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USTR Tai reiterates support for vaccine waiver in call with S. African official

PUBLISHED: Thu, 13 May 2021 20:21:01 GMT

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WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) – U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Thursday expressed her support for a waiver of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines in a call with South African Trade Minister Ebrahim Patel, one of the initial proponents of the waiver at the World Trade Organization.

USTR said in a statement after the call that Tai “acknowledged the WTO members who have expressed support for negotiations and welcomed an update from Minister Patel about efforts to revise and resubmit South Africa’s waiver proposal.”

Tai earlier on Thursday told U.S. lawmakers the vaccine IP waiver negotiations can help the embattled WTO to “show its relevance for mankind.” (Reporting by David Lawder Editing by Chris Reese)

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