)

Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-NY)

Congressman Jim Saxton (R-NJ)

Congressman David Price (D-NC)

Congressman David Drier (R-CA)

Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL)

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

Congressman Stephen Horn (R-CA)

Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL)

Congresswoman Julia Carson (D-IN)

Congressman Michael Pappas (R-NJ)

Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)