WASHINGTON – Ambassador Katherine Tai today met virtually with Ebrahim Patel, the South African Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, 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.
Ambassador Tai emphasized the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to saving lives and ending the pandemic here in the United States and around the world. She reiterated her support for the waiver of intellectual property for COVID-19 vaccines and text-based negotiations at the WTO. Ambassador Tai acknowledged the WTO Members who have expressed support for future negotiations and welcomed an update from Minister Patel about efforts to revise and resubmit South Africa’s wavier proposal. Ambassador Tai and Minister Patel agreed to stay in regular communication in the days ahead.