Readout of Ambassador Katherine Tai's Virtual Meeting With World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

May 14, 2021

WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today met virtually with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (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.

Ambassador Tai explained the Biden-Harris Administration’s support for the waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. Ambassador Tai also explained how this effort fits into the Administration’s comprehensive effort to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution around the world. 

Ambassador Tai asked the Director General for his views on the immediate steps to collectively increase access to vaccines. She also asked how the WHO declares the existence, and the end, of a pandemic, and steps the WHO is taking to increase pandemic preparedness. Ambassador Tai and Director General Adhanom Ghebreyesus agreed to stay in regular communication in the days ahead.