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U.S. trade chief Tai says ‘time of the essence’ in addresssing vaccine waiver at WTO

PUBLISHED: Wed, 05 May 2021 11:53:54 GMT

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WASHINGTON, May 5 (Reuters) – U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Wednesday underscored the urgency of addressing a proposal to waive some intellectual property rights under global trade rules given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tai said all of her actions with regard to the propsed waiver – which has been opposed by the United States and a handful of other countries with big pharmaceutical industries – were made through the lens of saving lives.

“As with everything in this pandemic, time is of the essence,” Tai told an online event hosted by the Financial Times when asked about the timing of a decision on the waiver proposed by India and South Africa. (Reporting by David Lawder and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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