"Woman holding test tube" by National Cancer Research

Today the House Ways and Means Committee is set to markup a resolution offered by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) requesting the Biden Administration to release all communications and internal data regarding the administration’s support for a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Americans for Tax Reform supports Rep. Smith’s resolution (H.Res.1285) and urges Members to vote in support of the resolution.

Americans for Tax Reform previously urged the Biden Administration to reject the TRIPS “waiver.” Instead, the Biden Administration, without the consent, guidance, or consultation with Congress, negotiated an international commercial agreement permitting more than 100 countries to effectively ignore American intellectual-property rights.

The waiver invites developing countries, including adversarial nations like China, to ignore intellectual-property rules requiring the “effort to obtain authorization from the right holder on reasonable commercial terms” before authorizing a third party to produce Covid vaccines without permission.

In April, more than 50 House Republicans sent a letter to President Biden warning the waiver would “hamstring American medical innovation and destroy countless U.S. research jobs, all to address a supply problem that does not exist.”

The letter also highlights national security concerns created by the waiver which “allows any government or company to copy state-of-the-art American technology, inevitably ensuring that it falls into the hands of Russia, China and other adversaries that threaten the United States and our allies.”

Rep. Smith’s resolution will help shed light on the decision-making within the Biden Administration that led the President to abandon the core responsibility of protecting critical intellectual property.

Specifically, the resolution would request the Biden administration disclose within 14 days of the passing of the resolution any communications and internal data that demonstrate;

(1) The TRIPS waiver will increase the global supply and delivery of COVID–19 vaccines;

(2) the extent to which COVID–19 vaccines have been destroyed due to their expiration and the period during which this occurred;

(3) the proposed expansion of the TRIPS waiver to cover intellectual property related to diagnostics and therapeutics will increase the global supply and delivery of COVID–19 diagnostics or therapeutics;

(4) the TRIPS waiver or the proposed TRIPS waiver expansion will accelerate the end of the COVID–19 pandemic; and

(5) the People’s Republic of China will not obtain access to patents or other intellectual property related to COVID–19 vaccines, diagnostics, or therapeutics, even if China is expressly excluded from the TRIPS waiver or the proposed TRIPS waiver expansion.

Americans for Tax Reform supports H.Res.1285 and urges members to vote yes during today’s markup.