CPTech Statement on the Rejection of the Chairman's Text on Doha Paragraph 6

November 29, 2002

The Africa Group statement rejecting the Chairman's text on a proposed solution to paragraph 6 identified all of the key issues, including the attempts by the United States and DG-Trade to renegotiate core elements of the Doha Declaration on Health, particularly as respect to the scope of diseases, beneficiary countries, and TRIPS plus burdensome procedures. The moment the Chairman agreed to eliminate vaccines from the proposed solution, it was clear there would be no serious effort to address public health concerns. The US government deserves most of the blame for the breakdown, as President Bush allowed the White House to take over the negotiations, and allow a handful of large pharmaceutical companies to dictate the US negotiating position. It is clear that the professional staff of the USTR does not have any authority to agree to a solution that reflects the scope of public health problems included in paragraphs 1 and 4 of the Doha declaration. At this point the US government and PhRMA will wage a PR campaign to rationalize the failure to address paragraph 6, presenting an untrue theory that the Doha Declaration was only about a handful of infectious diseases in a handful of countries, a position that Lamy and Zoellick failed to achieve in Doha. There was enormous US pressure on developing countries, particular in Africa, and this is quite disturbing. The US government position and role in the negotiations harms US security throughout the world, by providing more evidence that our foreign policy is solely concerned with protecting our commercial interests, even at the expense of health care to the world's poor. DG-Trade was really no better, allowing the US to take the lead on scope of illnesses, while it fashioned a set of complex regulatory barriers to a solution, and proposed involving the WTO in oversight of each individual license.

The next step will be to engage a broader US and European civil society effort to exercise more control and accountability over their trade negotiators, as there will be no useful TRIPS council solution without a change in US and European trade policy.

James Love
Consumer Project on Technology
(Friday/Sat +1.703.522.4380)

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