Impasse at the TRIPS Council

Febrary 18, 2003

Geneva... TRIPS council has been meeting today on the para 6 issue. There was a surprise that Motta did not present his proposed chairman's statement, which several countries were prepared to oppose. The reports of a Brazil Tokyo proposal seem overblown. Basically, there is an impass.

Many developing countries are insisting on the Dec 16 text, some hoping the US will not accept it, so they can bury the Dec 16 text, while blaming the US.

One of the unexpected bits of drama concerned suprisingly frank discussion of the US pharmaceutical companies influence on the Bush Administration, including statments by the Chair and by RSA, both in the context of the WTO needing to do something to address the US government's lack of independence from PhRMA members.

Some effort is being made in the hallways to garner interest in a "fresh start", that would combine a much better outcome on para 6 with an agreement that rich countries would not use parallel trade from developing countries or reference pricing schemes that included prices from developing countris. The fatigue factor is a problem in raising anything "fresh"... which is one reason why many developing countries prefer to cling to Dec 16 text.

One great document distributed today is a detailed list of IP technical assitance meetings the US government has run, many featuring presentations by Pfizer, Microsoft and other US commerical parties. More on this later.

The US based USA delegation was snowed in and is not here.

More later.

James Love +41.79.569.6022

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