“…Tai today met virtually with … Director-General of the WHO to discuss increasing vaccine production, and the proposed waiver to certain provisions of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the COVID-19 pandemic,” the USTR said in a readout.

Tai explained the Biden administration’s support for the waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines and the administration’s comprehensive effort to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution around the world, the USTR said.

Tai and Adhanom Ghebreyesus also agreed to stay in regular communication in the days ahead, the USTR added.

More than 80 countries, led by India and South Africa, are attempting to persuade the World Trade Organization to waive the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement, which has significantly limited Third World countries’ ability to produce generic copies of drugs since 1995, forcing them to buy from the First World at rates that are often prohibitively high even for citizens in the United States or Europe.